Sorry if I appear to whining, but it appears to me that we don't have a clear policy about reporting cross-posting. This is prompted by the following instances/examples:





It probably isn't right to draw conclusions from a sample space of 1 (I don't remember there being any other instance of a cross-post reporting flag being declined). Also, it makes no statistical difference to me whether a flag is helpful or declined, especially now, but after you have been around for as long as I have been, getting a policy incorrect seems alarming.

I think the undercurrent here seems to be that I am (we are ?) not very clear about what the official policy about reporting cross-posting on another site is. The three issues that need to be clarified here are:

  • As a user, if I find an instance of cross-posting, am I supposed to flag, or simply comment and leave it there?

  • Does the answer to Q1 change is there is an existing comment already?

  • If somebody else 'catches it' before me, am I supposed to do nothing about this (except probably upvote that comment)?

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    $\begingroup$ I've never thought to flag a post for cross posting, just the comment. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos May 18 '15 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos - Maybe you knew "Cross-posting is not a violation of any written rule", but I was under the impression that it is (and that appeared to be fine since the flags were coming out positive!). Nevertheless, thanks :) $\endgroup$ – 299792458 May 19 '15 at 4:43

Cross-posting is not a violation of any written rule. It's kinda rude (if not done correctly, ie. targeting the question to the specific audience, making clear that it's posted multiple places, and looking for domain-specific answers from each specific site), I don't like it, and we as a community generally frown upon it, but it's not breaking a rule really.

That's why flagging isn't appropriate. The moderators don't need to "deal" with cross-posting, other than alerting the community that it is cross-posted. That's done through a comment. So what your flag is doing is basically saying "Hey moderator, this is cross-posted, please post a comment saying it's cross-posted."

So in general, you're better off just cutting out the middle-man and not giving the mods extra work and post the comment yourself. The same amount of typing that goes into your flag, but now everybody can see it! And if you see somebody already commented saying it's a cross-post, you can upvote the comment if you want, or you can answer the question here and on the cross-post, or you can do what I do and ignore the question entirely because I consider it rude.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I didn't know that "Cross-posting is not a violation of any written rule", and certainly could not have known when my flags were coming out positive (here, and 1 or 2 even on Academia.SE or Maths.SE). So, maybe it was the mod-way of saying enough's enough, bloke. Thanks for the clarification. :) $\endgroup$ – 299792458 May 19 '15 at 4:41
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    $\begingroup$ Actually... here is the written rule prohibiting cross-posting. And it is something that does require moderator action: we need to coordinate with the mods on the other site to determine which copy gets closed, migrated, etc. $\endgroup$ – David Z May 19 '15 at 5:38
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ - So, what is the official mod-stand on this (my question)? $\endgroup$ – 299792458 May 19 '15 at 9:31
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    $\begingroup$ @TheDarkSide we might have to have a little mod-conference to make sure we're all on the same page, so don't take this as official (yet), but my suggested course of action would be to (1) always flag and (2) leave a comment with a link to the cross-post, if there isn't already one there. $\endgroup$ – David Z May 19 '15 at 10:04
  • $\begingroup$ There's two different issues here: (i) whether it's OK to cross-post, and if not then how to dissuade people from doing it, and (ii) what to do with duplicates once they're there. David's link covers (i) but (ii) is addressed in What to do with cross-site duplicates? and the answers are much softer than this. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty May 19 '15 at 13:57
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    $\begingroup$ The only difference I see is votes but I would strongly urge against letting SE-wide votes influence this here. tpg's answer gives a definite stance, and unless it gets massively downvoted I think the inference is that people are sort of OK with cross-posting as long as it's properly labelled. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty May 19 '15 at 13:58
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidZ There's questions on meta answered by Shog that say it's okay and a good thing to cross-post so long as it's uniquely targeted to each audience. So I don't know that it's definitive. $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 May 19 '15 at 15:33
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    $\begingroup$ This is the answer I was referring to. I understand it's older than the one @DavidZ linked to, but I am not convinced that it should be outright banned to post multiple places. $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 May 19 '15 at 15:35
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    $\begingroup$ @tpg2114 well, I'll generally go with the network-wide FAQ over any individual answer. Though I would also note that I'm talking about identical cross-posts, not just two questions on the same topic submitted to different sites. $\endgroup$ – David Z May 21 '15 at 11:26
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidZ Network-wide there doesn't seem to be a consensus to close or delete cross-posted questions unless they are off-topic at each individual site. And there definitely isn't a consensus on this site that we should be doing that here; until there is, there shouldn't be any moderator action on this. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty May 21 '15 at 11:33
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty (and DavidZ) - if we are looking at the possibility of a poll on tpg's answer, the opposite views must also be posted as a separate answer. Only then can people pick one stance over the other. Right now, this post is at +6-3, but we don't know if the 3 guys agree with the opposite stance or not. -3 just reflects disagreement with this answer. $\endgroup$ – 299792458 May 22 '15 at 9:25
  • $\begingroup$ @TheDarkSide Then perhaps someone who shares that view can provide that answer. (And, if no one is really willing to step up, that also tells you how the community feels about this.) In the meantime, it would take a huge negative score on tpg's answer to really spell this out. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty May 22 '15 at 9:33
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty - Yes, that makes sense. If you guys agree, we can have a (CW/otherwise) answer (I can volunteer) offering the opposite stance. Let it get downvoted to oblivion! $\endgroup$ – 299792458 May 22 '15 at 9:37

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