This user has just joined. He does not understand that when his question is closed, asking the same thing on a different question isn't right.

Shouldn't the reason for closing a question be more descriptive, because users themselves don't help figure out where he went wrong or even point to the FAQ. The do post some pretty funny snide comments though.

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/12229182/assigning-users-money (now deleted)

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/12229350/assigning-users-money (also deleted)

He doesn't get it!

(A moderator has now cleaned up the comments and has written out a good explanation)

  • 1
    or even point to the FAQ? Really? I see a link to the FAQ at the end of the close reason.
    – Oded
    Sep 1, 2012 at 16:26
  • Ahh.. I meant the user comments don't point to that. They usually just make fun of users. A section on "Why was my question closed" might be useful :) Sep 1, 2012 at 16:27
  • 1
    Well, here is the comment I posted on the original question (now deleted): Hi Jake, welcome to Stack Overflwow. And yes, you need to be much much more specific. We can help with specific coding questions, as defined in our FAQ - please read it. - this included a link to the FAQ.
    – Oded
    Sep 1, 2012 at 16:28
  • This isn't the first/only instance of a new user "not getting it", but just an example! Sep 1, 2012 at 16:30
  • 3
    Yes, fair enough. However, the close reason does have a link to the FAQ, unlike what you posted.
    – Oded
    Sep 1, 2012 at 16:32
  • Okay. I guess I didn't pay attention. If he still "doesn't get it", it probably is his own pig-headedness. Sep 1, 2012 at 16:33
  • Consider that with 5k-6k questions a day, it is difficult to give every closed question a good reason in comments.
    – Oded
    Sep 1, 2012 at 16:34
  • 2
    I think the real problem is that people are too quick to delete vote these questions. The OP has no chance to see that message.
    – Mysticial
    Sep 1, 2012 at 22:23

2 Answers 2


I've modified the What is a "closed" question post to add links to resources that explain each of the close reasons in greater detail.

Questions in these categories may be closed:

  • Exact duplicate: Questions that cover exactly the same ground as earlier questions on this topic should be closed. See How to handle duplicate questions?

  • Off-topic: Questions are generally expected to be on-topic for the site to which they were posted, in accordance with the site faq.

    • Belongs on [another site]: Questions that are unrelated to the site topic, and would fit better on another site in the Stack Exchange network.

  • Not constructive: "This question is not a good fit to our Q&A format. We expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion."

For more about what makes a question Not Constructive, see QA is Hard, Let's Go Shopping, Gorilla vs. Shark., and We Hate Fun Here.

  • Not a real question: "It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form."

For more information, see What is a Real Question.

  • Too localized: "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."

For more information, see What questions should be closed with reason “too localized”.


After a lengthy period of mulling over the problems new users have with the SE system, I have come to a number of conclusions:

  1. The FAQ doesn't adequately describe how SE works.

  2. Making the FAQ detailed enough to describe how the site works would make it too long.

  3. Even if you fully described how each site works, it would likely be interpreted as too restrictive, and referencing it would be perceived as rude.

  4. The people who really need to read the FAQ won't.

  5. It's not that hard to figure out how SE works.

The only heartburn that ever happens on SE is when people refuse to embrace the format and blame the participants. These folks are not going to listen to you, no matter how much you gold plate the FAQ.

People who take the time to learn what SE is and how it works seldom have problems. The ones that don't, well... they soon become intimately familiar with SE's IP ban algorithm.

  • 2
    "It's not that hard to figure out how SE works." That's not exactly a concise breakdown of how SE works. There's no real page that explains the philosophy of the SE Q&A model, with some idea of what a "real question" is. Sep 2, 2012 at 0:08
  • Sounds like a great topic for a new meta question. In truth, the close reason, as outlined here, could use a bit of fleshing out. I added a couple of links to the blog there, and removed some additional detail that didn't need to be there.
    – user102937
    Sep 2, 2012 at 0:10
  • @Nicol: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/145677/what-is-a-real-question
    – user102937
    Sep 2, 2012 at 0:24
  • 2
    Finding out how SE works is easy; finding out how it doesn't work is the challenge
    – Ben Brocka
    Sep 2, 2012 at 2:42

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