When voting to close a question on a Meta site such as Meta Super User, there is a predefined close reason for off-topic, and it states that questions on this site should be related to Super User.

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Some users have taken this close reason literally and now are voting to close feature requests and bug reports for the SE engine as off-topic, because they don't relate to just Super User, but the whole Stack Exchange network.

This is not justified. There is already an agreement that network-wide issues and bug reports may be discussed on per-site Metas:

The Stack Exchange team monitors all of the child metas. The child metas do have a smaller reach than MSO, so posting on the child meta to get an initial gauge of support, and then if necessary, bringing that to MSO for a wider audience is fine. But there is no reason to turn a post away from a child meta.

Therefore, the close reason should say:

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Questions on this site are expected to be discussion about Super User, or support, bug reports and feature requests for the Stack Exchange network.

This will now correctly reflect the official position and resolve problems related to the confusion and literal interpretation of the message.

  • Still not exactly correct. It's Discussion/Support for SU only, but feature requests and bug reports for SE. – Daniel Beck Dec 20 '11 at 18:59
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    Well, support is network-wide as well. So: discussion about Super User or support and feature requests for the Stack Exchange network? – slhck Dec 20 '11 at 19:00
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    @TomWijsman It's already official policy. It's already been accepted, and enforced by team and diamond moderators. If you don't like the policy at all, raise it as a separate question please. – slhck Dec 20 '11 at 19:01
  • @slhck Still no bug reports. – Daniel Beck Dec 20 '11 at 19:03
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    @Tom We're not really intending to change that policy. – Grace Note Dec 20 '11 at 19:07
  • @GraceNote: Which basically means that we can't decide about those things as a community, but rather have individuals in small communities loophole their ideas into the system. Bad policy and loophole. If we're not working together as a community, but rather sending individual ideas to a team that doesn't ask the opinion of the network wide community; what are we here for then? – Tamara Wijsman Dec 20 '11 at 19:16
  • With all due respect, @Tom - what the hell are you talking about? Do you have any concrete examples of this sort of nefarious back-room single-site feature-foisting you're alluding to? The idea behind engine feature requests on per-site metas is to allow for individual communities to voice their support for the feature as it would apply to them - not sneak them in without input from those who might be affected on other sites. – Shog9 Dec 20 '11 at 19:49
  • I still don't know what you're talking about, @Tom. So I'll assume the answer to my question then is "no". – Shog9 Dec 20 '11 at 20:41
  • That feature-request hasn't been implemented, @Tom. And honestly, it's not likely to be. But if it is, I would expect to see it discussed on MSO. – Shog9 Dec 20 '11 at 23:44

I don't like the proposed change because it both broadens and narrows the implied scope. On the one hand, you're removing the specificity of the per-site-meta's applicability to the main site. After all, site-specific stuff should be discussed on that site's meta. On the other hand, you're opening it up to any element of the Stack Exchange Network. And while this will include all general engine concerns that do affect the main site, it would also include a number of concerns that do not affect the main site. And that would generally be off-topic.

Yes, indeed we allow questions about the general engine on a per-site-meta. Fact is, though, a question about the general engine does in fact include itself as being about the parent site. If I ask a question about how bounties work while I'm on Super User, I'm asking a question about Super User no matter how universal that functionality is. For this point, I think keeping the site-specific nomenclature is a preferable course of action.

The per-site-meta is about things that affect your site, whether they affect only your site or also your site. I do not believe the current verbiage is opposed to this as it does not mention any exclusivity towards the main site. So if someone tries to argue about the exclusivity and uses the close reason as their evidence, politely point out the lack of such mention of exclusivity.

  • My primary concern was the (wrong) interpretation of the verbiage. This post can however be linked to in case of future issues. Do you have any proposal of how to change the message so it becomes unambiguous with regards to your concerns? – slhck Dec 20 '11 at 19:26
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    @slhck I think any attempt to clarify the lack of exclusivity already present in the current message would basically add unnecessary clutter to the structure of the message. It's pretty succinct and it's alternative reading of the words that makes it read otherwise. – Grace Note Dec 20 '11 at 19:27
  • What about "Questions on this site are expected to be discussion, support, and feature requests for [site name] or Stack Exchange"? Three more words, covers all the bases. – user149432 Dec 20 '11 at 19:48
  • @MarkTrapp There are parts of Stack Exchange that do not affect the Q&A sites, so personally, I find that saying "You can ask about Stack Exchange here" is misleading because the stuff on the per-site-meta should be about the Q&A site. – Grace Note Dec 20 '11 at 19:49
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    IOW: the problem here isn't the wording, it's the attitude of those willfully misinterpreting it. – Shog9 Dec 20 '11 at 19:53

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