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What questions should be closed with reason “too localized”?

Too localized:

This question would only be relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet.

So when would you use that? Can someone show an example (*i.e provide a link)?

I think that perhaps "Too localized" should be reworded to "Too narrow", the description text simply:

This question is of interest to only the asker and is likely not of interest to many other people on the www.

That said, I'm not entirely sure "too localized" should be listed as a close reason, and instead should be grouped together with "not a real question",

"Not a real question" could then be "Not a real good question", since that is basically what it is. Its meaner, but call a spade a spade, I always say.

  • 1
    Well, perhaps when it's a locale problem with en_MARS. Otherwise, I agree it should be changes to 'too narrow' - I don't see how geography is relevant (unless this is leakage from a different SE site)
    – Phil Lello
    Apr 29, 2011 at 23:53

2 Answers 2


already answered here.

Remove “Generally Applicable” Part of “Too Localized” Rationale for Closing Questions

So let's consider each one.

  1. Small geographic area

    Are there any user group meetings in Peoria, IL?

  2. Specific moment in time

    When will Visual Studio 2010 be released?

  3. Extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet

    We use this in-house tool WELBOG.EXE to generate faxes from XML via regular expressions. What does the -LASERS option do?


I can think of some examples of questions that could be closed as too localized.

  • Questions about a feature implemented in a software module that doesn't work because a bug
  • Questions about the meaning of a phrase that is used only in a restricted area
  • Questions about the day an OS release will be made public
  • Questions about the average pay of a developer

Such questions are relevant in a specific moment of time, or in a specific place.
A bug in a module can be fixed the day after, and the question would not be relevant anymore; the same is true about the release date of an operating system. A bug could also depend from other software used, and be not reproducible from other users.

Replacing the "too localized" closing reason with one that is described as "the question is of interest to only the asker," or "not a real good question" would mean to adopt a closing reason that is more subjective than the existing one.
How do you know when a question interest only the OP, or any other users in the same situation? How do you quantify a good question? How can you be sure that every user who votes to close a question as not a good question quantify a good question in the same way?

Maybe the "too localized" closing reason is less used, but I think there are cases where it is the one that better suits some cases.

  • I disagree with all your examples. If I have a problem with Firefox, and it turns out to be due to a bug in version 4.2 solved in 4.21 solves, it's still a useful question: it applies to everyone still running 4.2. Surely I can ask about Cockney slang or NZ idioms on English.SE (a phrase only used by members of a particular club, now that I'd agree with). The OS release day is borderline, should ideally be answered with “here's the official channel where release dates are announced”. The average pay of a developer in Montreal is officially ok. Apr 30, 2011 at 13:00
  • @Gilles SE sites are visited by people living in very different places in the world. If I would ask the average pay of a developer, I would probably be interested in my local area; apart that, I would get a different answer basing on where the answerer lives: it is easy I would even get a different answer basing on the town who answers lives in. If you are asking about a bug knowing that is a bug, then I would call the question too localized. A bug depends from the version of the software used, but also from other software; it could be the bug is not reproducible from other users.
    – apaderno
    Apr 30, 2011 at 13:25
  • I've already cited Joel on the developer pay. “My application calls the frob function of libfoo, but this function is buggy in libfoo 1.42a: <explanation of bug>. How do I make my application cope with libfoo 1.42a?” is a perfectly legitimate question for SO. Apr 30, 2011 at 13:39
  • That probably depends from the development cycle. With Drupal, the bug can be fixed the day after the report. If somebody is using version 6.x-1.0 of a module, which has a bug, the answer that s/he could get are possibly two: "that version is obsolete; use version 6.x-1.1, which already fixed that bug," or "report the bug on Drupal.org."
    – apaderno
    Jun 9, 2011 at 11:46

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