I was just shown Facebook Blackberry SDK Error 500 as a test close question.

I voted to close as:

Not a real question - Yes, the question is 'how do I make my code work', with no code shown, no suggestion if the problem is in the users code or the API call.

Too localized - It sure sounds like it, as there's no indication that the problem is anything other than a problem with the OP's server.

Another reason why it should be considered too localized is that it went away all by itself. The only answer is: "The problem solved now. Facebook solved the problem. You can now use the same facebook jar file. Its working properly now."

Is my thinking incorrect here? Or is it just a bad review test question?


djechlin wrote:

"Have you really never gotten an error 500 that you solved by googling, since thousands of other people had the same problem?"

I actually read the answers before going to close the vote. I'm not sure if I'm meant to do that or not.

According to the answer given, this wasn't a 500 error caused by a problem that could be fixed in the OPs code, it was caused by:

  • Facebook having an outage on their API.
  • The OP not handling the API outage gracefully and instead just throwing a 500 error.

Assuming that it was a question that was valid and should have been left open when the OP asked it - what should people do when reviewing questions localized in time like that, in say 3 months or 3 years?

  • 3
    Well, I'd probably vote to close (if I could). Still, review audit criteria suck for the close queue. Don't take it too hard.
    – user206222
    May 11, 2013 at 17:01
  • 1
    +1 for your effort in taking this to meta and being open-minded instead of immediately bashing the review, but per my answer I'm coming down on the side of "it was you."
    – djechlin
    May 11, 2013 at 19:02
  • Wow. I thought you were paraphrasing/mocking the answer until I clicked on the link and read it myself. May 11, 2013 at 21:44

1 Answer 1


Definitely not too localized. Have you really never gotten an error 500 that you solved by googling, since thousands of other people had the same problem? Too localized is somewhat problematic currently, and I'm not convinced we should have the category at all.

Definitely not NARQ either. Code is not shown (nor do I think it should be) but user posted actual error output and a link to research attempted. This is the type of problem that isn't likely a programming error, but more a data or configuration error, so code isn't the obvious thing to post... in fact the user kind of needs some help knowing where to look which is a very valid use case for SO, and the upvotes reveal the community has accepted the specificity and research effort.

So yeah, I think you flunked this one. We definitely can't have reviewers going through closing questions just because they don't have code, which sounds like what your judgment boiled down to. But that's okay - if the result of this audit is you taking it to meta and getting information on what to close v. leave open, then sounds like it was a success for all parties involved.

  • Yeah, although it's not without flaws, it sounds like the audit system worked as intended in this case.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    May 11, 2013 at 19:09
  • "close v. leave open" is incomplete list of options; there's also "skip" which likely applies best in cases like this (at least per my experience of ~5K close votes reviews without a single audit failure)
    – gnat
    May 11, 2013 at 20:53
  • 2
    "but user posted actual error output and a link to research attempted." That is actually what pushed me more towards 'not a real question' - If I need to go to another site to understand what the OP is asking, then it implies that the question as asked is not complete.
    – Danack
    May 11, 2013 at 20:56
  • @Danack fair point re. link. I personally took it as enough evidence the user was thoughtful before posting. But research effort is less for the sake of making something into a "real question" and better handle by +/- votes, and I felt it was a real q. anyway
    – djechlin
    May 11, 2013 at 21:00

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