The currently accepted answer by Catija reflects the currently preferred proposal.
Journeyman Geek, seemingly speaking for the Meta Stack Exchange mod team at the time, brought concerns about Meta SE's site-specific close reason forward, mainly focusing upon how the help center does not support what the close reason indicates. I wholeheartedly agree with what he says in that post.
Catija, a Community Manager, also agrees, but mentions that the whole process should be modernized. Each site-specific close reason now has five fields that can be used to ensure that information regarding the close reason is properly relayed to all users involved in the closure process (post author, close voters, and visiting readers).
For reference, the current version of the close reason only uses the following guidance:
This question's topic is only applicable to one specific site in the Stack Exchange Network. Questions on Meta Stack Exchange should relate to features or policies that commonly apply to the network or the software that drives it, within the guidelines defined in the help center. You should ask this question on the meta site where your concern originated.
While it's served us well, I feel like we should take advantage of all five fields available to us.
Catija says that we're free to do this for all of the custom close reasons for Meta SE, and each one should have its own meta discussion to allow the community to come to an agreement about how the fields should look. This post is to serve as discussion for modernizing this close reason so that it uses all of the fields available to a site's custom close reasons.
I'm going to be rehashing, in less words, the format for close reasons that Catija explained in her aforementioned answer. The fields available to us are limited to 500 characters with the exception of the first field, so keep that in mind when proposing/making changes!
The format is as follows:
- Brief description (100 characters) - Visible in the close/flag dialog in bold. Should be very succinct, only spanning a couple of words.
- Usage guidance - Tells close voters when to use the close reason. Ideally, this is descriptive enough to cover edge cases, and that detail should inspire confidence in close voters that this reason is the right choice under specified circumstances.
- Post notice close description - Visible to all users, the post notice description should follow the format "This question was closed because it is ... It is not currently accepting answers."
- Post owner guidance - Visible only to the post author, this should explain to the OP why their question was closed, and give detailed information on how to improve their post to get it reopened. Helpful links to the help center would be nice to include.
- Privileged user guidance - Visible to users with the cast close votes privilege in the post notice on a post closed with this close reason. This should inform close voters on how best to guide the asker in improving their question or inform them when the question should be reopened.
- If accepted, the changes made to the close reason will be applied retroactively to all questions currently closed with this close reason. Post notices will be updated across the board. This requires a CM editing the existing close reason.
- If the changes are major enough, we can choose to retire the current close reason and have two diamond moderators or staff with moderator privileges create a new close reason for our proposal. This should only be done if the changes are too major or we in general feel that the changes should not apply retroactively.
- For clarity, these changes only affect Meta SE's "site-specific" close reason. This does not apply across the network.
I'm going to provide an answer that fills these fields in, hopefully ensuring enough detail is provided. Others can vote on it, provide their own answers to discuss the proposed changes, or propose their own versions. If the changes you'd like to make only deal with minute wording/grammar tweaks, please just edit the post directly.
Once community consensus is reached, I'll accept the answer that best fits what the community wanted, and a moderator can add status-review to the post so a CM can edit the close reason's fields for us, unless we chose to retire the current close reason and replace it.