In the question Did the murder of Ernst von Rath partly provoke the events of "Kristallnacht"? , it's being proposed to migrate the question to History.SE . This has happened already with at least one other question: Is it true that slavery was endemic in Sub-Saharan Africa previous to the establishment of the trans-Atlantic slave trade?

This feels a bit like migrating whether vaccines cause autism to Biology.SE, or migrating to a hypothetical metallurgy or building construction stack exchange whether jet fuel can melt steel beams. I'm sure these questions can be answered objectively, but I think it's an embarrassment to those sites and gives undue respectability to those claims.

(Oddly enough, I have been disagreeing with many in the Skeptics.SE community about whether questions from racist, anti-Muslim, and other extremist publications that have a limited audience should be allowed on this site - I've been in favour of them being allowed on Skeptics.SE, others don't want them on Skeptics.SE or any stack exchange site)

My thoughts on whether something goes on Skeptics.SE versus on other sites is that stuff that's suspected to be nonsense ought to go here (eg claims by tabloids, politicians, or people with a miracle cure), and things that are genuine scholarly inquiry ought to go on other sites, whereas others seem to be of the opinion that science-related questions ought to go here, while others seem to think that science questions should go here, and humanities questions ought to go elsewhere.

This kind of question has been discussed in the past, but I want to see if attitudes have changed since then.

My questions are, in 2017 (as opposed to past discussions):

  • Is it harmful to be migrating questions that potentially involve nonsense from Skeptics.SE to other Stack Exchange sites?
  • How do we determine what fits on Skeptics.SE, and what is more suited to other sites?

1 Answer 1


A lot of questions get migration suggestions but I very rarely accept them. I consider a few things first:

  • Is the question truly about a claim and evidence, or is it from someone that actually requires context and explanation about the matter? Questions that ultimately need explanation (and review!) from a subject expert are probably better off on a specific site.

  • Is the question a good question in any case? If it's a good topic fit for another site, it still needs to be a good question in all other ways.

  • Is there any value in migrating the question? Was it posted here by mistake? Does it need to be adapted to the specific target site? Usually it's better for the user to repost a question by rewriting it to suit the target site.

  • Is there any doubt in my mind that the question would not work at the target site? If so, I don't migrate.

Ultimately migration is not only a matter we can discuss in isolation though. What are the qualities that other sites expect from migrated posts?

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