# Moderator Supported (Official) Guidelines for “Legitimate” CrossPosting?

I recently posted a question in stats/cv that could just as easily be posted here. As a matter of fact, it feels like it should be in both places! I've searched meta and have seen some related questions and discussions about when to cross post, when not to, and even a great suggestion that stachexchange should implement an official cross posting solution for questions that really belong in more then one location, and would not only itself benefit by being exposed to more people, but would also benefit both sites.

In my specific example, I posted a question on stats/CV that hasn't received any attention yet. I'd like to move it over here, but don't want the people over there to stop seeing it because it could benefit from both perspectives! What can I do now, and does it make sense to be able to do more in this situation?

• It doesn't belong in more than one location; that mostly just creates unnecessary fragmentation. You posted your question to stats.SE less than a day ago. Be patient. If it doesn't get some attention after a few days, flag it for migration. :-) – cardinal Sep 6 '12 at 22:49
• @cardinal: even if Diego's question does not belong on more than one site (I haven't read his question yet), perhaps other questions might. Statisticians and mathematicians may have differing approaches and a combination of those approaches might be enlightening to both. Of course, each post should refer to the other so that this melding can actually occur, and neither site should deem the question off-topic. – robjohn Sep 6 '12 at 23:05
• Thats exactly what I meant. Even if my specific question doesn't, there have been numerous instances where not only the question benefits but both communities can! Also, I didn't mean to imply that mine should be moved because of lack of answers, but just because I'd appreciate different perspectives - a hard mathematical approach, an intuitive approach from 30,000ft, etc. – Diego Sep 6 '12 at 23:11
• Hi @robjohn: there are, of course, many grey areas and Diego's question does somewhat fall into one. It's probably slightly more on topic on stats.SE, in my opinion. At any rate, cross posting in general is strongly discouraged on the SE network, as you know. I think there are multiple very good reasons for that and true exceptions are quite rare despite the fact that many questions easily straddle one or more scope boundaries. Users that are interested in topics lying on site boundaries are likely to participate on both sites, which mitigates (to a degree) the "need" to crosspost. – cardinal Sep 6 '12 at 23:13
• @cardinal Did you miss the recent thread on MO migration, where cross-posting-like solutions were proposed? (with community support) – Bill Dubuque Sep 7 '12 at 2:40
• @Bill: Thanks; I had not seen that. Looking at that page (albeit briefly), I don't see a very compelling argument that there is much community support for crossposting, even to MO, though. One answer with such a suggestion got a handful of upvotes (and a couple downvotes). – cardinal Sep 7 '12 at 2:55
• @cardinal Huh? One such answer got 17 upvotes, 2 down. – Bill Dubuque Sep 7 '12 at 5:36
• Also see this meta question. – Kaveh Sep 7 '12 at 8:33

1. Moderator supported is not synonymous with official. In fact, a better (albeit still not perfect) descriptor of "official" on the Stack network is "current community consensus".
2. Irony aside, this very question should be either cross posted to Stat/CV, or perhaps asked on the network-wide meta http://meta.stackoverflow.com. After all, cross posting by definition involves at least two websites, discussing this just among ourselves seems to be missing a certain other input that should be equally important.

Personally I dislike cross posting:

• It leads to fragmentation of information
• It leads to duplicated efforts by two (or more) different communities

But if you must do it, a few suggestions:

• Indicate clearly in all copies of the question that the question is cross posted (and link to other copies).
• Once you received a good (for you, as in accepted) answer, consider asking for the various copies to be migrated and merged, so we have a single repository for not only the one answer that suits your needs, but also all other contributions to your question.
• Couldn't we address the fragmentation issue by having the platform support it officially? As in the question would by symlinked on both sites, so any answers here would also show up there, and vice versa. Both sites would have the complete set of answers, questions, comments, etc. – Diego Sep 7 '12 at 13:43
• @Diego: you should probably edit your original question to emphasize that it is a feature request and that what is described in your previous comment is what you are requesting. Nothing in your OP indicated that that was what you had in mind :). In any case, yes, were such an option available, the fragmentation and duplicated efforts issue would be addressed. But as this would be a software change that would effect the entire Stack community, I encourage you to raise the feature request at meta.SO instead. – Willie Wong Sep 7 '12 at 14:02
• so should I edit this question here? Or ask that it moved/cross posted to meta.SO? :/ – Diego Sep 7 '12 at 15:13
• You might as well ask it anew over at Meta.SO. Some of the comments and my answer above as well are specific to math.SE, and it may be better if the question when asked at meta.SO does not come with these additional baggage. (But, that's just my opinion. If you prefer, I have no qualms about migrating your question to meta.SO for you after you edit it.) – Willie Wong Sep 7 '12 at 15:20
• The problems with cross-posting that you mention are mostly remedied by simply cross-linking the posts. In many cases this might even be better than duplicating the answers on both sites since the answers on one site may be of less interest (or even off-topic) on the other site (e.g. if they address only the applied part of a mathematical problem, e.g. how to use a particular software system, etc). – Bill Dubuque Sep 8 '12 at 16:48
• (+1) I think this is good advice, Willie. It is important that we be respectful of general SE culture, especially when our actions affect other sites. Since the quasi-official policy is that crossposting is strongly discouraged (and some SE sites have even incorporated such statements directly into their FAQs), we should be cautious in suggesting to our users that they feel free crossposting (even when providing links). This can cause unnecessary friction on other SE sites. One may (easily) not agree with the cultural status quo, but that's better taken up on meta.SO, in my view. :-) – cardinal Sep 8 '12 at 18:53