We are going to get many more off-topic questions now.

Can we agree to vote to delete on them so as not to pollute the site?

It takes a few votes from users who can vote on such things and/or one mod. I am of the idea that in 99% of the cases mods should be able to unilaterally delete them.

Likewise, I do not see much point in having migrated questions listed...

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    $\begingroup$ Migrated questions should stay around long enough for the asker to see that they were migrated and be able to follow the link. Or they might get even more confused than they were when they posted an off-topic question here. $\endgroup$
    – user35354
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 19:34
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    $\begingroup$ @MadScientist, IIRC, when a question is migrated its OP gets a notification. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 4:11

2 Answers 2


I'm generally sympathetic, but I'd like to wait and see whether we really do get more off-topic questions now. If there's already evidence either way, let's talk about it!

In an attempt to ensure that we give migration a decent chance, could we all try to avoid deleting migrated questions for, say, at least 12 hours?

UPDATE: my feeling is that there really has been an increase, and that we should collate some evidence, and if it's really there, collectively decide to delete off-topic questions faster. (I'm very often tempted to, but hold back.)

  • $\begingroup$ I have that feeling too but I never found evidence in the site analytics. If there really is, it will need specialized data to figure out. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 16, 2013 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ I recently answered a question, which was later voted as off topic by several users. However, what was weird was that many users downvoted my answer (which was in fact a correct answer), providing the reason that one shouldn't reply to off topic questions. Being a new user, I don't have much idea how to distinguish an off topic question. I felt that it was a rude gesture from the part of the community to downvote an answer just because the question was off topic. Merely closing the question should have sufficed. Is the community pretty aggressive as a whole? I am curious as I am a new user. $\endgroup$
    – voldemort
    Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 21:49
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    $\begingroup$ @voldemort, it's unfortunate that those downvoting your answer didn't take the time to explain why they disapproved. It's fair to say that MathOverflow guards its standards carefully, perhaps even 'aggressively'. Reading the site for a while before posting will give you a good idea about the appropriate level of questions. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2013 at 22:24

This is generally a good idea, but before you waste your efforts:

  • Migrated questions are deleted automatically after 30 days

  • Closed, unanswered questions scoring <=0 are deleted after 9 days.


Save your delete votes for egregiously bad questions and questions that don't fall into the above categories.

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    $\begingroup$ I think that Mariano meant that the moderators will have a free license to delete such questions, so no votes are wasted. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 22:48

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