One of the more popular suggestions from We're not a Q&A site. But what should be done about it? was to improve the wording of the close reasons or maybe change some of them altogether. We've been asked to flesh this out in a separate feature request so that SE can look into whether they'll make these changes for us.
So you don't have to follow the link above, here is the body of that proposal:
Mods can edit a few slots of custom off-topic reasons. However, the majority of close vote reasons are fixed and cannot be changed by us. While the names of the reasons largely make sense here, their descriptions don't:
- Duplicate: "This question already has an answer here:", "This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question."
- Unclear: "Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question."
- Too broad: "There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs."
- Primarily opinion based: "Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise." (This one in particular I don't think we need at all, because we've got that covered with lack of objective winning criterion.)
The notice boxes and tooltips on questions that are closed have similar problems. We also might want to think about whether there's a custom close reason that doesn't really fit under the "off-topic" banner.
So this post is here to discuss what close reasons we could really use and how they should be worded. There are of course several parts to this discussion, but it will be easier to keep everything in one place. Hence, I would suggest limiting answers to suggestions for one of the close reasons, so that the votes can more accurately show which suggestions have the community's support and which ones don't.
I assume that answers will fall into three categories:
- Suggestions for rewording one of the existing close reasons. This should include all the relevant texts (the explanation that is shown before selecting the close reason, any notices that are shown on answers that have been closed with this reason, as well as any potential tooltips.
- Suggestions for removing one of the reasons completely. This should only be done if we really have no use for it, because this will be a fairly permanent change.
- Suggestions for adding a new reason that cannot be covered as a custom off-topic reason. If we get any of these at all, it should be something very important that really doesn't make sense as "off-topic" and that won't need changing any time soon, because we'd have to get the devs involved to do so.