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Is there any etiquette around posting the same question on two (or more) StackExchange sites?

I have a question that is programming related, but involves a game I want to write in Cocos2d-X in Lua here, which could also be suitable for GameDev.

Must I choose one site to post this question? Will it upset people if the same question is posted on multiple sites to get a response from as wide an audience as possible?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes you must choose one site, and yes it will upset people. \$\endgroup\$ – user1430 Oct 22 '14 at 15:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is an intra-network cross-post. \$\endgroup\$ – user1430 Oct 23 '14 at 15:46
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You should not cross-post between StackExchange sites. This devalues both communities and runs counter to the mission of StackExchange.

If the moderators (or a sufficient number of regular users) of either site notice that you have cross-posted, they'll generally close the question. This usually means you'll end up with both questions closed as the communities don't wholly overlap. So don't do it, please.

StackExchange is about collecting canonical answers to canonical questions in a single place so they can be easily found in the future, and repeating a question goes against that by making it harder (impossible) to determine which is the canonical "best" question and answer. That's why we close questions as "duplicates" when they are asked twice on the same site. The same concept applies across SE sites.

Further, StackExchange is very careful about excessively splitting it's communities (opening new SE sites) and generally only does so if there is compelling enough set of potential questions, answers, and users that are distinct from any existing set. That means for the most part questions are more suitable for one site or another, even if only by a small margin, and so you should ask that question there. In the case where a question may be equally suitable on many sites, pick one.

I understand your desire to expose your question to as broad an audience as possible but StackExchange favors the aggregate, long-term over the individual immediate-term (that means policy is generally chosen to favor "more users who will be here later," than it is chosen to favor "you, right now"). The best way to increase exposure to your question is to ask it on StackExchange and on other, non-StackExchange forums that might be relevant to the topic at hand.

The only scenario where it is acceptable to post the same question on another site is if that question was closed on the first site for being off-topic or better-suited elsewhere.

Don't cross-post.

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I'd say its bad etiquette to ask the same question twice. If a question is purely related to fixing a problem while programming you should ask it at Stack Overflow. If a question is related to a game-oriented library or a programming problem that is closely related to games you should ask it here. When 'we' (that includes you) think a question is better off at another website moderators can move it!

When in doubt you can always join the gamedev chat room (see top left button) and we can decide together where you have the biggest chance of gettig a good answer.

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In general, it's not a good idea to cross post because there should be one site where a question is a better fit. However, in special cases, I'd say it's ok to cross-post. But these should be rare. In my case, I asked this at StackOverflow:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/25128245/what-does-yield-return-false-do-in-unity-c-sharp-scripts

and it got closed by over-zealous C# people who assumed I was asking a duplicate. They did not read carefully enough to understand what I was really asking because they had no knowledge of Unity's "coroutine" system, and how poorly documented it is.

So I re-asked here, because I figured some actual Unity users might see it and give me a decent answer:

Does `yield return false;` have special meaning in Unity3d C# scripts?

I got a good answer, and it's got a decent amount of upvotes both on the question and the answer.

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Seeing as there is nothing physically standing in the way of you doing this, and it is a completely subjective topic (one fraught with emotion, it seems), I am going to offer my opinion:

Can I post the same question to multiple sites?

Yes, technically there is nothing stopping me.

May I post the same question to multiple sites?

If Jeff Atwood had his way, perhaps not. But even he is not stopping me.

Should I post the same question to multiple sites?

That depends on a number of factors:

Am I responsible enough to follow up on the same question on all sites? In other words, would I make sure to go back to each one and follow up with the people who answer? If I get a satisfactory answer from one instance of the question, would I go back to all the others, and provide a link back to the answer that helped me and inform other readers thereof (as opposed to just leaving them to rot)?

If I can answer yes to the these questions and follow up in a responsible manner, then surely there is no reason why I shouldn't post the same question to multiple sites.

If, on the other hand, I was just a taker who wanted a quick answer and never followed up with the people who spent their time and energy reading the question and answering it, then I should not be posting my question to multiple sites.

It would help if, in each instance of the same question I post, I also add a note and link saying where else I have posted the question.

Another facet brought up in another answer to this question is whether the sites have the same users and whether in fact I would be wasting my and other people's time by posting to different sites. That too could be a deciding factor.

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    \$\begingroup\$ See, the very fact that you cross-posted this is obnoxious and serves only to fracture the discussion. This is a terrible idea. \$\endgroup\$ – user1430 Oct 23 '14 at 15:45

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