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I see a lot of questions being marked as off-topic for various reasons. Should more focus not be placed on helping these people to get their question trimmed to bring it under the guidelines of the website?

In my opinion, close votes should be used as a last resort, if multiple attempts to bring the questions on-topic do not work.

This will also help increase the number of questions asked per day without any decrease in quality.

More importantly, this would reduce any discouragement new people face when their questions are put on-hold etc.

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    Well, often when I close a question as off-topic, I'll make a suggestion like "if you want to change your question in this way, that would be more acceptable". But I don't think close votes should be necessary a last resort; leaving the question open would leave the possibility that people will give answers to the question while the question is still problematic. So the question should be closed first and then we can help the person convert their question from off-topic to on-topic and then reopen it. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 28 '16 at 21:39
  • Now if a question is a borderline case where even in it's current state it's almost fine, then yes, I would try to advise the person to make changes and only use close votes as a last resort. But if it's a case where a question will only be fine after it's edited, then it's better to close first and then give the person an opportunity to have it reopened. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 28 '16 at 21:42
  • @KeshavSrinivasan: After its closed, there are very less precentage of cases where it would be reopened. I am speculating here, but I am sure your experience on the site would agree to this? Also, is it not better to first mention in comments why their question is off-topic and, more importantly, what edits they can make on their own to bring it in sync with the website guidelines? – Amit Saxena Apr 28 '16 at 22:20
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    Well, I agree it's a good idea to provide guidance on how to edit the question to bring it in sync with the guidelines of the site, but in some cases it's better to close the question first and then provide the provide guidance, to avoid having answers while the question is in a problematic state. In any case, usually when a user makes the appropriate changes, I promptly reopen the question. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 28 '16 at 22:57
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    well said....... – Mr_Green May 4 '16 at 9:06
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It is necessary to hold the off-topic questions to stop getting (further) answer to such question because there is also chance of undesired post as an answer since the question is off-topic.

Though, the question that is closed as off-topic clearly say the following line:

"This question does not appear to be about Hindu religion, within the scope defined in the help center."

Also:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


From closed-questions:

Questions that need additional work or that are not a good fit for this site may be put on hold by experienced community members. While questions are on hold, they cannot be answered, but can be edited to make them eligible for reopening.

Questions that are edited within five days of being put on hold are automatically added to a reopening queue for community review. Questions that are not reopened within five days will change from [on hold] to [closed].


In addition to this we've also : What if I disagree with the closure of a question? How can I reopen it?:


Thus, the off-topic questions are initially put on [hold] instead of directly [close]ing it which is a feature dedicated for improvement of it and we've also defined specific off-topic reasons which makes clear to questioner.

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    Very nicely written. – Ankit Sharma Apr 29 '16 at 6:45
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I see a lot of questions being marked as off-topic for various reasons. Should more focus not be placed on helping these people to get their question trimmed to bring it under the guidelines of the website?

Ideally, we should be educating new users than fixing their questions for them. It is the OP's responsibility to ask or answer a question that conforms to site rules. So I usually point them to the list of our FAQs or to a more specific one like this. A determined user will often work with moderators and other users to have his/her question reopened so it can be answered.

In my opinion, close votes should be used as a last resort, if multiple attempts to bring the questions on-topic do not work.

Close votes are just another way to flag problematic questions. And even if a question does get closed by mods or by voting, it's not the end of the road as it says here:

Is closure the end of the road for a question?

Definitely not. Closed questions can and should be edited to improve them and address the reasons why they were closed in the first place. Once this is done you might need to either flag the question for moderator attention or raise a meta question to bring it to everyone's attention so it can get the necessary views that might translate into reopen votes.


This will also help increase the number of questions asked per day without any decrease in quality.

Why do we need to (somehow) increase the questions asked per day? Who are we trying to beat? :)

More importantly, this would reduce any discouragement new people face when their questions are put on-hold etc.

No matter what you do, some people find the site rules too harsh and eventually leave the site.

  • Expecting user to confirm to all sites rules at the first go is a expecting a bit too much. Regarding, increasing the number of questions, we are not trying to beat anyone. But, not thinking about how can we do better is not an idea I subscribe to. Some good points raised though. – Amit Saxena Apr 30 '16 at 17:30
  • Yes, the site rules are a bit overwhelming for a new user, that's why instead of downvoting we should just point them to our FAQs by leaving a comment. – sv. Apr 30 '16 at 17:49

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