In private beta, before we had our own community-specific close reasons, the "vote-to-close" dialogue had a generic close reason for off-topic questions, which read something like "This question is not about programming language design or implementation, as defined in the help center." That reason is no longer available:

Screenshot of the vote-to-close dialogue

The generic close reason was useful for questions which are off-topic but otherwise well-formed enough that the other close reasons (needs details or clarity, needs focus, opinion-based) don't apply.

I'm not sure if it was removed by accident, in which case it could simply be restored as it was, or if we need to go through the full process to add it again.


1 Answer 1


This is now fixed: it turns out that adding a custom close reason disables the generic one, but I’ve added it back as a “custom” close reason under the name blatantly off-topic, which is the phrase used on some other SE sites.

It’s worth explicitly calling out the fact that this means one of our three custom close reason slots is allocated to this generic reason, so this may not be a great solution long term. But until/unless we can identify two more specific custom close reasons that justify their own existence, we have the slots to spare, so having the generic one doesn’t seem like it hurts.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Might I suggest a less aggressive text for the close reason? "Not about programing language design or implementation" sounds lot friendlyer than "blatantly off topic". The line of what is off topic is too blurry $\endgroup$
    – mousetail
    Commented Aug 17, 2023 at 18:52
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @mousetail That reason is only shown to close voters in the VTC menu, not anywhere else. And it should sound aggressive: it should only be used for questions that are blatantly off-topic. It is worded that way to discourage people from using it. $\endgroup$
    – Alexis King Mod
    Commented Aug 17, 2023 at 20:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .