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I occasionally see question that I think should be migrated to a different SE.

However, when voting to close, I really only have one option, and that's to migrate to this meta SE.

I have a fair bit of rep. Not an amazing amount, but enough to suggest I have some idea about what I'm voting for. I also know I'm about 85% of the way towards getting access to moderator tools. So that's something.

Surely any risk of incorrect migration is mitigated by the fact it requires moderator intervention.

Why is it implemented in such a way and, apart from the very occasional question that should be in meta, is this feature actually useful?

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    You can use the "other" option in the Off-Topic choices - have done this before... – Solar Mike Jul 22 '19 at 7:45
  • @SolarMike Yeah, I've done that before too. It's basically a poor-mans version of this feature. – Gregory Currie Jul 22 '19 at 7:53
  • But if you want the list of all stacks to be available (to cover all possible options) then the list would be so unfriendly... – Solar Mike Jul 22 '19 at 7:54
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    @SolarMike I agree that a dumb list would be bad, but it doesn't have to be a dumb list. – Gregory Currie Jul 22 '19 at 7:56
  • Maybe not, and I can see how it could be done interactively, but you need to consider that functionality will be applied across all sites as it affects the basic structure - it won't be unique to this site... So, that will be an interesting challenge to get that through... – Solar Mike Jul 22 '19 at 7:59
  • Yeah. I agree. The scope of my thoughts is getting a bit wide. – Gregory Currie Jul 22 '19 at 7:59
  • It''s good that we have a place to ask though, change does happen on here... – Solar Mike Jul 22 '19 at 8:00
  • @SolarMike It's probably not a feature that's used too much, as is suggestion. If it was, there could be a "pull" model where moderators from the potential destination site could instigate the migration. – Gregory Currie Jul 22 '19 at 8:04
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The short answer is that it's useful in cases where people mistakenly post meta questions on the main page. Beyond that it serves no purpose because no other migration paths have been defined.

The reason we don't request new migration paths is that by and large there is no need for them. You can read some additional info on the history behind the migration paths here but the short answer is that they were created at a time that migration was needed daily between closely linked sites. I expect migration is still uses relatively often at core sites due to the sheer volume of questions and the significant overlap, but for the less technical sites like ours, they make no sense.

One of the checks on migration requires that you verify up-front whether a question is of sufficient quality to migrate and that you are aware of the scope of the target site to know that the question would be on-topic. It is next to impossible to enforce this if users were able to vote on migrations, but it is possible to do quality control when only moderators get this ability and they can be held responsible for the migrations they do. Migrations are very rare as a result.

In addition the number of paths is limited so we couldn't possibly cover everything even if we wanted to set up migration paths and migrations themselves are so rare that it doesn't make much sense to go through all that trouble. Allowing user-led migration to any site has also been discussed before.

The recommended approach remains to flag a question with a custom close reason recommending a migration to another site. Keep in mind that the vast majority of these flags are declined. Only rarely have I run into a high-quality question that was off-topic here but on-topic on another site.

  • I am not suggesting that migration should occur simply because it gets a few flags. Is that what happens for migration to meta? If that is what happens when you add a migration path, I understand why we are reluctant to add more paths then. – Gregory Currie Jul 22 '19 at 8:00
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    @GregoryCurrie Yes, the migration paths are to allow users to migrate questions without moderator intervention. IIRC it's the standard five votes to confirm a migration. – Lilienthal Jul 22 '19 at 11:47
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    It’s interesting you don’t feel workplace doesn’t have valid targets. I’m surprised there aren’t a number of legal questions that wouldn’t be a better fit for law SE – ThatGuy Jul 28 '19 at 21:19
  • @ThatGuy I was thinking of law SE when I posted this question. – Gregory Currie Jul 29 '19 at 22:35
  • @ThatGuy Law migration target was previously not done because the site was in beta. You could start a new topic about this if you'd like to reopen that but let me say up front that the vast majority of legal questions that are off-topic here would be off-topic on Law and that's before we even consider question quality for migration rule #1. – Lilienthal Jul 30 '19 at 4:02
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    I don’t have nearly enough familiarity with either site to make that suggestion @Lilienthal. I’ll take your word for it. I just found it, personally, a bit surprising. – ThatGuy Jul 30 '19 at 9:50
  • @ThatGuy Good of you to recognise, but that shouldn't stop you from raising the topic. It's fine to ask the question without personally weighing in with an opinion. But up to you of course. :) – Lilienthal Jul 31 '19 at 0:58

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