I keep seeing questions getting closed as off-topic without any real explanation about why they're off-topic. This site is in beta, and we're still struggling with nailing down the scope. Now more than ever it is important to explain to users why their questions are being closed, rather than closing them without comment and moving on.

Not only does this let them learn what's wrong, but it gives the rest of us reading it a chance to understand the reasoning and possibly argue with it in meta. If you vote to close a question as Off-Topic, please take the time to explain what's wrong with it.

  • 7
    +1 I 100% agree, and it's something I've considered making a meta about myself. A lot of questions are being closed as off-topic without any reasoning, and it's just not how things should be done this early into public beta.
    – Wipqozn
    Jan 6, 2015 at 17:06
  • In addition, it will be good if people downvoting questions and answers to leave a comment why they do this, because we need more discussions to clear the things.
    – vladiz
    Jan 7, 2015 at 20:26
  • 1
    Maybe this post should be featured. I see its potential for helping a lot of people :)
    – Pobrecita
    Jan 8, 2015 at 22:37

1 Answer 1


Listen to this post. Users can't just vote to close or whatever and expect everyone to understand. Some of the flagging reasons are hard to understand and if you don't add a specific reason, how are we suppose to know why you voted to close. None of us are mind-readers :)

A good thing to think about is to:

  • Coach new users that have written a not acceptable post. If it is inappropriate completely(spam, etc) then flag, but just downvoting for a post that is not in scope or some other reason without a explanation is not right. It discourages people and doesn't promote team efforts. I make a point to add encouraging statements and thank them for joining the community, because without New Users or any user we have no community.

  • Think "Can this post be bettered?" before downvoting or flagging for closing. If the post can be bettered think about ways you can do it and comment nicely on how to fix it. Downvoting and flagging should be left for posts that do not promote changes to problems and other reasons.

I think that not telling why people are closing can destroy a site, as people get discouraged and then just leave. Also, not commenting on ways to fix a problem makes the problem more likely to get repeated again and promoted not quality post in the future. We need to treat every post like its the last one and every user needs to be treated the way we want to be treated.

We make the site we want. That means that if we keep closing, not promoting communication and excellence through communication, then we will soon have no site.

  • 1
    These are excellent remarks. Would be nice if the same could be said on other StackExchange sites. Jan 16, 2015 at 17:27

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