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Just looking at the migration stats (2k+) I saw 3 duplicate migrations and I just flagged another cross post. That means, of the last 10 migrations, there were 3(or 4) duplicates:

Migration Stats

I am thus under the impression, that we at least have a surge of Cross-posted questions, if not a steady increase.

Unfortunately I am not handy enough with SEDE to put together some meaningful data.

Either way: What can we do about cross-posted questions? How can we most effectively prevent cross-posting?

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    \$\begingroup\$ If we know it already exists on the site it would be migrated to, would it be best to just close it here? Or is it better to migrate and show it as a duplicate? \$\endgroup\$ – nhgrif Jul 4 '14 at 13:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nhgrif as far as I understood, mods will merge migration-duplicates \$\endgroup\$ – Vogel612 Jul 5 '14 at 12:38
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The quick answer is that we've already informed other moderators of the checklist for migration to Code Review, and one of the items is to check for duplicate items. However, that doesn't address the underlying problems:

  • Users seem to be confused about which site to post to. I suspect that other Stack Exchange communities face a similar problem with migrations and duplicates, probably increasingly so, especially with new sites springing up.

    Occasionally, cross-posting is justifiable. For example, you could ask the same question on Code Review and Information Security and expect different kinds of answers. However, Stack Overflow and Code Review should be mutually exclusive, in theory, as Stack Overflow handles non-working code and Code Review addresses working code.

  • Requesting moderators to check for duplicates before migrating is tedious at best. The moderator has to take the time to either perform a search on the destination site or inspect the author's network profile to see if it has been cross-posted.

Ideally, the situation could be improved with technology. Stack Exchange already has a pretty good related-questions detector, so it should be possible for the software to automatically alert the moderator of likely duplicates while migrating, especially for questions by the same author.

I think I'll post a suggestion to Meta Stack Exchange once I come up with a Data Explorer query to justify the feature request with statistics.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Here is a preliminary Data Explorer query. However, there are concerns that the query does not paint an accurate picture, since older deleted questions would be excluded from the data set altogether. \$\endgroup\$ – 200_success Jul 4 '14 at 23:20
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I can't help but think that some of these migration/duplicates are because there's no easy way to migrate so users are trying to be helpful and suggest that the question would be more appropriate over here... so the author cross posts.

If you look at the close options for "belongs on another network", you'll see that Code Review is not one of the sites you're allowed to send it to. This discussion came up on SO Meta a few days ago. It's pretty rare that I come across a question that should be migrated.

I think it would be worth adding CR to the list of migration options on SO, possibly limited to users who are familiar with how CR works and what's appropriate here (though once it is flagged for migration, anyone should be able to agree).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Undoubtedly you are right about the cross-posting often being because of 'helpful' suggestions to. As for making Code Review one of the list of 'target' sites for migration, at minimum, Code Review has to be graduated first (technical reasons), then, even if graduated, I would hesitate to make it easy to migrate 'crap' from SO to CR. There needs to be more controls... \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Jul 6 '14 at 13:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Right, which is why I suggest it be an option only for users who are familiar with what's appropriate here. If you read the entire linked discussion, there are mods manually looking at the user to confirm they have expertise in that area before they perform the migration. Why not add a bit of automation for it? \$\endgroup\$ – cimmanon Jul 6 '14 at 20:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @cimmanon the problem is, how would you create such an automation?? How can a system judge whether a user has expertise in a certain area, especially when It's about something as "fuzzy" as a scope for a site? \$\endgroup\$ – Vogel612 Jul 7 '14 at 18:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vogel612 By checking the user's reputation or badges for that site? Could look for a few specific badges (eg. any gold badge, fanatic, etc.) or check to see if they have certain privileges (eg. ability to vote to close questions). \$\endgroup\$ – cimmanon Jul 7 '14 at 18:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @cimmanon judging from my experience at german, you can't trust users with privileges to have a clue about the scope of the site.. \$\endgroup\$ – Vogel612 Jul 7 '14 at 19:22

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