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For example, this post seems off topic to me, but there's no good flag to close it. It's not unclear, it's not too broad, it doesn't fit any of the "off topic because" scenarios; it's just not about programming and doesn't belong on SO or any of the other suggestions.

Here's another one. How are we supposed to flag these as off topic?

So it seems that there is no issue if one has enough reputation to vote to close; however, it seems that users with lower reputation should still be able to flag a question as (generally) off-topic.

6

Vote to close, select the Off-Topic option, click the Other bullet, and put the following in the explanation:

This question appears to be off-topic because it is about [subject not listed in the Help Center]

I applied the technique to this question.

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    I only have ~2400 reputation, so I cannot vote to close. It never used to be like this. One used to be able to simply flag it... – Steve P. Jul 10 '13 at 3:44
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    @SteveP. I guess SE decided that surfacing such flags to the moderator queue automatically was causing too much work for the mods. In a way, it caused the mods to be proxy close voters for people with not enough reputation to vote to close. – Robert Harvey Jul 10 '13 at 3:48
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    @RobertHarvey Isn't that essentially the entire purpose of the moderator flagging system -- to allow people to bring questions that should be closed or transferred to the attention of the moderators? Note that this change does not prevent a low-rep user from flagging a question -- it merely prevents them from flagging it CORRECTLY. They can still flag it using "other" and type in the problem or flag it as offtopic and give an inappropriate site to migrate to. – llb Jul 10 '13 at 4:02
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    @llb. No. The closing system is for closing questions. Moderator flags are for exceptional situations that cannot be handled by the community. An example of such a situation is stale off-topic questions (no longer on the front page) that are unlikely to achieve close velocity due to an insufficient number of views. – Robert Harvey Jul 10 '13 at 4:13

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