I think we'd all agree MA.SE is largely a ghost town.

I have several answers here that I'd like to keep even if the site gets shut down. Obviously I should copy them now, but I'd like to know: what is the procedure if the Powers That Be shut the site down? Will I still have access to my content? Will we go back to private beta? If so, will I be invited?

  • Data dumps should be available on their corresponding Area 51. I don't know if a site will be launched again or not.
    – user15
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 17:15
  • @MattChan Is there an example of what that data dump looks like? Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 17:19
  • 3
    Take a look at Literature. The data dump is a bunch of XML files in a zip file released under a Creative Commons license.
    – user15
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 17:26
  • Muchos gracias. Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 17:28
  • I'm so glad this did not shut down... Commented Oct 21, 2021 at 13:09

1 Answer 1


The usual process goes something like this:

  1. We will debate at length internally whether the site is doing poorly enough to get shut down. We don't like closing sites and we try to keep them going whenever possible.

  2. If we make the decision to proceed with the shutdown, we will make a meta post outlining the specific issues and thoughts that led to that decision. We will typically give the community a week or so to either come back with discussion points or find questions worth migrating to another site if there is one that would accept then. (In the case of Martial Arts, that other site would likely be Sports or Physical Fitness.)

  3. Once the site is closed, a data dump in XML format will be provided and linked from the original proposal on Area 51.

  4. Anyone can start a new proposal and have another go at a site with the same topic, although in most cases we advise folks to address whatever issues contributed to the closure in the first place instead of just redoing the same thing all over again with no alterations.

  • Thank you, Anna. Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 8:15
  • Though it is premature at this stage, I would vote for migrating MA.SE to Sports rather than Fitness. It's a better fit, and more likely to elicit good questions. Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 12:12

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