With concerns about a question being closed as "too broad" in the back of my head, I tend to ask questions such as this one about metropolitan airport codes when I have a specific example of an airline, area, hotel etc. in mind; in that case I was primarily focused on the Bay Area. However, the helpful answer I got was also more generally applicable to other parts of the world. The question is still titled "Is there an IATA airport code for the Bay Area?", but it would seem to me to be to everyone's benefit for me to generalise it by removing specific references to the Bay Area and asking the question about everywhere in the world.

Is that a helpful and wise step, or would that violate the "too broad" policy? In this case, a broad answer would seem sensible (after all, the list linked to in the answer covers the whole world), and theoretically, one could otherwise end up with this question about every metropolitan area, with basically the same answer.

Note: I am specifically talking here about editing my own questions, not those asked by others. I am not sure if the answer would be the same, since others might have had different motivations behind the asking.

  • Ironically, just discovered this question itself has a duplicate! Jan 23, 2015 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


Generally no, it risks invalidating the answers on the question. If you broadened it, the answer specifically mentioning the bay airport would seem out of context.

In addition, one of the reasons for rejecting an edit is:

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which seems to agree with that. Questions can be touched up, improved, cleared, but changing the meaning (including generalising) is a no-no.

At least, that's how I read the rules. Someone else may disagree :D

  • OK, that makes sense. So in this case; given that a specific question has ended up with a general answer - any thoughts if there's anything I should "do"? I guess the flip-side is; we don't want 100s of questions with potentially the same answer. This might not be the best example of that, but all those Schengen transit visa Qs that keep getting closed as a dup... would we do the same here if someone asked a question about the metropolitan code for NY? Jan 23, 2015 at 16:07
  • Also, I don't think anyone has to approve my edits to my questions, right? ;) Jan 23, 2015 at 16:08
  • We could given the answer is the same, but some people don't like doing that. We could also do what we did for the schengen ones - create a generalised question for that very purpose, and mark all the others as dupes.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 23, 2015 at 16:08
  • 1
    @AndrewFerrier no, but the reasons still stand, and can be flagged if too radical ;)
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 23, 2015 at 16:09
  • OK. This may be a solution looking for a problem, so in this case I won't worry about it unless we get the same Q again. Just wanted to know what to do in future. Jan 23, 2015 at 16:09

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