There is an automated downvote when ever a question is closed as off-topic. The new bespoke reasons, that seem to effectively replace too localized, are all in the off-topic section, which means each question gets downvoted when its closed.

This is overly harsh in some situations.

For instance on meta, there is the close reason:

The problem described here can no longer be reproduced. Changes to the system or to the circumstances affecting the asker have rendered it obsolete. If you encounter a similar problem, please post a new question.

Someone has done all the correct things, they've posted on meta with their problem etc. There was some localized reason why the problem can't be reproduced, for this they get a downvote. Then the next person with the same question sees something that says this question is off-topic but that it's perfectly okay to ask another one. This is highly inconsistent.

I would have suggested removing the automated downvote on meta, as we do enough voting as it is(!), but this wouldn't have solved the inconsistency of a correct question being off-topic.

There's obviously no reason for every site to have a custom reason here but it makes sense on MSE and, I'm sure, some others.


Add one custom close reason that is not in the off-topic menu for those situations when it makes more sense to have it there.

  • I agree. "Cannot reproduce" doesn't really make something off-topic.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jul 11, 2013 at 12:47
  • @AaronBertrand but it does - meta's topic is a page in it's current form. If something is about a page version no longer in use, it is off topic for meta. This request would need another example to convince me (but of course that's not me who you need to convince).
    – Mołot
    Jul 11, 2013 at 13:47
  • @Mołot doesn't that depend on what "can't reproduce" actually means? If the user is still having the problem but the person who changed the status couldn't reproduce it in their browser or OS or region or what have you, I question that that makes it "off topic"... now if it was a bug that they fixed, it also shouldn't be closed as off-topic, it should be status-completed. Do you really want to close and delete all bug reports that have been fixed because they talk about a problem that no longer exists?
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jul 11, 2013 at 13:50
  • @AaronBertrand if the person in question still have that problem, and simply cannot describe it in a reproducible way, it's "unclear what you're asking". If problem was solved before it was submitted then yes, off topic. Or rather duplicate, usually. If it was valid and solved, it was on topic when it was asked and it should stay - that's how I see it, that's why as far as i understand all cases are pretty well covered now.
    – Mołot
    Jul 11, 2013 at 13:54
  • 1
    @Mołot I think you're missing my point. shrug
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Jul 11, 2013 at 13:59
  • @AaronBertrand Probably. That's why I asked for some other example, right? Unless this question is about metas only, closing on-topic, not unclear, not to broad, not offensive, not duplicated questions seems bad idea to me.
    – Mołot
    Jul 11, 2013 at 14:05
  • @Morlot, I'm unsure how I can make the request clearer. I'm afraid I don't understand what you're asking though. "can't reproduce" doesn't mean the the user made a stupid mistake, it means that there was a problem that's gone away. Why is this off-topic? This request is not for metas only, it's for one reason, if people want it. However, your last comment makes no sense to me I'm afraid. I'm not asking for the closing of on-topic questions. Jul 13, 2013 at 7:55
  • 2
    Much of the argument is out of date, since those automatic downvotes are no longer given.
    – user259867
    May 31, 2015 at 6:04


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