I have noticed a growing practice of taking questions/answers from another similar site and posting them here. I don't have a problem with taking inspiration from a question/answer somewhere else, but just taking the entire concept and bringing it here for us to discuss kind of defeats the purpose of having the other site at all, and I believe it dilutes the pool of original content here.

To me it has a spammy feel. If the cross-poster is trying to cross-promote another site so we all go "check out" the original, then I feel duped. If he feels that the quality of the content on the original question (edits/answers/comments/whatever) is lacking there, then I don't think it benefits that other site to post the same question here. I'm not sure what the point is of the cross-posting. If it's to get the two sites to merge or work in tandem, I'm not sure what the end result will be.

Is there a policy about cross-posting material from other web sites?

If not, should there be?

UPDATE: This seems to be happening again. Does anyone else have any objection? If so, got any ideas?

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+1, IMO, this is an important and necessary question to ask. –  Adam Mosheh Jul 12 '12 at 23:00
    
There's no such policy AFAICT; whether there should be is of course open to discussion. –  msh210 Jul 13 '12 at 1:10
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If the content is copied with permission of the author and is in-scope and of sufficient quality, what's the problem? –  Isaac Moses Jul 13 '12 at 13:40
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@IsaacMoses It has a spammy feel. If Yehuda is trying to cross-promote another site so we all go "check out" the original, then I feel duped. If he feels that the quality of the content on the original question (edits/answers/comments/whatever) is lacking there, then I don't think it benefits that other site to post the same question here. I'm not sure what the point is of the cross-posting. If it's to get the two sites to merge or work in tandem, I'm not sure what the end result will be. –  Seth J Jul 13 '12 at 14:55
    
Grr.... this is happening again!! –  Seth J Jul 31 '12 at 14:37
    
    
@doubleaa, interesting. Is that other site an SE site (it looks like one) or a ripoff? If it's part of SE, the suggested practice is to merge them. –  Seth J Aug 1 '12 at 1:59
    
It's definitely not part of the SE network. –  Isaac Moses Aug 1 '12 at 2:52
    
@IsaacMoses, I suspected it was not, but it sure looks like it could be. Is the SE source code public? –  Seth J Aug 1 '12 at 12:22
    
@SethJ no. He claims to have rewritten it from scratch –  Shmuel Brin Aug 1 '12 at 18:44
    
There are multiple clones out there, including osqa.net . From what I've seen, they all have features that NAE lacks, so I'd be inclined to believe that it's a custom job. –  Isaac Moses Aug 1 '12 at 20:15
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2 Answers 2

I think that as long as we follow our rules and uphold our standards, we have more to gain from such links than we have to lose, as does the Internet.

Let me emphasize first that such questions need to be filtered and edited for scope and quality and for compliance with our quotation guidelines just like all other questions. They probably even deserve a bit more careful scrutiny along these lines because they came from elsewhere. In particular, we have to be very careful about not violating others' legal or moral rights when we copy questions in full or in large part.

Given that, the more good, interesting, in-scope, non-duplicate questions we get here, the better for us, and the better for the Internet. If a question was first asked in another forum, then presumably that forum didn't provide sufficiently good or many answers. If we can help, the Internet will be richer.

And if a question came from somewhere else or was even inspired by something said somewhere else, why not refer/link to the original location and give due credit? Mi Yodeya exists as part of a large ecosystem of Internet publications and forums, all feeding off each others' content in various ways. Each has its own community and style, so when one builds on something found on another, the Internet benefits from the two sets of perspectives implicitly working together. In such cases, it makes sense to acknowledge this cooperation by making the link explicit.

One exception to this rule would be if the source forum is somehow so objectionable that we would prefer that people who visit Mi Yodeya would never visit it. (So, for example, it would be fine to leave out the link when asking "What would you say to this line of argument I'm summarizing from an anti-Semitic site?") That is not the case here.


Let me address, as a side point, the mostly-unspoken concern that by linking to a forum with a similar form to Mi Yodeya's we're somehow supporting "the competition." Mi Yodeya is, thank God, successful at attracting contributors, content, and readers because we have a high-quality community maintaining high-quality content. If another Jewish forum manages to develop a good enough community and content base to compete for some of our would-be contributors' and readers' attention, that's a good thing for everyone sharing an ecosystem with that forum, including us.

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I agree wholeheartedly. It does not appear, however, that particular members of the other site are trying to solicit better answers here than there (or vice versa), but that they are trying to draw more attention to that site (for whatever reason). It's just how it seems to me, and I could be wrong, but something about it is fishy. –  Seth J Aug 1 '12 at 19:47
    
@SethJ, I wouldn't be surprised if you're right, but I think that my position is not affected by the intent of the asker. –  Isaac Moses Aug 1 '12 at 21:06
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It seems, from the number of upvotes that this question has recieved, that the community shares your frustration with the situation and agrees that a policy should be made. I propose that we remove the citation when it is irrelevant and when there is a primary source to quote instead, such as in this question:

How much of this world is really ordained by Heaven?

If an original statement is taken from somewhere (if there is no higher authority to quote other than the poster on the website), a citation should be provided to the post.

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