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I noticed there are many sites where I saw a question being closed by Off Topic instead of, say, Unclear what you are asking. Others which would benefited from This question was closed due to a typographical error were closed by Questions seeking for debugging help ....

I'm not discussing whether those questions should be closed, because they were rightly closed but when I asked about the reasons, I was told that it was due to the limited amount of close options (edit: wait, i'm not talking about the close options inside of Off-Topic reason, but aout the limited number of 1st-level close options) Stack Exchange provided for the sites. But for many questions I read, the close reason was not quite understandable wrt the actual close reason (which I had to ask in the corresponding meta about).

Is there a way to make those close slots variable? Ultimately, only moderators would have access to them as they have today (Edit: or could they ask the staff for more 1st-level close options).

My reason: Closing should be useful for the users at first glance of why. Specially if the user is not well used to the site politics and is a slow-learner about how the site works.

I understand there is the subtext for reasons as off-topic, but this is about communication: it is not about how do you think you send it, but how does the user (in this case the OP and in second place interested users) perceives it.

Edit E.g.: If the user read Closed as Off-Topic at first glance in big bold letters when asking about an on-topic question (but somehow unfitting in other ways), or another main closure title which he perceives inappropriate wrt the involved question (even after shallowly reading the rules) they will feel at first glance the site owners or community does not understand their own rules (which is not the case; instead just a poor way of communicating).

Disclaimer: No. I always understood why MY questions were closed. In this case, I am the... second place interested user, trying to understand how a specific site worked, and what and how was a question permitted in such site.

marked as duplicate by PolyGeo, Nathan Tuggy, Rory Alsop, Catija, Ward May 21 '16 at 7:32

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    I don't think duping like that is the exact question I make. However I consider it close, and could also be useful. Just a slightly different proposal. – Luis Masuelli May 20 '16 at 20:42
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    To prevent it being a duplicate you could revise your question to focus on the main aspect that you think is not covered in the proposed duplicate. Alternatively, you could let this close and participate in that other Q&A. Or do both. – PolyGeo May 20 '16 at 20:47
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    Well... perhaps could I add the same topic in the other question as an answer. Let it be dupe then :). – Luis Masuelli May 20 '16 at 20:47
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    (damn how can I accept the dupe now? :s dumb of me) – Luis Masuelli May 20 '16 at 20:48
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    This does not seem to be a dupe to me. Yes, there are slightly overlapping concepts between the two but this is asking something different... for more custom close reason slots... which is actually possible already... it's just uncommon. – Catija May 20 '16 at 21:43
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    @Catija I think it would be good if both this and the proposed dupe were better focussed. For example, I think this question is mostly about having custom close reasons outside the Off-topic category, while your answer (which I upvoted because it is valuable nevertheless) is about how to get additional close reasons within the Off-topic category – PolyGeo May 20 '16 at 22:50
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    @PolyGeo I guess the way I read the question is that it's focusing on the number of slots, regardless of the category. It's what the title says and it's what the content says "due to the limited amount of close options Stack Exchange provided for the sites"... Maybe my reading of "amount" as "number" and "options" as "the three default close reason slots" are too narrow. I think a slight nudge here could make it clearly separate to the other question. The first actual paragraph is what seems to make it ambiguous. – Catija May 20 '16 at 22:55

At this point, SE only allows second-level site-created close reasons to be grouped under the "off topic" reason. I agree that this can be very confusing to users who only see the text that claims that it's off topic... though, the specific reason text (with the exception of the fill-in-the-blank reason) appears immediately after that, so that should help a bit, if they keep reading.

Now, as to these site-created close reasons, the default limit is three but some sites can (and do) have more than that. Some of the moderators and many of the users may be unaware that it's possible to petition for an additional reason which must be "activated" by the CMs. It's not something that a mod can do on their own.

It's also the case that it requires that the site is able to show a pressing need for the additional reason/s... if there's not a high volume of questions closed with the existing three close reasons, it may be better for the site to swap out the reason rather than to add a fourth (or fifth).

As proof, see this image of the close reasons on Anime:

Anime close reasons

They quite clearly have four.

From what I understand, sites can have up to five custom ("off-topic") close reasons.

So, while this only half-addresses your concerns, it does show that it is actually possible to add to the close reasons, as long as you're OK with them being classified as "off-topic".

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    you are free to dupemark this question with the related one. – Luis Masuelli May 20 '16 at 21:41
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    It's not a duplicate question... this answer would never be appropriate on the other question. – Catija May 20 '16 at 21:41
  • I remember reading somewhere that it was limited to 3 off-topic reasons per site, but employees can add more if necessary. (I can't seem to find the quote) – angussidney May 21 '16 at 7:13
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    @angussidney that's what my answer says. – Catija May 21 '16 at 14:01

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