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
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 18:35
  • 1
    @Rubén they've just asked in a now deleted question why Electronics questions are asked on Stack Overflow.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 18:57
  • @Rubén I don't think Verilog questions are on-topic on Stack Overflow because it is not related to programming.
    – Anon
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 7:05
  • Have you reviewed the corresponding per-site Meta if there that tag was discussed?
    – Rubén
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 16:37
  • @Rubén meta.stackoverflow.com/q/354015/12311164 basically they deleted my Meta Stack Overflow posts, downvoted them and suspended me. I was hoping there would be a better way to deal with this situation. The idea is to spare Verilog questions and the like for the dedicated Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange site. This would also make moderation on Stack Overflow easier once the volume of questions get reduced due to these topics becoming off-topic.
    – Anon
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 16:53
  • 2
    @ShashankVM I was able to see your post there. It has questions... someone might argue that is rhetorical style. If you answer the question, you might post another answer using a rhetorical style closer to those used on the other answers, if you are looking for clarification, then instead post a new question. I suggest you to use a rhetorical style similar to the well received questions about the site scope.
    – Rubén
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 17:46

3 Answers 3


Yes. On some sites the scope / help docs might not be specific, could be obsolete or unclear, so the best is to ask on the corresponding per site meta any question that you might have about what is on-topic / off-topic. Please bear in mind that the site scope is enforced by the community members willing to do that including the diamond / elected moderators, if a Community Manager frequently should take actions in order to enforce the site scope, that might be a sign that the community health is not in good shape.


  • Since the question was already raised, I have left an answer, ensuring I was respectful in my answer. There is nothing more I can do. I have already tried the contact button at the bottom of the page.
    – Anon
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 17:05
  • 2
    What are you trying to say on your previous comment? P.S. That is incorrect, accordng to Users > Moderators this site has three "diamond" moderators, only one of them is also a moderator on SO, the other people that you might see having a diamond here and on SO they are staff.
    – Rubén
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 18:37

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?
    – Anon
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 17:51
  • 7
    @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 Mod
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 17:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .