Robert has made clear that, at least at this point in time, we should aim to accept questions from all engineering disciplines and not restrict our scope based on the existence of other engineering sites—EE.SE being the main example.

Russell McMahon points out in the same discussion that we may be doing harm to our community in its early stages by not dealing with this overlap in a consistent and efficient way.

I agree with both of these positions but it's far from ideal to hold scoping discussions on the comment thread of a question. So when I see a comment like, "this belongs on EE.SE," I would rather not engage with them. I think these comments are not constructive but I don't want to start flagging them without a policy in place.

Are comments directing users to ask their question on EE.SE constructive?

If not, then our policy should be to flag and delete them.


4 Answers 4


After talking with the other pro tem mods, we do not consider these comments constructive.

If they are flagged, we will delete them.

There is no need to respond to users who make these comments; the moderator who handles the flag will leave a comment for them if necessary. If you choose to reply, that's fine, just remember to be polite and use good judgment. Don't be this guy:


Once the comment is removed, any other comments replying to it may be removed as well to keep the focus on the question.

Note that this policy only applies strictly to comments on questions that our Meta discussions have already determined to be on-topic here. We may take a less strict approach to comments that simply inform users about other sites, on a case-by-case basis, but practically speaking we almost always would prefer that you raise a custom flag to suggest a migration target directly to the moderation team. This helps to keep migration paths clean where they are necessary, and avoid cross-posting by new users.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm glad we now have an official policy for these. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Feb 13, 2015 at 19:33

There is a difference between "This belongs on EE" and "You might get a better answer on EE". The latter is giving the asker important information they might not be aware of, especially if they ended up here from a internet search. Depriving them of this comment is doing them a disservice.

I'd probably answer EE questions differently here than on EE. Here I'd probably give a more high level conceptual answer, whereas on EE I'd go more into the equations and feel it's OK for the answer to require more basic EE knowledge to be accessible.

Sometimes only the asker can judge which level of answer is more appropriate. Giving them the information that the other option exists is useful and shouldn't be so readily deleted here.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You raise a good point. Even so, these comments often lead new users to cross-post their questions. Not only is that a hassle for both sites, it's an especially bad experience for the user if the question gets closed in more than one place. That's one reason we prefer that users raise custom flags instead of commenting about other sites, whether the question would be closed here or not. $\endgroup$
    – Air
    Feb 21, 2015 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Air: There are several EE questions going on right now. I'm not advocating they should be closed here, even though they would be on-topic and reach a better audience of answerers on EE. However, I it is useful to let the asker know this situation exists. They can then judge in the future which site is more appropriate for a question, or even ask a similar one on EE if they don't get a satisfactory or too high level answer here. $\endgroup$ Feb 21, 2015 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ In theory, I agree. In practice, the outcome is usually annoying. It depends a lot on the particular user and how the comment is phrased. $\endgroup$
    – Air
    Feb 21, 2015 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ I fully agree with Olin. Many engineering competencies come together develop an engineering solutions. For example a robotic related problem an electrical engineering and mechanical engineer will contribute very differently to final solutions $\endgroup$ Feb 22, 2015 at 11:57

So when I see a comment like, "this belongs on EE.SE," I would rather not engage with them.

I sort of agree, but it's clear that if we don't engage with the user at some point, the problem will not go away.

Our policy so far has been along the lines of what Robert said - we don't give a hoot about whether or not a question is on-topic somewhere else so long as it's on-topic here. Could some of the questions go over to Space Exploration? Absolutely. Could some of the questions go over to Electrical Engineering? Absolutely. But they're also on-topic here.

I suggest that someone leaves a comment responding to the user in question linking to Our Scope (and Overlaps with Sister Sites). They can check it out, and realize that these questions are just fine here.

In the response comment, it can also be suggested that the user delete their own comment. If they don't within a certain period of time, flag away.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not a mod, but this seems reasonable to me. Simply deleting the comment does not really communicate the "why" behind the deletion. HDE's suggestion on how to handle it requires a little more work but I think it's better for the health of the site. $\endgroup$
    – Rick
    Feb 12, 2015 at 13:54

@ChrisMueller suggested that I comment here.

