A question was posted to m.se. A few hours later, the same question was posted to MO. The MO post was migrated to m.se, so m.se then had two identical questions. I tried to vote to close the migrated version as a duplicate of the original version, but couldn't, since the original had no answers.

So I voted to close the migrated version as off-topic, giving the custom reason that it was a duplicate of the original version. Soon, enough people voted to close that the question got closed as off-topic.

Was this a good way to handle the situation? Would it have been better to flag the migrated version for moderator attention?

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    $\begingroup$ Is the MO of MO now to migrate question that they used to close as off-topic together with a polite explanation that the questio is better suited for MSE? Not ideal, but understandable. $\endgroup$ Sep 21, 2013 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ Some questions get migrated to m.se. Others just get closed as off-topic, with or without a suggestion that the question would be better-received at m.se. It depends on the question, and on the people doing the closing. $\endgroup$ Sep 21, 2013 at 11:35
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    $\begingroup$ The title is vague. $\endgroup$
    – zyx
    Sep 22, 2013 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ I cross-posted the same or an extremely similar question to both Computational Science Stack Exchange and Stack Overflow (without noting this on either site) because I was impatient. This was bad etiquette and I won't do it again. Someone from Computational Science Stack Exchange gave my question a decent answer but later made up some bogus reason to close the question after he discovered I had cross-posted. I complained because his reason was bogus. He said he was unable to close it for the reason that it was cross-posted. So, I am wondering, is it possible now (Sep. 29, 2013) ... $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2013 at 21:56
  • $\begingroup$ ...to put a question "on hold" because it is cross-posted? $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2013 at 21:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Stefan, it depends on what you mean by "possible". It is possible to put a question on hold because you don't like the author's haircut --- all you have to do is find four like-minded people with enough points to vote. Better questions might be, "is it acceptable?" "is there a better way to deal with crossposts?" Maybe you should consider posting a question on one of those meta sites. $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2013 at 23:14

1 Answer 1


To be honest, I think the MO people acted incorrectly in this situation. Seeing it was a cross-post of a question they did not want, they should have simply closed (and possibly deleted) it on their side, instead of giving us a second copy of the same question.

As it was the same question being asked twice, flagging it for moderator attention would have been a better route. We can then merge the two questions, which would be a cleaner way of handling this situation.

  • $\begingroup$ It would be interesting to know what the downvote means. $\endgroup$
    – zyx
    Sep 22, 2013 at 3:30
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx: Could be someone disagreeing with the first paragraph. Could be someone who thinks that moderators merging two questions which are 99% identical makes math.SE akin to a police state. Could be an accidental mis-click. Who can tell? $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Sep 22, 2013 at 5:30
  • $\begingroup$ @ArthurFischer Did the MO people already know that the question was already there on Math.SE? I think it is rather kind of them to migrate a question instead of closing. I do not know what others think. (For the record, I did not downvote.) $\endgroup$ Sep 28, 2013 at 7:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Vishal: Here is the original MO posting of the question. While it originally did not include any information that it was posted on math.SE, on 20 Sep 2013 @ 0:35Z (approx 15 mins after it was originally posted) it was edited to include this information. The question was not migrated to math.SE until 6:11Z the same day. So for approx 6 hours the MO people knew that it was already posted here. [cont....] $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Sep 28, 2013 at 7:32
  • $\begingroup$ [...inued] It is possible (I guess) that it received 3 or 4 close votes with a migration reason in the 15mins between posting and the edit, and then didn't receive the additional 1 or 2 required closing votes for another ~6 hours. But I kind of doubt this. $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Sep 28, 2013 at 7:33
  • $\begingroup$ @ArthurFischer In that case, I fully endorse your answer. $\endgroup$ Sep 28, 2013 at 7:35

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