Currently, when flagging an off-topic question, the following choices are offered.

  • Questions about general computing hardware and software are off-topic for Stack Overflow.

  • Questions concerning problems with code you've written must describe the specific problem and include valid code to reproduce it.

  • Questions must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved.

  • Questions on professional server, networking, or related infrastructure administration are off-topic for Stack Overflow unless they directly involve programming or programming tools.

  • Questions asking us to recommend a tool, library or favorite off-site resource are off-topic for Stack Overflow as they tend to attract
    opinionated answers and spam.

  • This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network

However, there are some questions that fit in none of these categories. For example, career advice questions are off-topic here (and on programmers.SE), questions like this one about an iPhone not connecting to WiFi are off-topic on pretty much any SE site.

Some questions might also be relevant on another SE site not listed when the "belongs on another site" option is selected.

How should those questions be flagged? Why isn't there a "it's off-topic because it is" option?

EDIT: just to be clear, I don't have the "Other" option under Off-Topic.

enter image description here

  • 2
    There is an "Other" option. What's wrong with that? Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 14:44
  • I'm genuinely wondering. Is it better to flag as "Need moderator attention - Other" than specify it's off-topic even though the particular reason isn't an option? I'm new to this flagging thing :)
    – anthonyvd
    Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 14:46
  • Do you have "Other" on the first screen of the flag dialog? Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 14:52
  • Only under "Needs moderator attention", so I guess the correct way to flag it is "Needs moderator attention - Other", then in the reason box specify it's off-topic?
    – anthonyvd
    Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 14:54
  • 3
    @pwny I'm not sure flagging for diamond moderators is the correct solution here. I do see the problem here though, since they are not actual close votes (but flags). I think a custom reason being added is very reasonable to those Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 14:58
  • Here is a similar question with an answer that I got from a mod just the other day: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/186366/… Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 15:06
  • 4
    Same here. Unprivileged members (under 3k) like us don't get an "Other" option under Flagging > Closing > Topic shown in Benjamin's screenshot. Mayhap this should be made as feature request? Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 15:14
  • 1
    Related: meta.stackexchange.com/q/186262/213634
    – user213634
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 10:12

4 Answers 4


Once you gain enough reputation to vote to close, you will be able to add a custom close reason:

Off-topic close reasons

The process is

  • close
  • It doesn't belong here, or it is a duplicate
  • It is Off Topic because
  • Other (add a comment explaining what is wrong)

If you don't have enough reputation, you can flag it as "Blatantly off-topic" as explained below.

  • 9
    I don't have that option in the flagging dialog though.
    – anthonyvd
    Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 14:50
  • @pwny aahhhh, so you're talking about the flagging for moderator option rather than the vote to close option - I see, I didn't realise there was a difference. I see the "Other" option from both routes. Bug? Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 14:51
  • Exactly, I don't think I have the Vote to Close privileges yet!
    – anthonyvd
    Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 14:52
  • 1
    @RogerRowland This screenshot is from the flag dialog. I guess lower reputation users don't have that option, however I can't find it any mention of it. Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 14:52

This option wasn't available at the time the question was posted, but when you don't have enough reputation to cast close votes, you can flag the question as blatantly off-topic.

enter image description here

This option disappears once you have enough reputation to cast close votes, when Benjamin Gruenbaum's answer applies.

The flag will be marked helpful when one other user (with enough reputation) votes to close it as off-topic (the reason doesn't matter), or if the question ends up being closed because of another reason (duplicate, too broad, etc.).

You should leave a comment indicating why you think it's off-topic, unless it's obvious (like a question about gardening on Stack Overflow).


Possibly the best option here would be to leave the Other option visible to all, (and the close button), but greyed out with "You need a minimum reputation of to use these options - if this issue does not fit any of the above then select flag for moderator attention on the first page".


You can flag it as any reason. Then as long as there are other 3K-ers voting to close it with the same reason as your flag, or the question is finally closed, it will be considered as helpful. Which sub-reason for flagging for OT doesn't quite matter as you can still leave a comment expressing your concerns.

Note for terminology: You can only flag for closure if you have <3K rep, but only vote to close if you have >=3K rep. When you have 3K rep then a custom OT reason is available for you to type in so it'll no longer be a pr0blem that none of the given reasons fits.

Thanks to Glorfindel for correction.


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