Every so often a new user posts a question on Meta that should have been put on the main site, and a few minutes later it is on hold as off-topic.

On two occasions I have seen such a question on Meta and flagged for a moderator to migrate it to main. And they have done so without a quibble.

Can't this happen every time a post is wrongly placed on Meta, especially as part of the new "be nice to new contibutors" initiative?

  • $\begingroup$ You are assuming mods are available 24/7, which is not always true. They'll see such a flag, but it may be many hours until they do. In the meantime, please know there is a close reason on meta specifically for closing questions that should be on the main MSE. It reads: 1, off topic; Why off topic: ... $\endgroup$ – Namaste Sep 26 '18 at 19:11
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    $\begingroup$ ... "You posted this mathematics question on the meta site attached to the site Mathematics. The meta site is intended for support questions and discussions about the main site (cf. the help center). Please post your question on the main site instead: math.stackexchange.com/questions/ask. For further information see: How to Ask and How to ask a good question?" $\endgroup$ – Namaste Sep 26 '18 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ It is not the "duty of a mod or flagger" to migrate the question to the main site. If they happen to be around, and see the flag, they may very well "migrate" it, just because. But such an asker is very capable of doing so themself (see the direct link to the math main site for asking.) Let's try to get away from this site's dive into catering to "do everything for me" demands. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Sep 26 '18 at 19:20
  • $\begingroup$ @amWhy, I take your points about moderator availablilty. Re your last remark about doing "everything for me" I was thinking that doing "something for me" was (for new users) better than just puting the question on hold. $\endgroup$ – Peter Phipps Sep 26 '18 at 19:23
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    $\begingroup$ I think, @PeterPhipps, you misunderstand "new contributor status" for "new users". It was never intended to mean: "do everything for this user because they're new". It actually means, respectfully correct errors, if needed, inform them of site expectations, and be a little gentler, perhaps (in insisting their posts be picture-perfect-mathjax-formatted.). It does not entail: "Do everything for this user." $\endgroup$ – Namaste Sep 26 '18 at 20:42
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    $\begingroup$ Note that some users intentionally post their mathematical questions in meta, because they want to get around their question ban in main. $\endgroup$ – Joel Reyes Noche Sep 27 '18 at 0:01
  • $\begingroup$ Don't know if this is the case with the posts you flagged, but don't migrate crap. If the question will be off-topic on main, please don't (flag to) migrate it. $\endgroup$ – Andrew T. Sep 27 '18 at 6:20

Often it is in the user's interest not to migrate the post. A migration does not help them that much, it is easy enough to copy over the post.

However, there are at least two drawbacks of a migration:

  • Migrated posts keep their original "created" time stamp. Thus, a migrated post will not appear on the top of the "new" queue. It will have less visibility on main than a repost.

  • If the post gets closed on main after migration, it will be a rejected migration, which means that the post is then closed on meta, and locked on main. Quite annoying to untangle.

This is why I would basically never migrate meta to main. I also do not migrate from MESE to here, for about the same reasons.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the explanation. I'll stop flagging such questions. $\endgroup$ – Peter Phipps Sep 26 '18 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ I think the best help might be to explain to the poster their oversight via a comment. If they know, they can immediately fix it. Often this results in self-deletions. You can still flag as off-topic, but there is not need if you don't want to. To flag for moderator attention is not really needed as volume on meta is low and we see the post anyway. (We get a notification about every question on meta.) $\endgroup$ – quid Sep 26 '18 at 19:59

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