Asaf has composed a FAQ on Flagging, but I have a rather specialized concern that I did not see discussed yet.

I occasionally see Comments that, doubtless with best intentions (for Questions that are not on-topic here), recommend another SE site which the commenting User imagines would be better.

When said User is not an active participant on the other site (but I am), I am tempted to flag for moderator attention/removal those suggestions I know to be inapt. The impulse to provide a better alternative is generous, but most Communities have a highly honed set of criteria for what they consider on-topic, and outsiders and casual (non-posting) members will likely not appreciate those boundaries.

I think it is better (for those who don't actively participate on the other site) to recommend looking at another site's Questions for similar items, which avoids the immediate cross-posting/self-migration of items that may not be all that well phrased or thought out to begin with. In practice I may do such a search for them, to give some tags or links to possibly related or duplicate Questions.

If a Question is closed or on-hold here for being off-topic, I don't mind posting a counter-Comment explaining why the other SE site isn't a good alternative, but this is more for the benefit of OP (rather than corrective action vis-a-vis the suggesting Commenter).

So, is it reasonable to flag Comments with really bad suggestions for other sites?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't see why a user needs to have an account to say that they would recommend a certain site. If they're familiar enough with it, there's no reason they cannot suggest it. Maybe they're an avid reader of it and just haven't had a need to join it? $\endgroup$
    – user64742
    Apr 16, 2016 at 0:32
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Is your concern that the OP will see that bad migrate suggestion and immediately proceed to ask the question on that other SE? Then the best thing to do would be to post a comment explaining why that's a bad idea. Like if you ask a question about some esoteric chess scenario that's unlikely to come up (or is impossible) in normal tournament play and someone suggests moving the question to chess.SE. $\endgroup$ Apr 16, 2016 at 4:18
  • $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck: An avid Reader of another site is welcome to suggest reading that site, esp. pointing out parallel posts if they exist. Those who don't post Questions and Answers at site X.SE nor participate in Meta.X.SE are frequently poorer judges of the on-topic standards there than active participants are. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Apr 16, 2016 at 21:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @RobertSoupe: We see a fair amount of off-topic Questions coming from other sites because the OP was closed there with comments to the effect that it has math in it so it should be posted to Math.SE. I'm simply asking about pre-empting the traffic going in the other direction. Of course a comment explaining the poor fit with another site, in the case I have a pretty good understanding by active participation, is generally constructive. In the recent instance I left a comment, but I was particularly disturbed by the upvotes on the Comment recommending an inappropriate site. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Apr 16, 2016 at 22:01
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    $\begingroup$ @hardmath that might be true, but I think it's inappropriate to say that /all/ move suggestions made by people who aren't active users are inappropriate. That's a pretty broad assumption to make. $\endgroup$
    – user64742
    Apr 17, 2016 at 5:28
  • $\begingroup$ What I usually do is say that the question is a better a fit for site $X$, without claiming it is on-topic there. It's just "more" on-topic there than here. $\endgroup$
    – Git Gud
    Apr 17, 2016 at 6:28
  • $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck: My judgement that a suggested alternative site X is inappropriate is based on my own active participation at site X, not the lack of the suggesting User's participation. My response (to flag or not to flag, in addition to a Comment) may depend on that User's participation (and other factors). $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Apr 17, 2016 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ @hardmath Oh ok. I thought you were trying to say only participants can say what belongs. My bad. $\endgroup$
    – user64742
    Apr 17, 2016 at 23:46

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is reasonable to flag such comments.

Inappropriate suggestions to migrate a question to/re-ask a question on some other site can be a serious bother. You should ask inhabitants of Programmers or Code Review about comments on Stack Overflow suggesting their site if you want to see a strong reaction ;)

Nevertheless, I think that often it's better to post a comment explaining why the suggestion isn't appropriate than to flag the suggestion for removal (flagging it for removal later, if one remembers to go back, might put the icing on the cake). Use your judgement.

And use a custom flag in these cases. We might not know why that comment is "not constructive", but we can understand if you explain that the suggested site is inappropriate.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I know something of the "strong reaction" you mention!! $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Apr 17, 2016 at 23:50

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