A bug report I posted earlier today (Search fails to find matching issues) was just closed due to being "off-topic".

This is despite the fact that it is a very clear, easy to reproduce bug affecting a core feature of this site, for which I have outlined clear reproduction steps.

This bug affects search, and can potentially prevent users from finding questions that have already been asked. This will lead to an increase in the number of duplicate questions, which is a frustrating experience for the poster, and a waste of time for question reviewers.

So what exactly is it about this bug report that makes it off-topic? What justification is there for closing a bug report on an issue that affects core functionality of this site, and prevents users from finding questions that have already been asked?

  • 1
    You've asked this on Stack Overflow's Meta, where you'll likely get better answers. It doesn't really need to be on this site too. Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 23:04
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    @RobertLongson That's a cross-post, caused by the original closing on this site. As the original question has been reopened, that cross-post is now unnecessary. Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 23:10
  • @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog The cross-post has an upvoted answer, that really does make the unanswered question here the one to delete. Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 0:48

1 Answer 1


It happens because we get a lot of blatantly off-topic questions on this site from new users. I've chronicled several reasons as to why this might happen in that post, but the most common reason is that one follows a link to this site (e.g. from a help page), and doesn't realize that they've been directed to a different site before asking their question.

We tend to moderate those quickly, in part to reduce their visibility on the site. Unfortunately, sometimes, an on-topic question will mistakenly be lumped into the wrong category, for various reasons.

I've voted to reopen the question as it's on-topic. (Update: A Stack Exchange employee has reopened the question.)

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