This current post which I answered, clearly [tm] belongs on SE EE. It is absolutely on topic for SE EE and would have been answered well and promptly by others if it had been where it belonged.
If you don't see that it is clearly an SE EE question then that as of right disqualifies your opinion :-).

I provided a 'good' answer that proved to be incorrect as the OP had left out a vital 'clue' I then posted a second answer that was clearly the correct one - and kept it separate as both answers were educational for quite different reasons.

As a result of the above:.

  • The good but incorrect answer received no votes, up or down. It seems to be of no interest to anyone here OR not many people were able ot assess its worth.

  • The correct answer received a few up votes - it was simple and obviously correct in retrospect.

  • Most importantly, the suggestion that this orphan and essentially unaddressed question should have been gently diverted to where it belonged was met not with action but with discussions about the desire to ignore such an obviously correct course.

It seems we have learned about nothing from eg this discussion and that garnering questions that clearly belong elsewhere from where-ever they may be found takes precedence.

The suggestion / policy that comments re where such questions belong should first be ignored and then deleted does not seem to best serve the interests of the forum or the OP.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It seems like the system worked; the correct answer is the up-voted one. The user was helped, but I'm not sure that it is obvious from the question that it is about the the proper use of a multimeter. $\endgroup$
    – hazzey Mod
    May 26, 2015 at 16:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm curious, why did you wait to raise a flag for migration until your second answer had been upvoted and accepted? Were you unaware that network policy is to avoid migrating answered questions "unless they are of extremely good quality and risk deletion on their current site?" $\endgroup$
    – Air
    May 26, 2015 at 16:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm trying to understand the primary point of your answer here. If something belongs on EE.SE, then flag it for moderator attention. Within the flag text, clearly request it to be migrated and explain why it's a good fit for the other site. Back and forth commentary within a post isn't helpful as it doesn't raise the matter to anyone who can do something about migrating things. Given the increased likelihood of nuisance cross-posts, I don't see anything in this answer to indicate why we should keep comments similar to "This belongs on EE.SE" $\endgroup$
    – user16
    May 26, 2015 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ @GlenH7 Noted. My point is based on the meta discussions that suggest that comments re "wrong forum" should be ignored and deleted AND THAT items flagged for admin attention should be ignored and that no action needs to be taken. | I'd have hoped, albeit probably forlornly, that flagging a question like this as belonging on SE EE would need no explanation but rather more like a "Well SMH yes, how did we miss that one, I'll migrate it now" reaction. Not what's going to happen any time soon, it seems. $\endgroup$ May 27, 2015 at 2:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Air - re your query about timing of move request. -> I have many SE accounts & tend to open up tabs in a group of SE areas, open up tabs based on what I see and then work along them. I may not know what comes from where initially. I tend to be more than usually oblivious in matter such as politics, procedures, rep, normal format, proper use of xxx ... and the like. My key interest is seeing people get good answers to their questions and the rest enters my consciousness to a variable extent. I care about "correct location" as it impacts user experience, but even that is not my primary focus. $\endgroup$ May 27, 2015 at 2:06
  • $\begingroup$ @RussellMcMahon - Your statement of "AND THAT items flagged for admin attention should be ignored and that no action needs to be taken." is incorrect. Flagging a post and requesting a migration is the correct thing to do instead of leaving a comment about where something belongs. Until the site graduates, it will require mod intervention to migrate. The mods do not scour every comment left on the site so extending commentary discussion about where a question belongs is fairly futile. $\endgroup$
    – user16
    May 27, 2015 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ @RussellMcMahon - Likewise, you need to be explicitly clear in why you are flagging something when it comes to migration. By design, mods are not expected to read a post and answer(s) and comment(s) thoroughly before taking action. The person raising the flag is expected to call out what needs attention and why. The migration flag you rose on that particular post did not make it clear that it still needed to be migrated. $\endgroup$
    – user16
    May 27, 2015 at 16:35

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