This question, for example, cannot fall under any of the following categories:

  • Programming questions are off-topic on Meta Stack Overflow.
  • This question does not appear to seek input and discussion from the community.
  • The problem described here can no longer be reproduced.

The question linked to isn't related to SO/SE in any way. I know I can fill in an "other" reason outside of off-topic, but I doubt that this type of situation is that uncommon.

EDIT: The question linked to has been removed, here is a screenshot:

  • For this specific question, what's wrong with This question does not appear to seek input and discussion from the community.? Sep 11, 2013 at 0:22
  • 1
    @psubsee2003 The statement continues with "If you have encountered a problem on one of our sites, please describe it in detail."
    – Mooseman
    Sep 11, 2013 at 0:23
  • 1
    Ideally, they should be flagged/closed with a custom reason stating that the question is not about SE.
    – asheeshr
    Sep 11, 2013 at 0:23
  • @AsheeshR I could be wrong, it wasn't there originally, but maybe it was added - I've had close privileges since shortly after the changes were rolled out, so it is not something would be aware of Sep 11, 2013 at 0:26
  • @Mooseman that close reason is still applicable. The last phrase is just for those who might be asking a question about SE. It is exactly the same situation as the last phrase on the programming questions close reason. Not everyone who asks a programming question is q-banned, but enough are that it is better to have it there. IT doesn't mean that programming questions can't be closed for that even if the OP is no q-banned. Sep 11, 2013 at 0:31
  • This is wrong: "This question does not appear to seek input and discussion from the community." - yes, that is exactly what it was doing. They asked a question, wanting input and discussion from the community. Not as Stack wants, but the user doesn't know that, and should be told more clearly. "Programming questions are off-topic on Meta Stack Overflow." then the link showing what meta is for is ideal, and friendly nudge to other Stack sites (imo)
    – James
    Sep 11, 2013 at 0:44
  • Old discussion/feature-request: meta.stackexchange.com/q/186262/213634
    – user213634
    Sep 11, 2013 at 12:24

2 Answers 2


Questions on Meta Stack Overflow that are not about the SE Network should be closed with a custom ("other") off-topic reason like:

This question is not about the SE family of sites. Have a look at the Help Center ...

  • 6
    I think that off-topic questions are way too common to have us come up with a tailored reason of why it doesn't belong here. Often a generic close reason in terms of 'SO is about programming, your question is not' would be enough. Yes, telling someone to contact his isp/hoster/facebook/google/... support might be helpful - but considering it's not this site's purpose to help with off-topic problems, I think we shouldn't need to spend that much time on closing them. It takes very low effort to close a low quality question, so it should take less effort to close an completely irrelevant one.
    – kapex
    Sep 11, 2013 at 1:37
  • -1: The mods don't want that. Look at Flexos answer here meta.stackexchange.com/a/192768/213634 - specifically My reasons for declining however is largely around the use of the "other flag" and Using a custom flag to alert moderators sidesteps this new system...
    – user213634
    Sep 11, 2013 at 12:26
  • @AndersUP Thats for SO where the flag volume is very high. MSO has lower volume of flags and (maybe) more eyes than SO (CM Team).
    – asheeshr
    Sep 11, 2013 at 12:31
  • I think the process is broken regardless. There are quite a few questions that are in reality just blatantly off-topic, and you can't flag them as such without appending an in that case non-sensical reason such as 'minimal understanding required when asking for code'.
    – user213634
    Sep 11, 2013 at 14:49
  • This question does not appear to seek input and discussion from the community.

I can't see the original question, but it looks like a great candidate for closing as 'Unclear what you are asking'. This applies to all kinds of rhetoric questions. If you can't imagine an answer, it's not question and it's not clear what is asked here.

Closing question forces you to find valid reason for it. 'It's off-topic because it's off-topic' isn't a valid reason. As a reviewer, you are expected to do some effort in pointing why exactly.

If someone asks would Elvis Presley vote for Obama, just close as 'It's off-topic because it's about Necromancy'. If the question is not adequate for any possible Q&A site, one of 'Unclear what you ask', 'Opinion based', 'Lack of research', 'Resource reccomendation' should apply.

  • But when flagging you are not allowed to elaborate on the OT-reason. You have to select a predefined reason.
    – user213634
    Sep 11, 2013 at 13:11
  • @AndersUP OffTopic->Other->Comment Sep 11, 2013 at 14:38
  • Sounds like closing, not flagging. This question is about flagging.
    – user213634
    Sep 11, 2013 at 14:45

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