New changes to the close reasons are all but imminent. Long story short, the following close reasons are going away:

  • not a real question
  • not constructive
  • too localized

The replacement reasons will be:

  • 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 exactly 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.

In addition, off-topic will now have sub-reasons to close. Each SE site will have three custom off-topic reasons, and it's best that we discuss these in advance in anticipation of the changes. See also the post on MSO for the changes from moderator perspective, but there are details that concern ordinary users too.

I think we can keep too localized in some form, it is a veritable close reason for Travel SE. Other suggestions? You can also include a summary of what the text of the reason could be. Keep it short and concise, if possible. Keep it to one close reason for post, so that they can be voted and commented on separately. Exact wording can be worked out later when we decide on which ones to use.

Edit: We can add all reasons that make sense for us, however only three of them will be available to choose from at any given time.

8 Answers 8



While questions about visas are on-topic, they are limited to travel visas (be it business travel or leisure). Any questions about immigrating to a country, or moving there for extended periods of time (e.g. for studies) is off-topic.

  • 2
    We should also somehow indicate that travel-related questions are okay, even if the reason for travel is immigration. Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 14:42

WANTA - we are not travel agents

Flight price searches, tour prices etc.

  • Some new users might misuse this to close questions about tips in buying tickets.... Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 14:47
  • 1
    They wouldn't have the rep to be able to vote for it.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 14:49


I wouldn't expect this reason to be used when a question is first asked, like most off-topic reasons would be (and I've argued on the main meta about it) but when a question applies to a specific time range, and doesn't continue to apply afterwards, it should be closed (but not deleted) to prevent new answers being added.

Examples include questions about going to Japan after the Fukushima disaster, questions about going to Turkey now, and so on. There is excellent content in there - links to government advisory sites that can be used any time about any country, tips for finding out how dangerous a place is, how to register with your consulate and so on - but at some point, new content shouldn't be added because the situation has ended.

If a situation recurs - a place that was having riots in 2012 finishes those but happens to have riots again in 2015 - you would want a new question for that. So it makes sense to me to close the 2012 one when the situation settled down. This doesn't hurt anyone - questions and answers can still be upvoted and I believe commenting is still possible for those with the rep - but it prevents non-answers being added to it over time, which would cause work for moderators.

  • Some people are still avoiding Fukushima prefecture. :( (Also, can you refer to it "Fukushima daiichi", not "Fukushima"?)
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 7:05
  • @AndrewGrimm - I've heard about Fukushima a LOT in the news and in conversation and this is the first time I've ever heard of it as Fukushima daiichi - which just means Fukushimi number one, right? Like Chernobyl was reactor number 4?
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 6:12
  • 1
    Also I think this is what I was trying to say when I talked about event based questions - I think Obsolete is a much better term.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 6:12

Impossible to answer for official reasons

For example, schengen visa rejection questions.. it is an official decision and we can not give any (other) answer for that.


Event-based question - it's similar to too-localized, but I feel that after a certain period of time, we should close questions like the Prague flooding one.

  • there are some events that take place every year - f1 races, festivals etc.
    – Dirty-flow
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 14:47
  • Maybe a "Orphan-Event-Based" question. Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 15:32
  • @Dirty-flow indeed, I just meant for the ones we want to close. Certainly questions about San Fermin festival or something should and could remain open.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 15:35

Too many questions in one

It's not something you see very often on stackoverflow, but on travel we regularly see people ask 3-6 questions in one post. I really do think a close vote to put them on hold until they choose one or separate them (with some flexibility) is a good idea.

Example (not to pick on the new guy intentionally, but...):

Transit visa question for Brazilian national transiting in US for 3 hours - 3 questions in one.

  • 1
    Isn´t that covered by "unclear what you’re asking?" Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 10:32
  • @ThomasS In theory, but there's not been much case of people using it to close in the past. Often it's the 'too broad' option which gets used instead.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 14:01
  • 1
    Either way, IMHO it certainly shouldn't go under "off topic". Commented Jul 7, 2013 at 15:25

Answer easily found on Google* - although we'd need to be aware some people are not good at using search engines

  • This was there before (or similar) as one of the built-in reasons for close votes, but it was removed for the same reason you mentioned Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 14:32
  • Yeah, I just wanted it in here with my comment about it so that people wouldn't suggest it willy-nilly :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 14:33
  • If the answer is easily found on google (at least now) i see no reason to post an answer here. This makes SE a better resource after all. Commented Jul 3, 2013 at 10:34
  • Google is not the only search engine. "Web search" or some other generic term is preferable to reinforcing NSA's biggest competitor.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 2:18

(mildly tongue-in-cheek) - Serial poor questioners - there've historically been a few users who will ask like 10 questions, one every couple of days, each time failing again to meet the requirements of the [faq] that they've been told about each time - like is it subjective, too broad, or the like.

(This was more of a rant, clearly we could just continue to close these questions as there are categories for subjective, too broad, or the like)

  • 3
    This is better addressed on a user level. There's no need to brand somebody for their past transgressions. There's a suspension specifically for this type of behaviour, which includes email from moderators. Their questions should continue to be closed as usual. Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 6:11

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