What guidelines should moderators use, when deciding whether to migrate a question from another site over to here? What guidelines would we like moderators at other sites to follow, when deciding whether to migrate a question from their site to IT Security?

  • The Q&A format of StackExchange site -- including the meta site like this one -- makes it difficult to actually have a discussion. You might want to visit the chat room. Chat transcripts are archived, so this is not totally impermanent. Dec 1, 2011 at 16:03

3 Answers 3


My view. My suggested criteria for migration is that the question is on-topic here, and will get better responses here, and has not already received a non-negligible number of answers or votes.

I'd urge moderators to avoid migrating questions after they've already started to receive a non-trivial number of answers, comments, and votes, as that leads to a situation where pre-migration votes from the original site overwhelm the number of votes that are likely to be cast by our community. If it is going to be listed on our site, I think we need to have ownership and control over the answers. Migrating a question after it has already received more than a few votes from the original site prevents us from taking on that kind of control and ownership. See, e.g., a list of bad migrations I compiled earlier.

If a question already has multiple answers, or has answers with more than a handful of votes, then I would suggest that it not be migrated. It should either be left on the original site, or the original question should be closed and a new question should be created on our site.

That's the position I'd advocate for. But I'd like to hear the view of the rest of the community, and of the moderators, too.

The reason I'm bringing this up. We had another dubious migration today. The migrated question comes here with two answers that already have 26 and 12 votes. We don't have enough voting members on this site to come anywhere near that; very few questions on this site get anywhere near that many votes from members of our own community. Thus, at this point, it is a given that votes from the original site are going to overwhelm votes from the IT Security community, for that question. I don't like having a question and answers listed on the IT Security site, when the votes are overwhelmingly from some other site and when the IT Security community effectively does not have ability to perform quality control of the answers.

  • 2
    +1 -- that "dubious migration" question shouldn't have come here. It's over-voted, it doesn't really fit us (we wouldn't remove it if it were originally ours, but we shouldn't adopt it), and it's not a question that really fits the realm of security practitioners. I think it would have been better at the parenting.se site, or even left alone. Can we find out who migrated it?
    – Jeff Ferland Mod
    Nov 30, 2011 at 16:14
  • @JeffFerland Click on the “migrated from XXX” link to see the question on its original site (it's deleted after a month). You will see the moderator's name (only mods can migrate to Information Security, it is not on any community migration path). Usually, that moderator has consulted with a moderator of the target site, sometimes in the DMZ, sometimes in a moderator chatroom, or sometimes the question was flagged. Here the comments on the original question tell you who to rage against. Dec 1, 2011 at 15:38

Looking at the list of top questions for the month and realizing that this is #1, I suggestion we turf it back to the site it came from and tell the moderator who turfed it to us why we don't think it fits our site.

We shouldn't have to hot-potato it elsewhere or bear the effects of their (overwhelming) vote stats. They can find a better home or close it on their own site.


Questions are migrated to another site; not from another site. We do not have any control over the migration process for questions we get. In the inverse case, when we want a question, we can ask a moderator on the other site to migrate it to us.

In this case we could declare it off topic, since it is clearly not a question for professionals. We could move it on to superuser, but I doubt that is helpful.

The answer with the most votes, actually seems like a good approach to me: (Only allow kids supervised access to the computer and enforce time restrictions in a non technical way because the kids are likely to be way more experienced than the parents).

  • 1
    If we don't control the migration process, I would suggest that we document the criteria we would like to see used for when to migrate questions to IT security -- and then have the IT Security moderators contact the moderators at our partner sites to point them to those criteria. This question seems like a great place to document the criteria we would like other sites to use.
    – D.W.
    Nov 30, 2011 at 6:31
  • 2
    That's not what the answer with the most votes says. The highest-voted answer says, in its entirety, "Simply lock the door of the room containing the computer;-)" Regardless of what you think of this particular answer, there's a general policy question here. Personally, I find it undesirable to have questions on our site where our community is effectively precluded from exercising control over the quality of answers by voting on them. If it's on our site, we as a community should take responsibility for it -- and that we means we need to have the authority and power to police those questions.
    – D.W.
    Nov 30, 2011 at 6:36

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