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As the site is transitioning away from FAQ and the old close reasons, each site can enumerate up to three custom close reasons and the moderators make and approve these text changes.

Would it be possible to adjust the help page to incorporate these reasons verbatim in the text so we don't have a mismatch between the help section and the actual, live, approved custom close reasons?

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2 Answers 2

Since I don't know the best way to do this, I'll propose my views and see if someone else has a better point or argument why this might be a bad idea in the answer sections…

For my site, we have the following:

Ask Different custom close reasons

In the help section we have this portion on the right hand side:

help center portion

I could see the custom reasons being listed briefly in http://apple.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic but perhaps they fit better in the section http://apple.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask

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The custom close reasons are custom, off-topic reasons, and most sites already list them on the /help/on-topic page. For Ask Different, this is true: "Please refrain from asking about the following topics as questions with these core subjects are generally closed or deleted..."

If you'd like the wording to match exactly, that on-topic page is moderator editable. Just edit it to use the same language as the custom close reason. The /help/dont-ask page is more about the style of questions that are universally not a good fit for the Stack Exchange model. Some sites – for example, those that explicitly do not allow shopping recommendations, or those that explicitly do allow them – might have some overlap between the /help/on-topic and /help/dont-ask pages, but I'm not sure that the latter needs to be customized to match the close reasons.

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This should be automatic. The site-specific reasons should be listed verbatim somewhere that can be read by users before they even ask a question. SO's /help/on-topic page has little to no relation to the site-specific reasons; there's actually nowhere that I can find in the help center that "resource requests" are explicitly mentioned as disallowed. –  Josh Caswell Aug 9 '13 at 1:04
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I've had a look at the trilogy - SU has two reasons, one is not listed anywhere on /help/on-topic; SO has five reasons, none of which is listed on their on-topic page; SF has three reasons, one is not listed. Of the three reasons that have coverage, in all cases, the help page is vague and the custom close reason sharp, precise and more helpful. It seems odd that you'd want the 360 odd moderators to have to manually manage 100+ help pages when the custom close texts are already entered into the database in one place. Why not automate this to make the help pages reflect the close reasons? –  bmike Sep 16 '13 at 22:30
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@JoshCaswell I agree on SO. The help pages should be edited to provide more help than the custom close reasons provide, but not even listing the close reasons in the first place makes the help pages quite unhelpful to someone that just had a question closed. –  bmike Sep 16 '13 at 22:34

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