This question is partly inspired by this question. The difference is that this question doesn't care about "how" to create a good custom close reason. This question is to identify the good, already-in-use custom close reasons.

Part of the reason to collect these custom close reasons is captured in this question. That question beseeches our kindly SE overlords for additional off-topic custom close reasons. Regrettably, the more than reasonable response boiled down to "demonstrate which ones are being commonly used."

But we end up with a chicken-and-egg problem because using variants with similar phrasing makes it difficult to search for them and generate usage metrics.

And this question demonstrates that others in the community see a need for additional custom close reasons.

So this question has a two-fold purpose:

  1. Identify and assemble the in-use custom close reasons
  2. Provide a repository so others can re-use these close reasons and provide consistency in close reason messages.
  • 2
    Please edit the existing answer to wordsmith the close reason. Likewise, please edit the existing answer to add additional custom close reasons that are in use.
    – user53019
    Dec 21, 2013 at 19:54
  • 1
    This question doesn't need multiple answers as that tends to devolve into a polling question or popularity contest. Not that popularity contests are bad, it's just not necessary in this case. Oh, and polling questions don't meet the StackExchange Q&A format anyway.
    – user53019
    Dec 21, 2013 at 19:55

1 Answer 1



This question appears to be off-topic because it is a poll based question. Multiple answers could address this question equally well, which makes it a poor fit the for StackExchange Q&A format.

Guessing Game
(hat tip to gnat and Robert Harvey)

This question appears to be off-topic because it is a "name that thing" question. "Name that thing" are bad questions for the same reasons that "identify this obscure TV show, film or book by its characters or story" are bad questions: you can't Google them, they aren't practical in any way, they don't help anyone else, and allowing them opens the door for the asking of other types of marginal questions. See http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2012/02/lets-play-the-guessing-game/

Minimal understanding (aka WT? are you asking?)
(hat tip to Jim G.)

This question appears to be off-topic because it doesn't demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved.

Should be on SO but doesn't meet their requirements
(hat tip to MichaelT)

This question is off topic on Programmers. It would best be asked on Stack Overflow, however, the question doesn't meet their minimum requirements. Please read the [Stack Overflow question checklist](https://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/260648/stack-overflow-question-checklist) and [edit] your question to make it suitable for migration.

Should have been on SO, but too old to migrate
(hat tip to gnat & MichaelT)

This question appears to be off-topic because it is [about] programming tools - it might belong to Stack Overflow, but is too old to migrate.

Should be on SO and already is (aka cross-posted)
(hat tip to ChrisF)

This question appears to be off-topic because it is about an implementation issue but it has already been asked via cross-post on Stack Overflow.

Legal question

This question appears to be off-topic because it is about legal matters outside of the community's experience and is best answered by an attorney with expertise in your jurisdiction.

Blatantly off-topic

This question appears to be off-topic because the main problem does not involve any of the topics outlined in the [help/on-topic]

[help/on-topic] links to https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic and rendered as "help center"

  • 1
    "hat tip to gnat" - for the sake of precision, I based this on wording taken from Robert. His "source" MSO post is here but if memory serves, I copied it from comments he posted at Programmers earlier than that
    – gnat
    Dec 21, 2013 at 21:20
  • 1
    @gnat - I searched against "name that thing" which is why Robert's "name this thing" close votes didn't show up.
    – user53019
    Dec 21, 2013 at 21:48
  • I would not put "legal question" generally on the list. PSE does a very good job to help people getting some kind of legal information within the communities experience - at least the information that one must ask a lawyer for a specific topic can be helpful, either.
    – Doc Brown
    Dec 30, 2013 at 15:33
  • @DocBrown - the "legal question" category is for the inanely specific questions where you're shaking your head and saying "call a lawyer already." It's not intended for the more general licensing, copyright, or patent type questions that come up as well. The key phrase is "outside of the community's experience." I'm open to revising the existing phrasing to make things more clear if you have some suggestions. In full disclosure, I currently have a tag score of 135 with licensing. :-)
    – user53019
    Dec 30, 2013 at 19:58
  • 2
    @DocBrown - I didn't have to wait long. Here's a prime example for the OT-Legal custom close reason.
    – user53019
    Dec 31, 2013 at 12:56
  • Don't get me wrong, I fully agree that legal questions of that kind should be closed - but when naming a closing category just "Legal Question", you encourage people to close every legal question. I suggest you try to choose a name which reflects better the category of legal questions you think we should close. I thought about your term "legal question outside of the community's experience", but I guess that's still too imprecise
    – Doc Brown
    Jan 1, 2014 at 3:32

You must log in to answer this question.