A recent question on data recovery raised an interesting problem. The question is on-topic in the sense of it being about forensics, but the actual question essentially boils down to "how do I recover deleted data from a disk?", which would be better on SuperUser. However, it is highly likely that SU has a dupe, so a migrate would just result in it being closed as an exact duplicate.

As such, what should our policy be on this?

Potential solutions:

  • Answer the question here, despite it being a dupe elsewhere, so that we have an answer on here too.
  • Find dupe on SU, post as comment, close question as Off Topic.
  • Migrate to SU, leave them to deal with it (assuming they accept)

3 Answers 3


I think that @GdD's answer is correct for questions that are either definitely off-topic or low quality, but for others I think we need to make a judgement call:

  • Does it add value to Sec.SE?
  • Will others be more likely to search here to find answers to this type of question?

If so, I suggest we keep it. If it gets no answers then it will fall into the 'low value to Sec.SE' pot

  • 1
    Agreed. I also don't have a goal of "fit everything into the site that it is best catalogued under." I only move something if it doesn't fit us well. Sometimes that means keeping a question open here even if it has a dupe elsewhere.
    – Jeff Ferland Mod
    Sep 26, 2012 at 14:33

I think the right answer is to find the SU dupe, post as comment, and close as off-topic. That way people looking on this particular stack:

  1. Find an answer to their question
  2. Know it's off-topic on this stack
  3. Learn which stack it's appropriate for

If it is off-topic for Security.SE, I would suggest migrating to where it is on-topic and let them deal with it. If the question has already been answered on their site and they close it as a duplicate, that's fine. In other words, this is the "Migrate to SU, let them deal with it" option.

I don't understand why the fact that SU is likely to close it as a dup would make us shy away from migrating the question to the site where it belongs. If it is off-topic for us, it is off-topic. And if the question has already been answered there before, it has already been answered, and there's not really any need to repeat that.

If it is on-topic for Security.SE, I would suggest leaving it here, even if there is some overlap with another question on another community. This community often has a different perspective and provides a different sort of answer.

Example: If asking about conceptually how data recovery works and under what circumstances it might be feasible, then that's the sort of question that our community can probably give great answers to. If asking for a step-by-step recipe of how to do it, that might be the sort of thing that ServerFault will have better answers for. So, our judgement about whether it is on-topic or off-topic might depend upon the details of exactly what is being asked.

If it is in a grey area, Rory Alsop's suggestion makes sense to me: figure out if it is high-value to us or not; if it is high-value, leave it here; if it is not high-value to us, migrate to SU and let them deal with it, or close it.

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