I came across this question today. In reading the answer and the comments it turns out that the issue was just a simple typo that the OP made. So that being the case I decided that this question probably needs to be closed since this will not be helpful to any future vistors. However, in looking at the flag reasons (I don't have the close ability yet), I don't see a flag that would be appropriate.

I know some of these options might still be influx because of the recent changes to close vote descriptions. However, until a different off-topic flag description is created, how should this be flagged? Or should this not be flagged at all and just allowed to live on or wait for a user with close votes to use a custom off-topic close option?

  • 2
    This is also being asked here: meta.stackexchange.com/q/186262/213634 and here: meta.stackexchange.com/q/186342/213634 (although for flagging rather than vote-to-close exclusively)
    – user213634
    Jun 27, 2013 at 19:20
  • @AndersUP Thanks. I hadn't found those questions. Though I'm not particularly asking for an "other" option just what the correct course of action would currently be. However, I think enabling an "other" option for flagging makes the most sense and is probably the answer for this. Jun 27, 2013 at 19:29

3 Answers 3


If the question is not otherwise a candidate for closure under the new close reasons, flag it with the Custom option, and put this in the custom description * :

Too Localized: "Find My Typo."

Seriously. We will delete it, if it's clearly of no use to anyone else.

Please don't use this for any other "Too Localized" scenario, including obscure compiler errors or syntax. Most other closures that might have occurred under "Too Localized" are now covered elsewhere, under the new close reasons.

* Note: The flag text above is merely illustrative. As always, just cast a custom flag and explain what the problem is, and why you think the question should be removed.

  • 4
    What about people above 3K? Should we flag instead of closing now? Jun 27, 2013 at 20:07
  • 4
    Yes. There isn't a close reason that currently covers this scenario. If the question has other problems, you can vote to close on that basis instead.
    – user102937
    Jun 27, 2013 at 20:09
  • I had considered this but I figured that there would be another way that didn't involve a mod. But it makes sense that while things are changing that mods would have to fill in for the time being. Thanks for the answer! Jun 27, 2013 at 20:14
  • 1
    Thanks for the emphasis on 'obscure compiler error' and 'syntax', that's important, as I point out in this answer. Jun 27, 2013 at 20:29
  • 5
    @RobertHarvey I hope this is only temporary? Offloading typo questions to mods is probably going to cause some moderator overload, but also confused mods, rejected flags, lots of meta duplicates and lots of grief Jun 27, 2013 at 20:35
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    @JanDvorak: It's only temporary, until something better comes along. The category of questions I'm identifying here is a tiny percentage of the closed questions overall, so I don't expect this to have a huge impact on the moderation effort.
    – user102937
    Jun 27, 2013 at 20:39
  • So this question had a pretty dumb syntax error, and flags as you suggested were rejected. What should the users have done instead?
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jun 28, 2013 at 21:02
  • @AaronBertrand: The flags were marked helpful. The mods still get to decide what action they wish to take.
    – user102937
    Jun 28, 2013 at 21:04
  • 4
    Right, but the question was left open. If the mods are going to mark such a flag as helpful but then leave the question as is, I think the user would rather go the VtC route since it seems clear that getting the community to agree might be easier than getting a mod to agree.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jun 28, 2013 at 21:04
  • I've closed the question appropriately. To be clear, prefer a close reason instead of flagging as Too Localized: "Fix My Typo," if you can find one that fits. There were already 4 close votes on that question, for the same close reason I chose.
    – user102937
    Jun 28, 2013 at 21:06
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    I'm not trying to argue, but our users chose the flag option because that's exactly what you said to do here. The VtC's didn't start until the flags were rejected - I know this because I started them after I was told about it...
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jun 28, 2013 at 21:06
  • 1
    And again, I mean no disrespect, but your advice here seemed to contradict what they actually should have done - I just want to be sure the course of action is understood and consistent.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jun 28, 2013 at 21:10
  • 1
    Nothing about moderation is ever black and white. Moderators don't decline flags unless they are being cast in bad faith or are simply not useful. The flags you cited had merit; it just turned out that there was a better way of handling them.
    – user102937
    Jun 28, 2013 at 21:15
  • 4
    Yes, understood. The users I'm talking about have been expressing confusion and frustration since yesterday, because they came here, looked at the accepted answer to "how to flag a typo question" and felt their only recourse for typo questions was flagging rather than voting to close. I think they have a clearer picture now. Thanks.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jun 28, 2013 at 21:17
  • 1
    @Cyborgx37: Fixed
    – user102937
    Jul 8, 2013 at 17:43

As of January 2014, we have a norepro/typo close reason on SO. From https://meta.stackexchange.com/q/216585/238706:

Typos and "the problem went away" questions

These questions are often resolved by correcting a simple syntax error or by the asker himself after realizing he was looking at the wrong code, forgot to restart the server, etc. They tend to be an embarrassment to the asker and a source of unhelpful noise for others with superficially-similar problems:

This question was caused by a problem that can no longer be reproduced or a simple typographical error. While similar questions may be on-topic here, this one was resolved in a manner unlikely to help future readers. This can often be avoided by identifying and closely inspecting the shortest program necessary to reproduce the problem before posting.

Note that the original wording proposed for this reason has been tweaked several times in response to confusion observed here on Meta and on Stack Overflow itself. The target remains the same though: "face-palm" problems that no longer affect the asker and whose solutions will never benefit anyone else.

See also a related, more general question Which close reason should I use to close "typo" questions now?.


I read this post as well as Should questions where a problem arose from a typo be closed? and Close all the typo questions and interpreted them as a sanction on blanket-closing all typo questions. This was reinforced by the fact that the latter post is not a question about policy, but a call to action (to close all typo questions, of course).

Most of the answers to those questions are fairly gung-ho about closing typo questions, but it seems some moderators, at least, take a more nuanced approach, perhaps best expressed in this answer:

There is one instance where they should not be closed - if they are exceptionally well documented, including the specific error that the typo gave them. Others will have similar problems in the future, look up the error issued, and have one more thing to check when nothing else helps because they'll keep overlooking the spelling issue.

So flag away with a custom close reason like Robert Harvey explains, but be aware that in some cases (perhaps in a very select few cases), your flag may be declined. A flag I raised earlier on a typo question was rejected because

...while they did make a typo, they include code, the error, and a lot of good stuff people can google for if they have that problem.

That actually makes a lot of sense. As with all things on StackExchange, use your common sense when flagging instead of relying too heavily on dogma.

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