I've encounter few question in SO which are not related to programming, I couldn't find a proper reason to make it off-topic. Under Flagging -> Closing -> Off-topic there are various options like - Question must describe problem, should demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved but there are no such options like Offtopic as not related to programming. Am i looking at the wrong place ? Or should it be flagged in a different way ?

Probably what I am looking for is an option to say "this is off-topic as it is not related to programming" and that's it ... no custom message (as there is separate place to put them)

  • use the other reason to describe it.
    – juergen d
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 9:03
  • so it should not come under off-topic category ? Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 9:06
  • other is within the off-topic category
    – nikolas
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 9:09
  • 2
    Flagging > Closing > Off-topic > Other
    – devnull
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 9:12
  • 1
    Looks like you can't see the Flagging > Closing > Off-topic > Other option yet.
    – devnull
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 9:16
  • Sorry but using "Flagging -> Closed for other reason -> Closing" I could not find t he Other option .. I can only select Flagging -> Other (needs moderator attention) along with a text area to describe your comments .. But i wanted to make them off-topic as they are not related to programming just like what you would find in Meta Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 9:17
  • @devnull no I can't .. can u ? under Flagging > Closing > Off-topic I can only see 5 radio button options ... do you mean I need to choose the last one that said "belongs to another site in stack"? I specifically want to make it off-topic as it is not anyhow related to programming Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 9:21
  • @user2720864 All I can say is that you don't have the required privileges. That explains why you can't see the option. (Yes, I can see the option.)
    – devnull
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 9:23
  • Oh ! my bad then .. sorry I wasn't aware Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 9:26
  • 1
    @devnull I think that is because when you have the privileges, you don't get the flag-dialog, you actually get the vote-to-close dialog. When only flagging, you can't provide a generic OT or provide a custom reason.
    – user213634
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 10:14
  • 1
    @devnull I don't know for sure, though, as I don't have the required privs myself.
    – user213634
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 10:16
  • @AndersUP You can. I can see one (that's why I mentioned how you can navigate to it). Moreover, the answer in the question that I've referred to above does even contain a screenshot of the dialog where you can mention a custom reason.
    – devnull
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 10:19
  • 2
    @devnull I don't understand what you mean by "You can"? I guarantee you that if you don't have required privs, you can't see Off-topic -> Other. It just isn't there.
    – user213634
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 10:55
  • 1
    @AndersUP: as someone without close vote privileges, I can confirm that there is no "other" off-topic reason for flagging. Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 11:00
  • @AndersUP I implied that you can close if you have the required privileges.
    – devnull
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


As you have already noted, the option isn't there for users who don't have reputation to vote to close - and from what has been gathered in some of the previous questions, it seems as if this is a deliberate omission.

What is a little problematic is that the powers-that-be are not aligned here:

If you look at Shog9's answer here, he says:

If you see a post that should be closed for an unusual reason, you have the option of flagging for moderator attention, selecting "other" and describing that reason in detail.

But: If you then look at Flexo's answer to why he declined one of my OT-flags, you see:

Using a custom flag to alert moderators sidesteps this new system, which is something we've been trying to figure out how to address. When the content in question isn't particularly abusive (just misguided), and where the community driven system is working custom flags don't help much - it's just noise.

So I guess they are aware of this issue, but it is not urgent enough for them to do something about it yet. Fortunately, those blatantly off-topic questions usually have something else wrong that can be flagged. For those questions that are off-topic, but essentially ok, I usually comment and/or let them be, unfortunately.

  • agreed, I was hoping that we could have a off-topic options in SO that says "not a question related to programming" as it meant only for contents that relates to computer program, however I wasn't aware of the privilege issues here .. But I see your point and I can go with that .. thanks Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 11:41
  • @user2720864 as you, I am still hoping for a more generic OT-flag (or for getting enough rep to vote-to-close for myself), but for the time being this is what I am doing.
    – user213634
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 11:44

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