So, we have a new earnest poster who seems to think this site is a forum. They've had several questions closed, including this one (well, it will be soon). I'd like to close their questions with helpful VTC messages but I'm not sure what the best way to do that is. Generally, I'd prefer 'Unclear' over all others if it's applicable, but in these cases it's typically not. Instead the questions are usually both too broad, primarily opinion based, and off topic as idea solicitation (which we should maybe add to our custom VTC list). Obviously I would most prefer to VTC for the custom close reason, but since that is not currently a viable VTC option if the message to be displayed is of concern would 'Too broad' or 'Opinion based' be more likely to be helpful to this user and how can I tell?


1 Answer 1


For this particular one, I voted "primarily-opinion based". The reasoning is that this cuts most closely to the core problem: they want opinions.

It is too broad, but closing it as such might just get them to try to be more specific about what opinions they want, which won't result in reopening and may confuse them as a result.

As a heuristic, I try to imagine their response to each fitting close reason while assuming they won't change their underlying problem/desire (as that is the path of least resistance, something our system tries to leverage for Good). Then I pick whichever one most closely matches why their desired help is not what we do here, to cut right to the quick of the issue with their question.

Maybe they'll change their tack, and that's fine. The sooner an immovable object obstructs their core desire, the sooner they're likely to make a useful change in tack. We want the path of least resistance to be either for them to make their question fit our site, or to just abandon their question if that's not going to happen.


You must log in to answer this question.

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