I recently edited this question, and then flagged it to request migration to Electronics Stack Exchange. My flag was declined by a Super User moderator for the following inexplicable reason:

Request would need to come from OP.

That's a new one on me. When did that become Super User site policy? It certainly is not, nor has it ever been, the policy of the Stack Exchange network. I've been a veteran user of Stack Exchange for quite some time, and being a moderator over on Stack Overflow, I'm quite familiar with what the standing policies are with respect to moderator flags.

If it is a new Super User policy to refuse to migrate questions unless the request comes from the OP, then that policy needs to be reversed at once, because it is absurd. It subverts the entire purpose of migration. There is absolutely no need for the OP to request migration of a question: they can simply delete and repost it. The only reason migration is necessary is to allow someone else to request that the question be migrated, while preserving ownership and attribution to the original author, which, last I checked, is a big deal on Stack Exchange sites.

Now, being a Stack Overflow moderator, I decline a fair number of flags requesting migration. Primarily, this is because the question(s) that the flagger(s) are requesting to migrate are very low quality. I am quite familiar with the cardinal rule that we do not migrate low-quality questions. However, I feel strongly that this is not a low-quality question (despite its terseness). Furthermore, that is why I submitted my edit to the question to fix any lingering formatting/grammar issues, and that edit was approved by the community long before a diamond moderator ever reviewed my flag requesting migration.

I submit that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this question, and that it deserves to be migrated to a site where it would be on-topic. That site is Electronics.SE, which deals with "questions about electrical and electronics engineering topics, which include electronics, physical computing, and those working with microcontrollers, Arduinos and embedded systems". This question is about a COTS eval board for a GPS sensor, designed to be used in embedded systems, which fits the Electronics.SE site's scope to a T. It contains a link to a datasheet (check), covers "a specific electronics design problem" (check), and is not asking for a recommendation (check). It is a practical, answerable, useful question about hobbyist- and professional-grade electronics. I'm sure, because I checked before requesting migration. Did you check before declining migration?

Another common reason not to migrate questions is because they are actually on-topic for the site on which they were originally asked. Again citing long-standing network policy, in the words of Shog9:

Be a bit jealous of your site – don’t blithely turn askers away simply because their question could be asked somewhere else. Don’t hit them over the head with your scope, help them tailor their question to fit into it – and if that means your site’s scope overlaps a bit with another site’s, so be it.

The question was clearly off-topic for Super User. I knew that to be true just by reading it and having a sufficient understanding of Super User's scope. The question wasn't about personal computer hardware or software. The Super User moderators also knew it to be off-topic for this site, since it had been closed as off-topic by one of them already. So that was not an issue here, either.

Ticking off the other contra-indications for migration, the question was not more than 60 days old (in fact, it was brand new), not already asked on the target site, and had not been answered.

Compounding my frustration at this decline message is the fact that I am—at least in some way—involved with this question, thus giving me a stake in its migration. The OP is a customer support representative from Gumstix, whom I have been corresponding with. I asked her the very same question about how to modify the board, and she graciously asked the engineering team in order to provide me with an answer. Unprompted, she decided to share that knowledge online so that it would be available to others like me in the future—what a great idea, the very foundational principle of Stack Exchange! Unfortunately, she made a bit of an error in choosing the site on which to ask. It isn't a general computer-usage question, so it's not on-topic for Super User. I knew that immediately, given my immense experience with the Stack Exchange network. But, rather than risking souring her experience (she's a new user, after all), I thought that I could just leverage my own experience with the Stack Exchange network to positive effect—I could fix up the question and get it migrated to another site where it would be on-topic. I didn't know that I would need to engage in a noisy comments thread, annoyingly trying to persuade the OP to request migration of her own question. And I certainly didn't know that I would need to take the discussion offline and send her a follow-up email explaining the cardinal sin that she committed and that the Super User moderators don't care to help her unless she begs for it herself.

Please migrate this question, and please explain why my original flag was declined for such a nonsensical reason. If a change in policy is required or otherwise motivated by this question, please allow it to stand as a formal request for such.

  • 1
    I've migrated it. I will let the other moderator explain why he refused.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


From the flag queue that mods see I failed to notice that it was a question I had closed previously. By your admission we are jealous of our communities and don't typically migrate unless it has not received attention and OP wants it migrated (to prevent people trying to get Mac or Linux questions migrated to Ask Different or Ask Ubuntu or similar). I erroneously thought that was the case here.

I hadn't had enough coffee yet and probably should have actually migrated it.


  • By "closure queue", do you mean the moderator flag queue/dashboard? I wouldn't see why it would matter who had closed it. As long as it was closed, it would qualify for migration, correct? Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 19:57
  • I did, seems that auto correct hates me today. Been a few times it has "corrected" words to something I didn't mean.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 20:30

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