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The recently introduced "Current event" post notice feels incomplete:

screenshot

At the very least, it needs a period at the end to complete the sentence.

Aside from that, what is a future visitor of a question supposed to take away from this notice? The "citation needed" text explains what expectations are placed on the question bearing the notice and invites action. Is the "current event" notice purely informational? What's the desired effect of adding it to a question?

In addition to answering those questions, I'm hoping we can work out a proposal for a wording change to make it more clear. I can't come up with anything to start with, since I don't quite get what the notice is supposed to achieve in the first place.

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Things are changing so fast there's no time for a full stop –  random Sep 24 '11 at 5:00
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Very tempted to add the notice to this post for extra meta power. –  mmyers Sep 24 '11 at 5:05
    
It means PLZ HELP URGENT!!1! –  Andrew Grimm Sep 24 '11 at 5:23
    
    
I think stackoverflow.com/questions/7439224/… would be a good example of this –  Yi Jiang Sep 24 '11 at 6:42
    
@Yi, nice find, though I feel that was a current example, to support a "non-current" question. The question itself was much broader; if that post would have put the emphasis on the actual question (Is there a particular topic in text processing I should know about in-depth in order to know how to prevent such things?) then such post notice would no longer apply? –  Arjan Sep 24 '11 at 9:11
    
Related: Support for banners?, which is the feature request from which this seems to have originated. –  Arjan Sep 24 '11 at 9:57
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Its meaning/description aside: does anyone else feel the label might need some more decoration? It's a bit odd to see the label as it is right now, especially compared to other notices, such as migrations or locked posts. –  Arjan Sep 24 '11 at 10:01
    
Here's the relevant post on Skeptics Meta: Handling current events. –  Hendrik Vogt Sep 24 '11 at 14:28

3 Answers 3

Unfortunately it can mean a few things:

  • The question is being asked during the event, and the information is incomplete. While the event evolves, the question or answers may change as new information becomes known, or existing information becomes more clear. The OP and others are actively participating in keeping the question as up to date as possible. In this case the notice should be remove once the event is "complete"

  • The question needs an immediate answer, late answers are not useful (this one is new to me - I'd rate this as very high on the "too localized" scale)

There may be more ways to view it, but I suspect it largely depends on the site it's on, and in some cases both may apply - although there are few cases where post analysis is truly unwelcome, so if anything the second definition (in addition to being too localized) is much weaker and less useful.

For instance, a question posed on skeptics concerning the news/propaganda of a given nation during a coup would be noted. People who read the question, or attempt to answer it or edit any of the posts should be aware that things are in a state of flux, and if they do post they should keep an eye on the situation and their post so as to avoid being wrong when it turns out the situation changed underneath them.

We can probably come up with contrived examples of questions that might require this notice for each site, "Why is this implementation of -somehash- weak?" would be noted as a current event on Stack Overflow (or the cryptographic site) if someone announced that it was broken, but their analysis has not yet been fully released (say, just days before defcon).

A post about derailleur failure modes on bicycles might be a current event if that was the most likely cause of a crash during the tour du france.

It's essentially, "This post is related to an evolving event. Participants should follow up frequently during the event and update their posts as needed."

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This post is related to an evolving event. Participants should follow up frequently during the event and update their posts as needed. - I think that's my favourite wording so far. Thanks! –  Anna Lear Sep 24 '11 at 14:56

The canonical answer on ServerFault is this gem:

My server's been hacked EMERGENCY

Every so often we'll get an asker in a deep and time-sensitive bind. If we don't end up dupe-closing it with some of the many other questions for which the only answer is, "Format it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure," we will do what we can to help them out. A notice like this would be handy in such circumstances.

There is an implicit, "...and if you're seeing this 6 months later, don't bother answering since there is no point." attached to it. That said, SE-answerers aren't that good at picking up "implicit".

My suggestion for substitute wording:

Post is related to a rapidly changing event. Late answers are not likely to be helpful.

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I'd agree and go as far as to say that the word "likely" should be replaced by "going" making the second sentence "Late answer are not going to be helpful." –  ChrisF Sep 24 '11 at 12:45

Probably should be, related to the Too Localized close reason:

Post is related to a rapidly changing event and may not be relevant to most answerers.

or something like that.

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...or: ...and answers might not be relevant at a later time? (The original request was: This post documents a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses. (month year)) –  Arjan Sep 24 '11 at 10:04

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