As far as I see the "Blatantly off-topic" flag

Blatantly off-topic (this question has nothing to do with %site topic%)

is only available for low-rep users without the close vote privilege.

What is the reason to remove this option for high-rep users? I think it could be very usefull in some cases where now we must select

Other (add a comment explaining what is wrong)

option and waste time to type obvious message for a reason.

  • 3
    There's usually an equivilent off topic reason or three (in the case of server fault) on most sites. May 25, 2018 at 9:19
  • @JourneymanGeek which one? Could you please be more specific? I don't have enough rep on other sites to check these options. May 25, 2018 at 9:25
  • @alexolut you do, it's a canned off-topic reason also available when flagging for closure.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    May 25, 2018 at 9:25
  • 4
    Possible duplicate of No custom off topic message when flagging on SO
    – gnat
    May 25, 2018 at 9:27
  • 1
    i.stack.imgur.com/QQ4Rn.png - MOST of these are varients of blatently off topic, off SF . This is on SU i.stack.imgur.com/E9kol.png May 25, 2018 at 9:27
  • 1
    More rep means more responsibility. When you have spent enough time on site and gained privileges, you should be able to explain and clear why it is off-topic. That is why you can't select blatantly off-topic after gaining 3k. When you flag it goes to review where the burden rests on reviewers.
    – Nog Shine
    May 25, 2018 at 9:28
  • 4
    @NogShine I see no reason to explain in details if e.g. question about plants asked on the site about animals. Such question is blatantly off-topic. Lack of the mentioned option just eats my time to type a message. And often users choose another option as close reason just not to type obvious text message. May 25, 2018 at 9:44
  • 2
    in a perfect world flaggers would also be required to enter explanation of why they think it's a blatant off-topic. This flag is implemented without it probably for the reason of simplicity (avoid messing with under 50-rep flaggers who can't comment), because it is anyway expected to be further handled by close voters who will be forced to enter a reason
    – gnat
    May 25, 2018 at 9:47
  • I would add that using the wording 'blatantly' offtopic to display to the OP can lead to some users getting angry a bit more, like Journeyman Geek's told, there is some already ready, but better worded close reason for blatantly offtopic question available to 3k users IMO
    – yagmoth555
    May 25, 2018 at 13:28
  • 1

1 Answer 1


I don't think giving close voters this reason is a good idea.

People are lazy.

They already use reasons that don't make much sense (IMO) when it's not immediately clear which reason should be used.

If we give them a "catch all" reason, most would probably use that instead of bothering providing their own explanation of what's wrong, and this might also draw close votes that would've been better suited to some of the other reasons as well.

We don't really want questions to be closeable with a generic reason that doesn't really explain what's wrong, because that would be a terrible experience for anyone who asked their question in good faith.

This option was given to lower rep users because they had no (appropriate) way to flag such questions before. I wouldn't be able to tell you the exact reason for not giving them a similar free-text option, but I can speculate that it might be because:

  • This would circumvent being unable to comment (for some, at least, or there'd need to be another check to cater for this).
  • They may be more likely to use the wrong reason, which might become a bigger problem if there's also a reason they can use for every flag.
  • They may enter gibberish.
  • They may close-flag things that should've just been downvoted or mod-flagged instead.
  • They don't really need one. Flagging is only to get the question into review, where reviewers should easily be able to see (and explain) what's wrong.

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