8

Closing changes: on hold, unclear, too broad, opinion-based, off-topic reasons, bye-bye to Too Localized

The powers that be have decided to play with the way closures now work.

Most notably:

  • The [On Hold] period for 5 days before becoming [Closed].

  • Too Localized has been dumped in favour of three 'more specific' closure reasons.

  • "Each site will have a list of its own specific pre-selected “Off-Topic” reasons"

I would like to draw the communities attention to point 3. Supposedly the mods will be able to create tailored off-topic closure reasons to the community.

From what I can gather of the way it works, presumably we would prefer to keep a short list of reasons, 2-3, with friendly, well designed explanations with easy to understand titles.

Mods can then choose which to implement at their discretion.

So taking this into consideration, any suggestions for closure reasons, with good text, should be supplied in an individual answer (and be wiki'd to allow everyone to contribute), to allow voting on to help us show the mods which we think would be best implemented.

For reference, here is the current off-topic list in the help center:

  • "I need advice on...", "What should I do?", or "Which job should I take?"
  • "Is it legal..."
  • "Please review my resume/CV"
  • "How do I learn to be a..." / "How do I perform the job of a ..."
  • "What salary/hourly rate should I look for? How much should I charge for X?"

Here are the current default close reasons for all sites (we cannot remove these, only create a list of specific off-topic items, so any that we add should minimize overlap or confusion with the other standard options):

Current Close Options

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  • 1
    Part of me really feels like a "More like a rant then a question" would be very suitable but not practical. – Michael Grubey Jun 13 '13 at 13:31
  • 1
    @jcmeloni im both grateful for your edit and amazed at your ability to access the now non-existent FAQ! – Rhys Jun 13 '13 at 14:10
  • @RhysW it's not that impressive... /faq still redirects :) – jcmeloni Jun 13 '13 at 14:11
  • @jcmeloni redirects me straight to /help – Rhys Jun 13 '13 at 14:12
  • @RhysW Well sure, but it's only a click from there, is what I meant. I was basically trying to be self-deprecating. :) – jcmeloni Jun 13 '13 at 14:16
  • 1
    This might be helpful - meta.workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/1811/new-users-guide – enderland Jun 13 '13 at 14:19
  • @jcmeloni haha i must just be totally incompetent i cant even find it anymore, ill trust your judgement though! Thanks – Rhys Jun 13 '13 at 14:30
9

Also, something like

"What should I do? This site cannot decide how you should live your professional life. Questions like this should be rephrased to focus to ask about the factors influencing the decision or the practical problem, rather than simply asking what to do in a situation."

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  • +1: Definitely. – Jim G. Jun 13 '13 at 19:55
  • I like the idea of this, however I'm not fond of the current wording. I can't think of a better alternative right now, but I think it should include the "why" somewhere instead of just saying "no we won't help you with your specific problem" – Rachel Jun 19 '13 at 1:32
7

I was thinking one of them along the lines of

finger-pointing

This question focuses on specific issues with personality traits of coworker(s) or policies of a company. In order to be useful to future readers, questions should focus on the general situation and avoid placing blame or finger-pointing.

The meaning of this closure would be to stem or stop the questions we get which are personal attacks on coworkers in a destructive, or at least non-constructive, manner.

For example this could retroactively apply to questions of this ilk:

  • I think the "primarily opinion-based" close reason (the replacement to "not constructive") may be a bit more suitable for such questions than a custom "off topic" one. – yannis Jun 17 '13 at 20:42
  • 1
    "primarily opinion-based" refers to the type of answers that one will receive, not the question. For instance, "What is the best way to split compensation between salary, benefits, and stock options?" is "primarily opinion-based", while "My boss is an idiot, how can I get him fired?" is an Agony Aunt question where the issue is the question itself rather than the assumed direction of the answers. – jmac Jun 18 '13 at 1:43
  • 1
    I updated the wording to be a wee bit more diplomatic. – jmac Jun 18 '13 at 2:14
2

Another off-topic tag I feel we benefit from would be related to using against these Legal questions we get. (Don't get me wrong, as Chad has pointed out to me many times, some questions have a legal section to them, but isn't focused solely on legal advice)

And I agree with him, but there are some questions we get which are blatant attempts to get legal advice and legal advice only. For these questions i suggest this closure:

'Legal Advice'

'This question is seeking a legal answer that does not fall within the realm of a HR professional's expected knowledge base. Try to rephrase the question to remove the legality issues from it. Otherwise, we suggest you consult a lawyer.'

