If a question is migrated from MO to MSE, would (or should) it be possible to automatically create the user an account at MSE and link it to the one at MO if they don't have an MSE account yet? I don't know if users in this situation get an automatic suggestion to make an account at MSE, but at least it's not created automatically. (They do get a notification about migration. See quid's answer.)

New users may be puzzled about how different sites and accounts and migration and not really know what happened. A bigger problem is that the migrated question does not have an owner at MSE, and comments and questions don't reach the OP, and the OP is not there to accept and enjoy the answers or improve their question. I imagine that migration without the OP having an account at the target site makes the question more likely to be abandoned. Fortunately users do get notifications of their migrated posts even without an account on the target site.

Copying an account to a different SE site automatically might be too much, but it should at least be automatically recommended to the user. I'm not sure if copying the account really is too much, though; we do migrate questions without asking the OP and one could think of a single SE account expanding to new SE sites within the same system. The user can of course delete or merge their new account if they are not happy with it.

It should probably be noted that this question is not really about making the life of active MO users easier, but about helping new users find the right place for their questions and also answers to them.

Edit: I find automatic account creation a bit extreme (and confusing) myself, too, although I don't think it would be completely out of question. I think that in a case of migration the user should get a strong suggestion to create a new account. (Or maybe I should just try to feel less sad about some questions ending up abandoned because they were originally asked in the wrong place.)

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    $\begingroup$ I think creating an account for someone should not be done. $\endgroup$ – Gerald Edgar Mar 18 '15 at 12:54
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    $\begingroup$ I agree now that this is not a good idea, since it does not really seem to serve the intended purpose. But I'm glad I asked; now I see more clearly why this would not be helpful to those who ask their questions in the wrong place. $\endgroup$ – Joonas Ilmavirta Mar 18 '15 at 16:19

Users get a notification of migration in their inbox. If/when they create an account on target site, they get the migrated question attached automatically.

While I agree migration can be confusing, I think that on the one hand creating an account on another site, even if it is in the network, is perhaps a bit too invasive (the migration is already somewhat invasive), and on the other hand it will not help that much to ease the confusion (account-creation, especially if one has one in the network already, is pretty direct).

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks! I would place account creation and migration at roughly the same level in invasiveness, but it's a matter of opinion. Do you know if the OP gets notifications about answers and comments to the migrated question before creating a new account? $\endgroup$ – Joonas Ilmavirta Mar 17 '15 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ An issue is that with accounts private data is moved. And also the impression is caused the person created an account there. In this recent discussion some got very upset about account creations elsewhere. I highly doubt they get further notifications beforehand @JoonasIlmavirta (but do not know for a fact). $\endgroup$ – user9072 Mar 17 '15 at 20:24
  • $\begingroup$ @quid: I think automatic mass creation of accounts, or any not requested creation of accounts unrelated to any very recent action of the particular person indeed must not happen. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Kohl Mod Mar 17 '15 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl, if a new user asks a question at MO which is quickly migrated to MSE, would you count that as a suitable reason for automatic account creation? I'm not sure about suitability myself and I agree that typically automatic creation of accounts is bad form, but in this case it would make (to me at least) more sense. $\endgroup$ – Joonas Ilmavirta Mar 17 '15 at 20:48
  • $\begingroup$ @quid, I was aware of that old post and the sentiment expressed there. But I see a difference between copying established users and their posts from MO to a new site and migrating new users with their off-topic posts within SE network. About the other thing: If users don't get notifications to their migrated questions, I would consider that a problem. I think I'll expand my question a bit to include that. $\endgroup$ – Joonas Ilmavirta Mar 17 '15 at 20:52
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    $\begingroup$ @JoonasIlmavirta to my surprise it seems users do get notifications of answers and comments on migrated post. On the general issue: I do see very little up-side in automatic account creation, it rather simple to do it for the user themselves and it might make what happened more transparent than if it is done automatically. But I see some down-sides, and there is quite a special-casing proposed, "new users" only, "very recent" only. I think this will make things more confusing. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Mar 17 '15 at 21:26

I am extremely put off by the notion of dumping users we don't want on another site. Yes, I'm sure that some of those users will fit in perfectly well at the other site, but I'm equally sure that some of them --- many of those, for example, who post in the imperative voice --- will not.

You might propose that we will migrate only those we think will fit in over there, but that's not our call to make. (Yes, I realize there's some overlap between "them" and "us", but the sets are very far from identical.)

I would be very much on board with automaically cancelling the account of a first-time user who manages to accumulate, say, five downvotes right off the bat. They can always come back under different names, and in very rare cases they might ultimately even be welcome --- but I think it would be fine to set up some small hurdles for them.

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    $\begingroup$ The software has features somewhat along these lines, namely automatic bans, especially an automatic question ban. IIRC, they are not active on all sites, and chances are it is not active on MO. (I am not sure regarding the precise parameters and if it would be useful on MO.) $\endgroup$ – user9072 Mar 18 '15 at 0:46
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    $\begingroup$ My intention was helping people find a place where other people are willing to answer their questions rather than throwing away users that we don't want here, although I do realize that it may come across in the wrong way. Also those who ask bad elementary questions can be suggested to try MSE instead, even if they have things to learn about asking. But we only migrate questions that could survive at MSE, and I was only asking about the authors of such questions. This choice was intentional. $\endgroup$ – Joonas Ilmavirta Mar 18 '15 at 3:53

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