what if a question is off topic and the stackexchange network it ought to be in doesn't appear? does that automagically mean that it is on-topic?

seems like there ought to be a drop down menu where you select the appropriate stackexchange network instead of stackexchange trying to auto magically figure it out.

Here's a picture of what I mean:

enter image description here

I think the question is off topic but not for any of those reasons. I click on the "This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network" and see this:

enter image description here

Again that doesn't really match.

So what do you do when none of the alternative stackexchange networks it's letting you pick from are good matches?

  • Do you have an example or two to help us understand your point?
    – Gagravarr
    Jan 3, 2014 at 11:47
  • I've updated my post. I'm hesitant to post a link to the actual question I think is off topic because I don't want this to be a discussion about that that question. Even if ya'll don't agree with me that that question is off topic does not change fact that only a very small subset of alternative stackexchange networks are being shown as valid alternatives and that the question could very well be more on-topic in one of those other networks even if that network isn't shown.
    – ansur
    Jan 3, 2014 at 15:37
  • 1
    I have been wondering this as well for other sites on the network. Would be nice if you could suggest an other Stack Exchange site, just like the selection of duplicates. Is there any meta post about that?
    – Bernhard
    Jan 3, 2014 at 18:29
  • 4
  • Thanks @Gilles , these are very useful, especially the answer by the mods.
    – Bernhard
    Jan 3, 2014 at 22:02

3 Answers 3


It comes up all the time, with any question. Basically, only the mods can move it to another SE site, while the rest of us can vote to move it to meta. So if you think it should be on a different SE site completely, you just vote to close as off topic, and then flag it for a moderator and suggest that it be moved to a different site.

  • 1
    That may be true in theory, but is supposes that the moderators are somewhat present. This is not really the case here. For one moderator one can read "seen 2 days ago" and for the other one "seen Dec 27 '13 at 6:19". This probably calls for an alternative solution.
    – user3470
    Jan 5, 2014 at 19:56
  • 2
    I've noticed that too, but to be fair it's Christmas/New Year season, and they are volunteers. Normally they're on fairly frequently. The 3rd one has been on daily as well.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 5, 2014 at 23:02

As Mark says it does come up all the time and only the mods can move them.

Apparently it used to be open but got abused on the big sites like StackOverflow -> Programmers.SE.

But there is something else.

Each site, at least graduated sites, can have I think five sites that can go into a list of sites to migrate to.

I don't know the details but I'm sure the moderators can request the SE staff to get sites added to the list. By default the list only has the meta site.

I made a database query a few days ago to calculate which other sites we have the most migrations to and from to see which sites might make the most sense to put in the list. It turns out we had far fewer migrated questions that I thought.

So I would say:

Ask a specific support question about getting a specific site added to the list. It will be discussed and voted upon, then it will be to our mods to figure out how to get SE to add it.

  • 2
    Yeah, they're called "blessed sites". We could make a list of these as a separate meta?
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 6, 2014 at 3:23
  • Although there was a movement a while back to get rid of them so not sure if it will occur.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 6, 2014 at 3:24
  • Hmm, well we shouldn't try to second guess what the big boys are doing though. We should do what seems to make the best sense for us under the current system, then if it gets changed we'll see what happens. The alternative is to be passive. Jan 6, 2014 at 3:28
  • Indeed. Do you want to start a meta discussion on blessed sites or should I?
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 6, 2014 at 3:41
  • @MarkMayo: I have to check out and hit the road! Just trying to figure out how to log out. Jan 6, 2014 at 3:42
  • 1
    I'll do it then ;)
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 6, 2014 at 3:46

It is possible to have such an option, but there are two problems:

The list has to be closed, and we (as a community) have to choose which to include. For example, we get a few questions here that should be on Finance.SE; but do we really get enough that 'migrate to Finance.SE' is a worthwhile option?

And there is definitely no way for non-mods to suggest transfer to a site that is still in beta. This has caused frustration in many places, but it is clear Stack Exchange policy, probably because the scope of a beta site is still not well-defined.

Anybody with a specific suggestion for 'transfer to this site' would, I am sure, be welcome to ask a meta question.

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