Without mentioning the Stack Exchange site, can a site's community allow questions that are off-topic according to the help-center of that site?

Or is there anything that enforces what is on-topic based on the help-center?

(By off-topic I mean not even related to that which is on-topic.)

  • 1
    Is this hypothetical? Are you planning to post blatantly off-topic questions on a specific site? Have you found blatantly off-topic questions on a SE site? – Rubén Apr 4 at 18:35
  • @Rubén they've just asked in a now deleted question why Electronics questions are asked on Stack Overflow. – Glorfindel Apr 4 at 18:57
  • @Glorfindel Thanks :) – Rubén Apr 4 at 19:26

Yes. Some sites don't even specify what's on-topic and what not. In the end, all that matters is that there are users willing to vote to close the question; if it's 'slightly' off-topic but interesting enough, a question might stay open.

(By off-topic I mean not even related to that which is on-topic.)

That's unlikely to happen and usually a sign that 1) the site doesn't have enough active moderation (by ♦ moderators and high-level users) or 2) you have a different interpretation of what's mentioned in the Help Center than the community.


Yes. Site scopes can change, or the help page can be unclear. The community decides what is on- and off-topic, and enforces such (sometimes with the help of moderators).

If you do notice things like this, bring it up at the site-specific meta, and suggest a clarification of the help/on-topic is in order.

  • Site scope can change, so Stack Overflow Inc. can't enforce that which is on-topic? – Shashank V M Apr 4 at 17:51
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    @ShashankVM Of course they can. If users decided to turn this site into one where only questions about trolling effectively were on-topic, I'm sure the company would step in. – Tinkeringbell Apr 4 at 17:55

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