I've flagged a number of questions for migration to various other Stack Exchange sites. All of these questions are closed. All of these flags were marked as helpful, but only half of them actually were migrated (5 migrated, 6 not migrated).

I would've assumed a flag for migration is helpful if it results in migration, otherwise it's just a waste of a moderator's time. How am I to understand these "helpful" flags without any consequences? Should I continue flagging such questions? And why weren't the questions migrated? (I can provide examples if that would help.)

2 Answers 2


Martin has covered the 'helpful' concept pretty well: it's about whether the flag was 'sensible', but that is not the same as 'acted upon' (otherwise flagging could do tasks automatically).

On the migration question, in the mod chat the point has been made that migration should be because the question will contribute to the target site, not just that it's off-topic from the original site. That's always a tricky judgement: questions which are clear, with answers and definite 'fit' the target are easy to migrate, everything else is less clear. Quite often I check on migration requests in the mod chat, and ask the mods on the target site. If they say 'no, please don't migrate' then we do not, but that does not mean asking about it was the wrong approach.

  • I see, that's along the lines of what I imagined would be the reason. Still, I'm not sure if I might perhaps like it better to have my flag declined, but get a bit of information why that specific question wasn't migrated.
    – doncherry
    Jul 30, 2012 at 13:55
  • As was the case with Can I embed Futura to my web site and distribute the file through CSS code? it's a great solution if the mod handling the flag leaves a short comment on the flagged question stating why the question wasn't migrated. This way, we know what's going on and we can improve our flagging.
    – doncherry
    Aug 14, 2012 at 13:13

In general flags should only be considered not helpful if they were really useless or used wrong. There is a penalty for denying flags after all and the moderator must justify why the flag was denied. If the flagged question is in a gray area -- for e.g. migration or otherwise -- and the moderator decides after careful consideration that no action is required (at the moment) then it doesn't mean that the flag was completely useless. You are flagging for moderator attention not moderator action after all ;-)

So, yes, please keep flagging question which are worthy to be flagged and don't be angry if not all are acted upon.

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