I keep seeing decent questions closed as "too localized". I don't know what "too localized" means and frankly do not care, I just want SO to stay a nice and helpful place.
Let's be nice to new users and each other and end the closing madness.

UPDATE: To elaborate -- I think people are getting confused between StackOverflow/SE and Wikipedia, and think that "too localized" == "lack of notoriety". Which is not true and is a distraction. Hence suggesting to get rid/reword "too localized".

Honestly, I would just replace the whole closing concept with just deleting a question after 5 downvotes. And would required a comment for downvoting while at it.

  • Up-voted, because I personally think the down-votes aren't warranted. Especially now that you've expanded your question and provided justification.
    – cbroughton
    Nov 13, 2011 at 2:22
  • 2
    Can you provide examples of questions closed as too localized, with your reasoning for why they shouldn't have been? Nov 13, 2011 at 2:25
  • I can provide one of my own questions that WAS too localized on SO; I had asked a question about how CakePHP treated logging, but I was using a very old version of CakePHP therefor it was quite unlikely others would be having the same problem with the same exact version of the framework I was working on.
    – Ben Brocka
    Nov 13, 2011 at 2:33
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    If you doesn't know or care what a feature is, how can you reasonably decide that it's worth removing? Maybe you would be even more unhappy if "too localized" were removed.
    – Pops
    Nov 13, 2011 at 2:35
  • In any case, the value of "too localized" has been debated in the past, with a notable recent post from Joel here. One of the recent podcasts went over it, too. The problem seems to be that people are using it incorrectly, not that it's inherently flawed as a close reason.
    – Pops
    Nov 13, 2011 at 2:41
  • @PopularDemand exactly. How can you judge that something is too localized? If it seems too localized to you, maybe it's awesomely local to somebody?
    – MK01
    Nov 13, 2011 at 2:44
  • If people are using it incorrectly it is inherently flawed. But I'm not going to argue with Joel, who am i.
    – MK01
    Nov 13, 2011 at 2:53
  • That's a very strange argument, MK01. People use headphones incorrectly, to pick a weird example (play music on them too loud). Nov 13, 2011 at 3:02
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    @MK01 - I think you mean "notability", not "notoriety". And this isn't Wikipedia. Please provide examples, as has been requested, or this question has very little value. (Rewording the "too localized" close explanation, however, could well be valuable.) Nov 13, 2011 at 3:44
  • @NeilFein Well, that's my point -- that it is not Wikipedia. I don't have a good example right now (and -10 kind of makes me not want to participate in this discussion).
    – MK01
    Nov 13, 2011 at 18:23

2 Answers 2


Too Localized is a valid close request if the question is asking something (just as an example) that would only really affect their own community / township / neighbourhood / street. Therefore it is unlikely to get proper exposure or answers because of the knowledge on the subject being far too infrequent.

The description of the close suggestion itself is visible here:

This question is unlikely to ever help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet.

As per if too many questions are being closed hastily with this as their reason, I do not know.

My two cents:

Frankly, I think the description of this tag would apply to any question regarding the BrainFuck language, as well as the HelloWorld programming language, and a lot of other topics that could technically be discussed without being closed. Since these questions would never help the "worldwide audience of the internet". I personally think the description on this closure reason needs a re-work.

Note: That's actually the name of the programming language, so please don't just down-vote this answer thinking I've used an expletive out of context.

  • Much has been written about that particular language on MSO already.
    – Pops
    Nov 13, 2011 at 2:37
  • Hmm, why was that question closed? It was a valid question that addresses a valid issue, and received valid comments / answers. votes to re-open, realizes he can't actually vote to re-open the question for some reason.
    – cbroughton
    Nov 13, 2011 at 2:40
  • But I'm trying to create enterprise-level software in brainfuck and I need help Q.Q
    – Ben Brocka
    Nov 13, 2011 at 2:42
  • Well, unfortunately sir, according to the link @PopularDemand has cited, you'll get no help from StackOverflow.SE or any related site.
    – cbroughton
    Nov 13, 2011 at 2:44
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    @cbroughton according to the selected answer though...Jeff himself implied that the name of a language cannot be offensive or thus defacto banned though. Beyond the scope of this question but for instance I defend to death the right of SO users to mention the WTFPL.
    – Ben Brocka
    Nov 13, 2011 at 2:50

I've encountered several questions on StackOverflow that would have been helpful to engage in a conversation... only to find them "closed as too localized"... I just don't see the point in closing a question due to this very subjective and relative "opinion".

What's the driving force behind this madness? Just let the question be for "x" amount of time and close it due to inactivity.

Too many times, I've been looking for help on a particular issue... I'll "Google it up"... find a "hit" on StackOverflow... only to find that... Yes... somebody else out there is having the same issue... but the StackOverflow "gods" have deemed that nobody can converse on said issue because... well... WE think it's just too darn specific.

If you guys are going to do something like this... just delete the damn question... don't leave it online and give answer-seekers false hope.

I just don't get it... my two cents. Done.

I'm off to www.experts-exchange.com where their approach is less pragmatic.

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