I came across this question today and was going to flag it, but I wasn't sure what flag category to use. It is fairly basic, so it likely belongs on ELL.

However, in the comments, a user mentions a question on ELL of which this question is a duplicate. There are also no direct duplicates on ELU that I can find immediately.

Which would be the best practice in a case like this:

  1. To simply flag the question to be migrated to ELL, and allow them to sort out whether the question is a duplicate once migrated?
  2. To add a flagging option that allows users to mark a question as a duplicate of an ELL question?
  3. Another course of action entirely?

This is my first post on Meta, so please let me know if this is not within the scope. I just thought it might be a good topic to bring up. Thanks

  • 1
    Note that (2) is not an option. There is no way to mark cross-site duplicates. If a question is on-topic on a site, it's on-topic; if it's off-topic, there may be another site where it's on topic and it can be migrated. It is possible for a practically-identical question to be on-topic on more than one site, although the answers may reasonably be expected to differ.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Jan 11, 2017 at 23:47
  • @AndrewLeach, I know that it's not currently an option. I was wondering if it were possible to make it an option.
    – vpn
    Jan 12, 2017 at 0:10
  • 2
    Although it's couched in SO/SU terms, the canonical post on MSE is relevant to ELU/ELL, where our two sites also have some cross-over.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Jan 12, 2017 at 12:03

1 Answer 1


Disclaimer - I'm answering this from the ELL perspective, so this answer says nothing about how the ELU community would like to handle these sorts of situations.

If you're aware that there is a question on ELL that might answer the question on ELU, I would suggest that you link it in a comment as was done for the example here. There are lots of questions on ELL that have links to relevant ELU questions even though it's rare that we migrate a question. I view this as similar to being able to find an answer elsewhere on the Internet. Just because there is something that you could read somewhere else that answers the question doesn't mean that there is no potential value in an answer from this site's community of experts.

If you feel that having both questions on ELL would be good because they're asking the same thing in different ways, go ahead and migrate it after you leave a link. I think the example here is a good candidate because it asks about "turn off" instead of "turn down". Even though the "turn off" question is answered in the "turn down" question, having the "turn off" question makes the answers easier to discover. If you don't think there's much value in that exact question being migrated over the ELL in light of the potential duplicate you've found, then the link and maybe a nudge to check out ELL is enough in my opinion.

If you just suspect there is a duplicate, but don't know for certain, go ahead and migrate it and we will sort it out. I think it goes without saying, don't migrate complete junk. If a question is off-topic here because it's proof-reading, or unclear, or too broad, it will be off-topic on ELL as well. If it's off-topic because the author is obviously looking for an ELL-style answer and not an ELU-style answer, or isn't fluent enough in English to meet the research standards on ELU (but has written to the best of their ability and asked an answerable question), send it on over.

  • Disclaimer - I'm commenting from the ELL perspective. I think from "our" side, if some ELU user had identified a possible duplicate on ELL, it would be just common courtesy to identify this in a comment prior to migration. But I assume that as a general principle, ELL mods would avoid actually closevoting duplicates in all but the most clear-cut cases (i.e. - let the broader user base decide, if there's any scope for doubt). I'm not sure I really see the point of a mod migrating a question and simultaneously closing it, or of it already carrying ELU-based closevotes. Jan 13, 2017 at 17:58
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers Absolutely - I didn't mean to imply that it would get migrated and immediately closed because someone had identified a potential duplicate. What I meant was migrate if the question is potentially useful to ELL and don't migrate it if it's pretty much an exact duplicate or there's some other reason it might not be well received. Migrating a question that's likely to get a negative reaction from the community of the receiving site doesn't help anyone.
    – ColleenV
    Jan 13, 2017 at 19:13
  • I don't recall engaging in any specific discussion about it, but my impression is that ELU->ELL migration is actually working quite well at the moment. Maybe the "don't migrate crap" maxim isn't always observed as diligently as we'd like, but at least that gives us a memorable & pithy way of referring to most of the (relatively few) unsuitable questions that get thoughtlessly tossed across. Jan 13, 2017 at 19:32

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