This then covers two purposes. For those questions that can have the legality implications removed and still be a valid question then we suggest they do so. Otherwise, if the legality cannot be removed, we suggest they consult a lawyer (which still provides constructive help)

This could apply to answers such as:

See this Meta question where Legality questions are further discussed

  • 2
    I don't want this tag. We have quite a few questions where the answer to the question is, "talk to a lawywer" and I honestly don't want to have to deal with the mess of "LEGAL QUESTION CLOSE" we already get, when most of them are not actually legal questions. – enderland Jun 15 '13 at 18:56
  • I agree that we need something for questions that should be asked to a Lawyer, however I don't like this phrasing. Legal questions can be on-topic if they are the sort of question a HR professional could be expected to know, and I think this phrasing is too broad and would encourage users to close any question that has the word "legal" in it. Legal questions are only off-topic if they are completely out of the realm of HR professionals, and need to be asked to a lawyer instead. Also as Enderland said, sometimes a valid question does have a valid answer of "talk to a lawyer", and these are OK. – Rachel Jun 16 '13 at 16:01
  • 2
    Maybe something like "This question is seeking a legal answer that does not fall within the realm of an HR professional's expected knowledge base. Try to rephrase the question to remove the legality issues from it. Otherwise, we suggest you consult a lawyer." – Rachel Jun 16 '13 at 16:14
  • @Rachel that seems like much better wording than i came up with. Will edit that in. – Rhys Jun 17 '13 at 8:57
  • Everything we do has legal implications. Asking about them is not the problem. The problem is questions like am I safe if I do X? But they can easily be reworded to what are the implications of doing x? Unless the question is I am actively being sued, am sueing, or expect that i will be in the near future it is not really a legal question. How can I do X to avoid complications(like being sued) is on topic. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jun 17 '13 at 16:27
  • How about, "This question is primarily seeking specific legal advice that does not fall within the realm of an HR professional's expected knowledge base. Asking 'Is X legal?' can be rephrased as, 'What are the consequences of doing X?' to get better feedback beyond 'Consult an attorney.'" – jmac Jun 18 '13 at 1:40
2

Shopping/Product Review - "The question currently appears to be asking for a review of a product or recommendation for a product."

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  • Already covered by 'primarily opinion-based'. – Jim G. Jun 26 '13 at 19:29
  • I think this is different than a question asking for opinions about a problem. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jun 26 '13 at 19:46
  • Product Reviews are always opinion-based. – Jim G. Jun 26 '13 at 20:12
  • I can provide you with an objective product review based on facts and measurements. It is still off topic. The same is true with list questions. All of the answers can be right and objectively so. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jun 26 '13 at 20:14
  • Have you ever read 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance'? The compilation of objective facts and measurements would be filtered by whatever the reviewer thought was important. Whatever the reviewer thinks is important is... Wait for it... Subjective and Opinion based! – Jim G. Jun 26 '13 at 20:40
  • @JimG and Chad, it looks like there are only 3 available slots for off-topic close reasons, which does limit our choices. I like these more specific ideas though, as we could import them as custom comments in the AutoReviewComments - Pro-forma comments for SE userscript. They're imported as markdown, so we could post them in an answer in a single post. More specific comments are generally more helpful than generic ones that leave users guessing, but the generic ones will make it easier to categorize. – jmort253 Jun 27 '13 at 3:24
  • @jmort253: More specific comments are generally more helpful than generic ones that leave users guessing... - 100% correct. And with that being the case, I like Chad's ideas. – Jim G. Jun 27 '13 at 6:05
2

Requesting a List of Answers - "This question currently appears to be requesting our users to post a list of potential answers. This type of question does not work well with the SE Format where we seek to find the ONE right answer. Consider revising the question to focus on a seeking a single solution rather than a list of possibilities.

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  • -1: Already covered by 'primarily opinion-based'. – Jim G. Jun 26 '13 at 19:29
2

Here is a combined list of what our list would look like


duplicate

This question has been asked before and already has an answer

// Our Off-Topic Reasons Go Here

what should i do?

This site cannot decide how you should live your professional life. Questions like this should be rephrased to ask about the factors influencing the decision or the practical problem, rather than simply asking what to do in the situation.

finger pointing

This question focuses on specific issues with personality traits of coworker(s) or policies of a company. In order to be useful to future readers, questions should focus on the general situation and avoid placing blame or finger-pointing.

legal advice

This question is seeking a legal answer that does not fall within the realm of a HR professional's expected knowledge base. Try to rephrase the question to remove the legality issues from it. Otherwise, we suggest you consult a lawyer.

unclear what you're asking

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 what you're asking.

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.

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  • 1
    One modification to this : "agony aunt" should just be called "rant or attack". It is a 'funny' term that in itself requires additional explanation, especially to non-native English spaekers – user8036 Jun 27 '13 at 11:53
  • @JanDoggen just so you know, when it says "community wiki" it means you can edit it yourself to change it! For now I adjusted it to match the text in this answer – jmac Jun 28 '13 at 3:55
-3

We are going to want "Too Localized" in some form.

Perhaps, "Too localized, this question is so narrow in scope that it will be applicable only to the asker and of no value to future users. Try to focus on the generic problem with less focus on the details which apply to your situation."

  • how about "Scope->Narrow"? – acolyte Jun 13 '13 at 18:14
  • I'm not sure using the same wording we're trying to eliminate would be productive. The too localized close reason is the most widely misunderstood and misapplied. What's more, details are actually pretty important to asking questions about real, actual problems. Real problems have details. To quote a recent visitor to our site: "everyone can google generic HR BS. people need something that applies to their specific field.". – jmort253 Jun 14 '13 at 4:47
  • Most "too localized" questions I see on here (that don't misuse the too-localized close reason) can easily be tweaked a bit and get extremely useful answers that detail what you should consider, and how it affects the answer. I very rarely see questions that only ever help the OP on the site, and fully agree with getting rid of this close reason in favor of something like a "What should I do?" close reason. – Rachel Jun 16 '13 at 16:07

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