I recently flagged a question as "in need of moderator attention": https://codereview.stackexchange.com/q/124445/9683.

It provided an algorithm in C, asking how to implement it using low-level AVX instructions. It had been migrated from Programmers.SE, but it certainly seems off-topic for Code Review, in that it is not asking to review written code, but asking how to implement it in another language.

I flagged it as needing moderator attention with the following comment:

Unsure why this was migrated to codereview.SE. This seems better suited to SO. (I'm new to this SE, but it seems the thrust of the question is about how to best write this algorithm, rather than caring at all about reviewing what was posted)

The flag was declined with the following comment:

declined - flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention

The question is currently at -1 votes. It seems like a good question that might get decent answers at SO, but certainly none here. Am I wrong? How do I flag a post that should be migrated, since there is no "migrate this to SO" boilerplate in flag > off-topic?

Edit: my mistake, I didn't search hard enough. flag > should be closed... > off-topic > question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network > belongs on SO.


2 Answers 2


Thanks for taking the time to ask on Meta!

I remember handling that flag. I didn't find the question particularly stellar, but I did notice this:

Is there a better way to add up all 16 uint16s and store the result in an int?

The rest of the question went well above my head, but if it all boiled down to finding a better way to [insert what the code currently does here], then that's probably what motivated the migration from Programmers.SE; after all, that's what we do here: we take your working code, and make it better - for quite a number of values of better.

According to the revision history of the question in question, it was single-handedly migrated here by World Engineer♦.

The post isn't blatantly off-topic on Code Review; I don't blame World Engineer for bringing it on our turf. Would it be better off on Stack Overflow? Perhaps. But if the question isn't off-topic on Code Review, then it should stay on Code Review. Especially if it was migrated from another site, regardless of whether it was migrated by community votes or a moderator: nobody likes being bounced from one SE site to the next.

So I had to decide, and I declined your flag with that specific canned reason, because as you later found out, there's already a migration path set up to Stack Overflow:

  • Flag > Should be closed... / 3K+ rep simply Vote to Close
  • Off-Topic
  • Question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network
  • Pick a migration target
  • Sit & wait

The last step is where the community gets involved: by flagging off-topic, you make the post enter the review queues, and the community votes to either leave the question opened, or agree with your flag and cast a vote to close/migrate, and with enough votes in favor, the question gets migrated.

Because there's an existing migration path for the target site, at no point in time a moderator needs to step in for this to happen: that's why I declined your flag.

Custom-flagging for migration should be for migrating to sites without an existing migration path - like for migrating from Stack Overflow to here.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for replying. I appreciate the reasoning, as well as (and most importantly) the distinction between community-voting and moderator involvement (or lack of need for that). \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 3:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ re: topicality: it seemed to me the OP was essentially asking how to implement the function using x86 asm statements (specifically, the x86 AVX-extensions instructions). That seems more like a "how do I implement this" rather than "please review my working implementation" type of question. I guess for my own calibration, that's on-topic here? Also, it seemed to me that the question had a better survival chance on SO. Better to get bounced but finally get answers, rather than languish at negative votes, no? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 3:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I did consider moving it myself, but I couldn't be completely certain whether "The intent is to average a 4x4 chunk" meant that the code did that, or whether it was what the code ought to be doing. I would have posted a comment to ask OP to clarify, but they don't have a CR account - so I decided to err on the "ok" side of the fence, and let the community decide whether they want to keep it around; at worst, it's a new zombie. At best, it gets great answers, tons of votes, OP joins CR and asks more, and later starts reviewing other code, gets hooked up and tells all his friends about CR! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 3:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can users with less than 3k rep even see the migration options? I was unsure, so my answer reflected that by stating that a custom flag is okay for migration for such users. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 3:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jamal see OP's edit ;-) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 4:01

You could either custom-flag it (if you really think it should be migrated) or just flag as blatantly off-topic if you know it's off-topic. For the latter, the higher-rep users can take care of flagging it for migration if necessary.

As for why your flag was declined (which wasn't done by me), it's probably because it was deemed on-topic due to this sentence:

Is there a better way to add up all 16 uint16s and store the result in an int?

I can see why you might've been hesitant about it, considering the length of the code and the variable names (which could also explain the downvote). Still, another mod seemed okay with it and decided to keep it. Migrations are already messy at times, especially with moving a question to another site, so careful consideration must be done for them.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ By "custom-flag it", do you mean the last option, "in need of moderator attention?" because that's what I flagged it as. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 2:21
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, that one (I tend to call it "custom" just because it's you can write a message). \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 2:26

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