I've asked a couple of questions that turned out to be entirely based on my misunderstanding of certain facts (and made no sense in reality) (basically of the form "Why did X happen even though ?Y", when Y is actually not true).

The misunderstanding was quickly resolved in the comments, and I realized the questions were unanswerable, because they were based on false presumptions. Should we create a new close reason for questions like these?

  • 2
    For me it seems to come under "Needs details and clarity". Is that close reason not available on the site you're referring to?
    – W.O.
    Jul 2 at 4:29
  • 3
    What's wrong with the current reason for that situation: i.stack.imgur.com/oyTYf.jpg ?
    – Rob
    Jul 2 at 4:31
  • 2
    @Rob That's not an option on some sites: e.g. Law.
    – Someone
    Jul 2 at 4:36
  • @JiminyCricket. That could apply, but no amount of details or clarity will fix a question fundamentally based on a false premise.
    – Someone
    Jul 2 at 4:36
  • Yet, that's how the comments help guide the OP to reassess their premise. In the case of any question requiring additional work, most aren't going to get it unless the OP takes-in what the comments say - as you point-out in the question.
    – W.O.
    Jul 2 at 4:44
  • An example question that would be closed for this reason is "How can states pass total abortion bans while complying with Roe vs. Wade?" There is no answer to that question; Roe vs. Wade is no longer law, so the scenario in question is not occurring. The question lacks no details or clarity; it's simply asking about something that is not true.
    – Someone
    Jul 2 at 4:45
  • 6
    The crux of the "no repro" close reason is that "this question was resolved in a way less likely to help future readers". IMHO, that option ought to be available on all sites (and I miss it on those sites where it's not available).
    – PM 2Ring
    Jul 2 at 4:47
  • A programming-related example might be "Why are Python lists immutable?"
    – Someone
    Jul 2 at 5:27
  • 4
    Aren't questions about misunderstandings not a perfect match to get an answer that clarifies the misunderstanding? If you, as a reasonable clever person, falls for this misinterpretation, others might as well. The next googler will find your question about X and Y and subsequently finds a perfect answer. Alternatively they only find a closed question and then go to reddit to complain about stupid close vote rules on SO and get their answer there.
    – rene
    Jul 2 at 6:33
  • 1
    I agree with @rene. Or even self-answer the question and explain where you went wrong. (Here's one of mine.) Jul 2 at 9:23
  • Someone, rather than replying in a comment you would want to edit your question. As the answer below explains, if not one way there's another; the comment, flag, delete, custom reason, option, which are available.
    – Rob
    Jul 2 at 10:05
  • When we get one of those (Roe Vs Wade - obsolete/misunderstanding type) on Worldbuilding, we'd edit the tags to add reality-check. It then becomes a perfectly valid question, with the answer being the obvious that it's no longer current (the topics on Wb are obviously different). Isn't there a corresponding suitable current-law/applicable-law check tag? Maybe there should be, posting on law-meta for a proposal to the community... suggestion.
    – W.O.
    Jul 2 at 12:01
  • 2
    @PM2Ring The statement "While similar questions may be on-topic here, this one was resolved in a way less likely to help future readers." in the typo/no-repo close reason is not intended to be evaluated separately. It is intended as a modifier to the "Not reproducible or was caused by a typo" statement. In other words, that close reason is intended as "The issue in this question was either A) not reproducible or B) was caused by a typo and was C) resolved in a way less likely to help future readers." So, it's intended to be (A || B) && C. It's not intended as A || B || C.
    – Makyen
    Jul 2 at 20:45
  • @Makyen Understood. However, there's not much value in keeping a question if future readers with the same or similar question are highly unlikely to find this question while searching. OTOH, (as rene indicates) some kinds of misunderstandings / typos etc are fairly common, and deserve proper answers. But it may be necessary to add appropriate keywords to the answer, or to the title or the question itself, to make it more searchable.
    – PM 2Ring
    Jul 2 at 21:04
  • 2
    @Someone if that's the answer, then post it as the answer. Maybe someone else will search google for the same question and will get an answer. You can most definitely correct the premise of a question in the answer.
    – Esther
    Jul 4 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


Communities where such situations often happen can choose to add it as a custom off-topic reason. Two examples from Stack Overflow:

Needs debugging details

The question should be updated to include desired behavior, a specific problem or error, and the shortest code necessary to reproduce the problem.

Not reproducible or was caused by a typo

While similar questions may be on-topic here, this one was resolved in a way less likely to help future readers.

Where that doesn't exist (because situations are not that frequent), one can always choose a custom off-topic reason:

enter image description here

(if you have enough reputation to vote to close; otherwise it's probably best to flag as 'blatantly off-topic' and leave a comment, which amounts to the same; while the 'blatantly' part is not technically applicable, nobody will see that stamp on the question, not even the author)

The list with (five) top-level close reasons, and on some sites the list with community-specific ones is quite long; users with smaller phones have to scroll to see them completely. (The Stack Overflow one even barely fits my iPhone 11...) IMHO there's not enough room to warrant another close reason which will be rarely used on most communities.

  • Isn't it custom "closure" reason? Jul 2 at 6:55
  • 3
    Yes, both. The top level reasons are close reasons, the next level (under 'Community-specific') are close-as-off-topic reasons.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jul 2 at 6:57

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