Currently we have two close reasons that are very similar, and seem to be being used interchangeably.

One of these is the standard StackExchange Too Broad close reason, the text of which is below:

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.

The other is a custom Off-Topic close reason, again below:

This question may invite speculative answers, as the question is not fully defined. The validity of some answers may be based upon opinion. Good questions for this site have a limited number of objectively correct answers. See also: Why are questions off-topic if they invite answers which are not demonstrably correct, or are otherwise speculative?

Do we need both of these close reasons? If the StackExchange too broad is sufficient, perhaps we could replace our custom reason with a new one. (Maybe Ongoing competition or Unattributed? That's another discussion though) If they're meant to be used in different ways, perhaps we can tweak the wording of our custom reason to make it clearer in which ways it differs from Too Broad?

For historical context, as I was researching this question I came across this previous question from January 2015. It has but one, mostly-upvoted answer suggesting a change, but I imagine our tastes may have changed since then.


1 Answer 1


I think we should work towards rewording the custom one to maybe fit the competition or unattributed close reasons because that's something very particular to our site compared to others. Perhaps: "This question appears to be from an ongoing competition or an external source with no credit to the original author. Good questions for this site are unique with specific answers, that are either your own or from a source that you give the entire credit to." Maybe putting in the "Why are questions off-topic" link in there as well.

That way we can keep using the POB or Too Broad reasons for puzzles that invite many speculative answers, e.g riddles that lack a uniqueness to prevent 5, 10 or more answers with all of those "Close but not it" responses.

As it stands right now, either of those reasons could be used for essentially the same thing. While I don't actually cast VTC votes, yet, when I do flag things for being opinion based, that's usually what I use, the POB flag.

  • $\begingroup$ Am I the only one who doesn't know what "POB" means? $\endgroup$
    – humn
    May 9, 2017 at 20:41
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    $\begingroup$ @humn it is short for Primarily Opinion Based - and it should be that or Too Broad, I'll edit it. The POB one is more common in Arqade, my mistake. $\endgroup$
    – n_plum
    May 9, 2017 at 20:45
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    $\begingroup$ Puzzles from ongoing competitions or with no attribution are both completely different issues from what's being discussed here. Mods can create up to 3 custom close reasons, or 5 (?) with the help of CMs, so it's not a question of removing the "speculative answers" close reason to make room for others - we should consider it on its own merits, independently of proposing any other close reasons. $\endgroup$ May 10, 2017 at 0:05
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor I was addressing Sconibulus' point about those close reasons. I wasn't aware many more can be made. That being said, I still think the current custom one doesn't differ from the too broad one warranting its need. $\endgroup$
    – n_plum
    May 10, 2017 at 0:13
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    $\begingroup$ @n_palum Removing this close reason is an idea that's been tossed around a bit on meta, but people have, in the past, seemed kind of lukewarm on it. But hey, opinions change over time :] $\endgroup$
    – user20
    May 10, 2017 at 2:34
  • $\begingroup$ I think a decision should be made of some kind, considering time has passed since then :) Whether or not we need to modify this custom one or add new ones. But that's a new topic $\endgroup$
    – n_plum
    May 10, 2017 at 2:36

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