In my opinion, the "legal or company specific" close reason is being abused to close any question that touches at all on a company or legality - which really is most questions. Examples are

Soon-to-be-ex-employer trying to force me to disclose name of new employer

Found out I don't make overtime pay - would it be taboo to charge for hours over 40 without permission?

These are related to a given company - most Workplace questions are - and can potentially have legal escalation - again, most Workplace questions could - but the questions are general and do not require legal advice or in depth knowledge of a given company's policies to answer well; both have plenty of great answers about synthesizing approaches using communication, social skills, generic employment legal principles, and so on.

Why is this? How do we correctly scope those close reasons to fit the much more specific cases they are there for which are enumerated in What is asking for legal advice? (which might ought to be marked [faq])?

  • Possible Dupe. If not, surely a strongly related reading: workplace.meta.stackexchange.com/q/5441/73791
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 0:24
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? The Question-Close Police Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 3:15
  • 3
    this discussion has been had many times Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 3:15
  • I am asking more specifically about the company specific/legal close reason. Many of the site closes are legitimate so a question that just complains about closes in general doesn’t answer my concern.
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 3:37
  • 3
    "Why is this?" - because some users enjoy closing questions more than helping others find answers. The specific close reason doesn't seem to matter. Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 11:54
  • 2
    @Old_Lamplighter I do remember asking if it was possible to separate the RTC for Company Specific and Legal Advice a few years ago, since there was some confusion between the two Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 8:11

2 Answers 2


I think there’s a range of how people read questions that stretches from “The question asks this and that is what answers should limit themselves to” to “The question asks this, but I think they really want to know that”.

In your first example the question states:

Question: Should I just never update my LinkedIn profile for the next year or two (i.e. so my soon-to-be-ex-employer doesn't figure out where I'm going). This is stressing me out, and I don't have the money for a drawn-out legal battle.

A very literally-minded person would read that as someone asking for personal advice that is out of scope for a Stack Exchange site. Someone from the other end of the range might ignore that and see the question as asking “What can be done to prevent a vindictive ex-employer from contacting my new employer to cause trouble for me?” and interpret it as on-topic.

It’s a difference of opinion, not a matter of who is right and who is wrong, and as a very literally-minded person, I can tell you right now there is no change of wording of the guidelines or close reasons that will magically make folks like me interpret questions loosely enough to satisfy someone at the other end of the range. The only solution is to edit the question so it more clearly matches the on-topic intent of the author.

Community members also prioritize helping people asking questions and our mission to collaboratively create a reference of knowledge differently, which may make some of us more tolerant of interesting questions that aren’t exactly on-topic, and some of us more focused on keeping sort of off-topic questions from stealing resources from obviously on-topic questions.

It’s frustrating for everyone involved when people disagree on what is best for the site. Compromise is hard, especially when one side is focused on more abstract long term “good” and the other is focused on more tangible immediate “good”. We just have to focus on the fact almost all of us are trying to do “good”.

I don’t vote to close questions that seem off-topic to me, but which have already attracted answers with useful information. I know my tendencies toward literalness and try to remind myself that the goal here is to gather knowledge, not close questions. If an off-topic question elicits good objective answers from people who interpreted it differently from the way I did, then trying to impose my interpretation after the fact doesn’t seem constructive.

If a question is attracting the sort of answers that the close reasons are there to try to prevent, I feel obligated to vote to close, and I would hope that someone who might be leaning toward “on-topic” but can see it’s not clearcut, would support or not oppose closing the question with an eye toward bringing the question more clearly on-topic and reopening it.


I'd wish Stack Exchange stopped monkeying around close reasons.

There were 2 good close reasons, that were removed because some people misused them.

Too broad for quora-like questions, that could got a dozen of contradicting questions, and the OP could choose a random or the most amusing one.

Too localized when the answer was unlikely to benefit anyone except OP.

Yes, people misused them, but after removing them, there's no reasonable reason to close, so people choose random. 'Legal or company specific' is quite above and likely to be picked.

Which is a pity, because this reason is very weird for a site, where almost everything on topic is either legally regulated or company specific. Or both.

I think this close reason have terrible wording and should be removed, because all we need is 'too localized'. It's exactly what a legal advice is: an interpretation of legal regulations, matching one specific case. And that's what too localized is about.

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