I want a way to vote to close a question with the clear and unambiguous reason that states:

This is not Facebook Support. Call Facebook or visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/fbdevelopers/.


I'd like to be friendly enough to give these questioners a URL to someone at Facebook who is paid to care about their problems.

Can the honchos at Stack Exchange get in touch with the honchos at Facebook and make sure this is the best URL to give to the poor confused masses?

  • 16
    I smell frustration. Jan 3, 2012 at 5:37
  • 2
    @Michael: Definitely. Facebook application developers have gotten the short end of the stick on this, and then they get frustrated at our community for not being able to help them at all. I've had this exact conversation with half-dozen Facebook app developers and each one feels put-upon and annoyed -- when a simple URL pointing to someone at Facebook who cares would solve their problem and our problem...
    – sarnold
    Jan 3, 2012 at 5:42
  • 2
    I sympathtize, but I suspect that Facebook views SO as free, or truckloads-of-money cheap, outsourced support. Providinng in-house appdev support would ruin that model. Jan 3, 2012 at 5:44
  • 7
    I'd really love a page (on the Facebook side) where users can be pointed. These people are just confused and a little lost and it would be nice to give them some helpful information. They did change the wording on the page sending people to us early on. Still, I have to say, the problem is much smaller than I feared it would be.
    – Tim Post
    Jan 3, 2012 at 5:53
  • 2
    @Tim: Agreed, early on it was pretty heavy. But the fact that Facebook developers are still turning to us for administrative help means the message hasn't clearly taken hold yet. I found an URL that claims to be useful but it's on the other side of a Facebook login window. I've added it to my own auto-comment script but that only helps the people I find. (Plus it suffers from link rot.)
    – sarnold
    Jan 3, 2012 at 6:05
  • 5
    @sarnold try to put all facebook tags in your ignore list ;-) I have done that.
    – rekire
    Jan 3, 2012 at 11:18
  • 2
    Add a comment: "This is not Facebook Support. Call Facebook or visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/fbdevelopers/.", then vote to close. Jan 3, 2012 at 21:14
  • 3
    Write a nicely worded stock comment then use the auto-comment script to add it to any applicable questions. It looks like this will get worse soon since there is some sort of deadline to transition apps to a different type of page or something by feb 1.
    – JNK
    Jan 3, 2012 at 21:25
  • 1
    link to the script: stackapps.com/questions/2116/…
    – JNK
    Jan 3, 2012 at 21:27
  • @BrockAdams - What's Facebook support's phone number? Jan 3, 2012 at 22:10
  • 1
    @KevinVermeer, I don't know and don't care. Notice that that text is an exact quote of the OP? Jan 3, 2012 at 22:19
  • Whoops. Should have directed this @sarnold - What's Facebook support's phone number? Jan 3, 2012 at 22:21
  • @Kevin: If I had found one, I'd have been including it. It took me ten minutes to find the URL I included. :(
    – sarnold
    Jan 4, 2012 at 0:06
  • Facebook app developers have gotten the short end of the stick because of Facebook, not Stack Overflow. It's not Stack Overflow's fault Facebook doesn't care at all about developers. This close reason should be added, but just to facebook.stackoverflow.com.
    – bkaid
    Jan 4, 2012 at 17:47
  • I'm ambivalent.
    – AndrewC
    Sep 28, 2012 at 0:42

2 Answers 2


While I appreciate the sentiment, adding Vote to Close reasons to address specific (dare I say highly localized?) problems does not scale.

The close reasons are carefully calibrated to...

  1. Be as few of them as possible, and
  2. Address a wide range of problems with posts

...in order to provide the least possible amount of cognitive dissonance to would-be close voters.

If a close reason were added for every possible specific problem with a post, you'd need a playbook to close questions. Most people wouldn't bother.

  • I agree in principle but I think if certain issues are extremely common then it may justify a specific solution. Maybe not this one for facebook, but there are some meta questions (Require comment on downvote) that it would be nice to have a stock close for.
    – JNK
    Jan 3, 2012 at 21:26
  • I can appreciate the "It doesn't scale" answer, but hopefully we won't have too many more facebook.stackoverflow.com sorts of deals in the future. (Or, if we do, the purpose will be better advertised on both sides so fewer people get as frustrated as they are now.)
    – sarnold
    Jan 4, 2012 at 0:07

There are only a few cases in which the stock vote reasons should be changed. The Vote to Close dialog shouldn't be too large; the existing reasons cover the vast majority of possibilities already and it's not a crime to mis-categorize a question that ought to be closed.

However, we already have site-specific off-topic close reasons. The Facebook sub-site facebook.stackoverflow.com is an anomaly, but could (in theory, I'm not sure how it works technically) get a customization of the text which currently read:

off topic

Questions on $SITE_NAME are expected to generally relate to $SITE_TOPIC, within the scope defined in the faq.

For example:

Questions on Stack Overflow are expected to generally relate to programming or software development in some way, within the scope defined in the faq.

Questions on Gaming - Stack Exchange are expected to generally relate to gaming, within the scope defined in the faq.

Questions on Electrical Engineering - Stack Exchange are expected to generally relate to electronics design, within the scope defined in the faq.

Sure, it's not a lot of customization, but there's room for some creativity, like the bolded text below:

off topic

Questions on Facebook - Stack Overflow are expected to generally relate to technical questions about developing Facebook applications. This is not Facebook Support. Call Facebook[phone number needed] or visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/fbdevelopers/ for administrative help with Facebook's backend database. Questions on this site should be technical, not administrative, within the scope defined in the faq*.

The right action to take is not to create a sixth close reason for this specific case (in which no less than 10 comments were expended to clarify the issue), it's to update the existing off-topic close reason.

* - Note http://facebook.stackoverflow.com/faq URL.

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