While reviewing close votes, it's common to come across a question where the OP came back and said "Oh, never mind, I found the problem existed elsewhere in my code!"

Example: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/9462825/creating-a-hash-in-a-tt-and-passing-it-to-a-pm

Note, this is distinct from the OP answering their own question, as discussed here and here.

None of the existing close reasons quite match; it's not (necissarily) too-broad, or unclear what is being asked. Off-topic isn't quite right either. Although Off-topic with a custom reason is what I am doing currently, as in the example above (This question appears to be off-topic because the problem didn't exist.).

I might suggest an additional close reason of "Invalid question" or "question describes a problem that doesn't exist", but I can see such a reason being abused.

What's the best way to handle these?

  • 3
    We used to be able to use "too localised" for these types of questions - I think the closest we have is a custom close reason (not available for flag-to-close) or unclear what you're asking. Nov 16, 2013 at 12:50
  • 1
    If the problem didn't exist, OP wouldn't have asked the question. If the question could be answered with the information provided in the question, go ahead and answer the question. While it might not help OP, it might help future googlers. If the question cannot be answered with information that is in the question, then close the question with the 2nd offtopic reason (Questions concerning problems with code you've written must describe the specific problem — and include valid code to reproduce it). Clearly, the last part is not met.
    – Sumurai8
    Nov 16, 2013 at 12:53
  • @Sumurai8: Whether the problem existed or not depends on how the question was worded. In the example cited in my question, the problem described didn't exist. But I think the rest of your comment stands.
    – Flimzy
    Nov 16, 2013 at 13:05

1 Answer 1


If such a question does not contain the code to demonstrate the problem (even though the OP thought it did) then it can be closed under

Questions concerning problems with code you've written must describe the specific problem — and include valid code to reproduce it — in the question itself. See SSCCE.org for guidance.

Of course if the question is answerable still then answer it; answers are primarily for the internet at large rather than for the OP in particular

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .