In a recent comment, @laurel wrote

I think it's helpful to link to relevant questions on other sites. In fact, I think it should be taken a step further, with "association banners" like some questions on SO have to Ru.SO questions. (Due to the language difference, these banners are only visible to people with certain browser settings. I'm not sure if there are any plans to bring this feature to the rest of the network unfortunately.)

ColleenV, the esteemed moderator of our sister site, English Language Learners, dug up an old SE Meta question proposing

Display other SE site links in the linked questions sidebar

The feature request was declined, with the following reasoning by Jon Ericson:

I suggested this feature to the dev team. It turns out the linkback feature makes it difficult to implement and expensive to put in operation. Remember, we have 133 (and counting) sites with millions of questions. If a crosslink is added or removed anywhere on those sites, the sidebar on both questions must be updated.

It might possible to optimize this and make it reasonably performant. But remember that these links would only appear on a tiny fraction of questions. So while we think it's an interesting feature, it's not one we will be investing in anytime soon.

Colleen and I have collaborated to try to resuscitate the proposal, Colleen with a comment below Jon's answer, and I with a small bounty on the question. (Both of these tactics were suggested by someone in a comment.

Support from ELU participants for the SE Meta question and the favorable answer would be much appreciated. (Feel free to write your own answer if you'd prefer.)

  • For the record, that comment of mine is referring to something completely different than links in the sidebar. I was talking about banners that show up underneath the question and link to a single duplicate post on another site. (But I'm also open to the idea of having linked questions from ELL in the sidebar, if it's done right.)
    – Laurel Mod
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 18:26
  • @Laurel - Thanks for the screenshot. (Sigh.) They appear automatically, or someone is putting them there manually? Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 18:43
  • Russian SO users leave specially formatted comments on Russian SO that point to a question on English SO. Nicolas Chabanovsky finds these comments, makes a list of them, and passes the list to Tim Post who does something so banners appear.
    – Laurel Mod
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 18:48
  • Where's the link to the Meta post? Oh, I see you put up a bounty on a pre-existing question.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 18:56
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA - Thanks. I added a link to make it easier to support the proposal. Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 19:05
  • I have finally gotten around to the ELL meta post - ell.meta.stackexchange.com/q/4677 Thanks for helping with this!
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


The following was blatantly plagiarized from my answer on ELL meta.

I have an idea how this could work. Currently there are two sidebars that show related questions: "Linked" and "Related". If there was a third, it could contain links to questions on another site (or a few sites). You'd see something like this on each site:

ELU showing ELL Linked Questions

This sidebar would be limited to one or two sites where the content overlaps heavily. I don't think it would be helpful to have links from all of Stack Exchange since a lot of those links will be to comments along the lines of "edit your answer because according to [link] the grammar is wrong".

For the record (again) the comment of mine you're quoting wasn't about this feature at all. What I was referring to is an actual banner that shows up underneath the question that announces that a duplicate exists on another site:

Translation: This question has answers on Stack Overflow in Russian: Unresolved external character reference (possible causes)”

The above is what Russian speakers (meaning that Russian is an Accept-Language) will see when they visit that particular question (i.e the feature already exists, connecting English Stack Overflow to Russian Stack Overflow).

If you know Russian or Google Translate, you can read more about this in the [ассоциация-вопросов] tag on the Russian site's meta.

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