We at Anime&Manga get a lot of questions, which usually don't conform to a number of rules for posting these kinds of questions. And while the generic "unclear" close reason also applies, it would be neat to have a more specific close reason linking to the meta post with all the bullet points which should be filled out to make for a proper question.

But this will only make sense for questions tagged as . For all other questions this custom close reason would be irrelevant. Is there currently a way to make such a custom close reason to only show up if the post has a specific tag?

I'm sure many other SE sites would benefit from such a handy feature for very unique tags which don't work very well with generic close reasons.

  • 1
    You can always enter a custom off-topic close reason for the specific question. And Arqade, for example, also closes identification questions unless they meet certain criteria, so we have a custom off-topic close reason that says that and links to the relevant meta questions. Oct 17 '14 at 22:34
  • Yes, but some tags attract more questions than others, and it would be a lot handier to have a custom close reason just for them. Oct 17 '14 at 22:36
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    My point with the Arqade example is that you can use a site-wide custom close reason for those situations. It is very unlikely that you will have so many distinct common off-topic close reasons that you will have to divide them by tag. Oct 17 '14 at 22:39

No, there currently is no way to achieve this. On each site there can be custom off-topic close reasons, but they are not tag-specific; the default maximum number for these is three, yet when an actual need is demonstrated SE is willing to increase this number slightly.

It is always possible to write a "other" reason. Yet, if this is somewhat frequent so that this is impractical (but not as frequent as to be one of the general off-topic reasons) you might consider having a template for copy-pasting somewhere (on a thread on meta for example); several sites have a repository for frequently needed comments and text-snipets, e.g., Mathematics, TeX, CS Theory.

  • It is possible to have more than 3 off-topic close reasons. Speak to your moderators or Stack Exchange staff about it. For example, Stack Overflow has 5. Oct 19 '14 at 10:14
  • The point was not really that there are at most three, but that they cannot be made to show up only on specific tags. But, thanks anyway for pointing out that it is possible to have more than three; I reformulated the post. However, it is AFAIK true that three is the default maximum and SE is willing to increase this only if the need for it is demonstrated; this cannot be done by per-site moderators.
    – quid
    Oct 19 '14 at 11:39

It's an interesting idea, but I suspect there are technical reasons for only allowing three customizable reasons. Just off the top of my head, if a question is retagged after being closed, or worse, after receiving only a couple VTCs, how would you handle that?

On top of the technical implementation challenges, part of the issue is in that SE wants a relatively consistent feel among sites, so allowing us to create tons and tons of close reasons would probably take away from that. Keeping to three is simple, and if we allowed tag-specific ones, that would add confusion to a simple design.

And even beyond that, off-topic posts are typically posted by new users to the site, so they often may not know the proper tags. So having tag-specific VTC reasons would require questions to be edited before being closed in some cases, which just adds extra unnecessary entropy to the system.

  • Well, it's gonna be interesting if a question gets retagged from an ID request to something else. I don't think it's possible to change such a question to fall into another category without totally losing the OP's intent. Oct 18 '14 at 10:00
  • Code-wise, all such close reasons would just hide themselves, unless there is a tag that activates them. Then they appear visible to the user. Oct 18 '14 at 10:02
  • "Keeping things simple" is not what makes SE network sites one of the best places to get knowledge without distracting nonsense. An example of such nonsense would be needing to go to some meta post from which you would need to copypaste the appropriate close reason message that contains a concise description of what is wrong with the question and a link to the relevant meta post with information helping to fix it. That's several unnecessary steps for something that could be automated pretty easily where it is needed often enough. Oct 18 '14 at 10:05
  • And there is nothing wrong with improperly tagged questions from new users. It is to be expected from them, and active users know what to do. I'm sure there would be no active users that regularly review new posts, who would be so much against unrelated close reasons so as to want them to be removed altogether. Oct 18 '14 at 10:10
  • @user1306322 actually I think that trying to keep things simple is part of what makes SE a good platform. Why is there a max of three reasons to begin with? To keep things simple seems the main reason that comes to mind.
    – quid
    Oct 18 '14 at 22:43
  • Problem is that programming sites came first and then the rest tried to follow the example by generalizing many things, including close reasons. But there just are some topics which require special treatment, which would not make sense in all other cases, but these topics are still within the site's scope. And to deal with it effectively, they gotta be treated unlike the rest of the site. Oct 19 '14 at 16:08

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