Some sites prohibit 'personal advice' questions:

  • Mathematics:

    Questions about choosing a course, academic program, career path, etc. are off-topic. Such questions should be directed to those employed by the institution in question, or other qualified individuals who know your specific circumstances.

  • Biology:

    Personal medical questions and health advice are off-topic on Biology. We cannot safely answer questions for your specific situation and you should always consult a doctor for medical advice.

  • Medical Sciences:

    Questions requesting personal medical advice are off-topic here. Nobody here can properly address your health issues. Such questions should be taken to your personal physician who can examine you and access your full medical records. For more information, please see this meta post.

  • Hinduism:

    Personal advice questions are considered off-topic here. See the related meta post for details.


Every SE site's tour contains the text

Focus on questions about an actual problem you have faced.

I feel like this could confuse new users and give them the idea that such questions are indeed on-topic. It also creates a bit of a contradiction:

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IMO, it's a little misleading to give the implication that we can ask about "an actual problem" we're facing, but also say that personal advice is off-topic.


Turns out, mods can't edit that 'Focus on questions..." text. (Though the MSE tour has its own different message.)

Can mods have the ability to edit/remove that part?


The question "Can the tour page be reformed and can moderators be allowed to fine-tune it?" doesn't have my specific suggestion, but it does ask for more editing-ability there. Nous avons ici un autre exemple de too much boilerplate.

  • 5
    This also feels kinda relevant to the exchange we had in the ELU Meta comments. I don't know about you, but etymology (for example) isn't actually an "actual problem [I'm] facing" but rather something I find enjoyable to know about. I think many sites have questions like that. The entire sentence could just be removed from the Tour.
    – Laurel
    Sep 9, 2023 at 17:01
  • 2
    Code Review has similar issues. If the code has actual problems (not working), it's not ready for review.
    – Mast
    Sep 9, 2023 at 17:35
  • 4
    At roleplaying games we have a huge library of “history of gaming” and other “trivia” type questions that have nothing to do with any “actual problem” at the table of play. Sometimes the “actual problem” is just that you want to know something, but I think that’s a different sort of thing than the tour is asking for when it says “actual problem”. Sep 9, 2023 at 18:16
  • 4
    For Stack Overflow, XY problems come up a lot, where users don't really ask about their actual problem X, and instead ask only about their assumed solution Y, which turns out to be a poor approach to Y. It's often difficult to get askers to explain their actual problem, or even ask an explicit question at all.
    – ggorlen
    Sep 10, 2023 at 1:37


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