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I was reading this question which was migrated from Math.SE. Although this question was closed as a rant it made me wonder about migrated questions.

This question was asked by someone without an A.SE account (I think that's the case) so, for example, the username shows up but there is no link. I'm not sure if that user will get comments or answers. I also wonder if that user can (or would) ever accept an answer.

All of this begs the question, when non-A.SE-users are the asker of a question, should we delete and re-ask the question so that it belongs to someone who can actually answer clarifying questions and who can accept answers?

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My gut answer is: no, you shouldn't.

A user who wants to follow up with a migrated question can join our site. If not, it's wrong to take somebody's question and pass it off as your own.

However, you could certainly choose to "adopt" a question, and be responsible for its curating over time.

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    Is there a way to accept answers on these questions? – earthling Feb 18 '14 at 15:36
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This question was asked by someone without an A.SE account (I think that's the case) so, for example, the username shows up but there is no link. I'm not sure if that user will get comments or answers. I also wonder if that user can (or would) ever accept an answer.

Your intuition is correct; the individual does not exist on our site, so they would not be alerted to new responses and cannot accept answers.

When non-A.SE-users are the asker of a question, should we delete and re-ask the question so that it belongs to someone who can actually answer clarifying questions and who can accept answers?

Remember, this is a community-owned site. We can discuss the question in the question comments, and anyone can then edit the question to clarify confusing content. There's no need to delete and re-ask just so that we can accept the answer.

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The only way I could see this working and, as aeismail has stated, not having it end up feeling like we've repackaged questions asked by others for our own benefit, is to have a dedicated account, somewhat ala the "Community" account for owning those answers, which the mod staff has access to.

I think in that case, it's still somewhat problematic, as the "Accepted" answer then becomes the moderation staff's best guess at the correct answer, rather than the answer the user truly would have accepted. This has two problems in my opinion:

  • It substitutes no information for potentially wrong information, which always makes me nervous.
  • It creates the potential for a kind of "cultural homogeneity" as the large number of ownerless questions have their answers then dictated by a relatively small group of users. If these "Super Answerers" all come from a particular perspective, the same field, etc. I think you create a fall sense of there being community norms where none actually exist.
  • I agree. I'm wondering which is better, Community accepted answers or nothing accepted. I guess nothing accepted is not that big of an issue since there are vote counts. – earthling Feb 24 '14 at 14:41

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