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I have seen a couple of proposed questions for some sites that could be considered on topic but subjective and argumentative. Would it be better to rate them as "off-topic" or "not a good example"?

Things like:

Which language is better, C# or Java?

Or

Would you play this game? (In the game development site proposal)

These are being voted as off-topic but I'm not sure if it would be better to "meh" them.

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4 Answers 4

(Assuming for a moment that you're site doesn't want/allow subjective questions)

Here's my thought process:

Is the question off topic? Even though the question would be closed, I wouldn't want to be telling the hypothetical expert "We don't talk about C# or Java." So, its not really an EXEMPLARY off-topic question. "EXEMPLARY" is the key. Do you want to hold it up as the ideal example? Would you want it listed in the FAQ as something this community does not talk about? I hope there are better examples. Find them.

Your other two options: Vote it "Meh" or move on.

Meh says, essentially, that this question is frivilous, or boring, uninspired, or just noise. It shouldn't even be in the list so "meh" just pushes it down the list so other people don't have to look at it. A "Meh" vote is completely subjective but I wouldn't just Meh everything. If you sort everything to the bottom, you are sorting nothing to the bottom.

In your example, I would probably do nothing. Move on and go find 5 good examples.

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No. Some communities are proposing to live and breathe in the realm of the subjective. If they want to try that, I don't see why the rest of us should show up and downvote.

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Use your 5 on-topic votes for the questions that you think BEST represent the spirit of the site.

Use your 5 off-topic votes for the questions that you think BEST represent the kinds of things that the site does NOT want to talk about. Example: Astronomy site - questions about astrology.

The "meh" vote (actually renamed "not a good example") has one additional power... when enough people decide that a question is "meh", that question gets pushed to the bottom of the sort order, effectively burying it and making it very hard for it to get additional on- or off-topic votes.

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Well, you've only got 5 OT votes, so use 'em on the best off-topic questions and then start burning your (considerably more generous) supply of Meh questions on the rest. And don't neglect the lamer on-topic questions either - there are at least as many appropriate but duplicate/boring questions.

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