Why do half-strangers say I'm sure you'll love it when they don't know my interests ? was just closed as "too broad," in my honest opinion it lacked some extraneous details that probably would have been helpful, but the question was still clear and answerable in it's original form.

Can we ease up on some of this pedantic location nonsense? Particularly when a question is both answerable and salvageable with a quick edit?

To be clear... Early on we decided to be a multicultural site, which is great. On the other hand, from what I've observed so far, we have users consistently accepting answers written by users from other cultures and locations without batting an eyelid. It seems like we solved a problem we didn't really have by adding a hurdle that the majority of users don't think about when they're posting questions.

  • 1
    Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – user288
    Sep 5, 2017 at 3:13
  • @apaul34208 : edited title so that it (hopefully) make Q more clear. Please feel free to roll-back or improve, and let me know if I missed something...
    – OldPadawan
    Sep 5, 2017 at 6:54

4 Answers 4


I didn't VTC solely on the lack of location context. I agree with your comment that the policy of requiring location may be attempting to solve a problem that didn't exist.

I also don't agree that an explanation as to why people do things is automatically off-topic. Asking about the motivation behind people's actions is appropriate and is directly relevant to interpersonal skills... if the context is specific.

However... the question as originally posted was very general. I felt that it was borderline when I saw the question appear in the close votes review queue, and voted to close so that it could get some additional context.

The addition of the tag provided helpful context, and is more relevant than the location tag.


I voted to reopen because it seemed, in light of the new tag, to be relevant. Language isn't only about the meaning of words (look at how much trouble idioms cause language learners). It's sometimes about interpersonal skills, as it is here.


I voted the question to be put on-hold before people start writing up wrong answers.

I believe the cultural tag should not be added before the OP clarify the location. You don't want people to answer "Yeah, it's okay here in UK" when it turns out the exchange happened on Japan, because you assumed it's in UK.

I oppose adding information that is not yet confirmed by the OP, and it's better to put the question on-hold before wrong answers are added.

Of course, after confirming the information, we can always reopen the post. It's nothing personal, just to prevent people writing an answer that is not suited for the answer.

  • See edit.......
    – apaul
    Sep 5, 2017 at 1:48

I voted to leave it closed. Here's why.

The title asks, and the text supports, for an explanation of why other people do something. That's not about interpersonal skills. It might, however, be sociology, psychology, or telepathy. So it's off topic, simple and plain.

  • 1
    How is understanding a common interaction not an interpersonal skill? Well maybe not an interpersonal skill for you personally... I get that, but some people need a little more help. Something not being relatable to you personally, doesn't make it off topic.
    – apaul
    Sep 5, 2017 at 3:44
  • 1
    If, we accept that it is on-topic, then what is the "correct" answer? Unless someone who uses that phrase to the OP is asked "why" they said it, nobody will know. We can guess why others might do it. We can say why we do it, if we do. Still, we cannot answer the question. If you must, switch reason to "too broad" or "primarily opinion based", but it's still not a good question for SE's Q&A, even under the relaxed guidelines followed in IPS.
    – User 27
    Sep 5, 2017 at 3:50
  • That's a painfully hollow argument. How do we know 9/10 of the "why?" of interpersonal problems on this site without the other person chiming in? We always get one side of the issue. How is this one different?
    – apaul
    Sep 5, 2017 at 3:54
  • This is different for asking why not how to respond. If the aim is to improve interpersonal skills why ask strangers in group A why people in group B do something? Is it not a better skill to learn to ask the original speaker why they said it? Then one can respond correctly to them rather than respond to an assumption of why they might say those things.
    – User 27
    Sep 5, 2017 at 4:00
  • That would be a great answer to the original question, but it doesn't change how most questions are received on the site.
    – apaul
    Sep 5, 2017 at 4:02
  • As in most of our questions boil down to person A asking about why person or group B is doing something and/or what to do about it.
    – apaul
    Sep 5, 2017 at 4:04
  • I vote case-by-case. In general, however, asking for an explanation of someone else's behaviour, and only that, will probably be called off-topic by me. Asking how to reply, respond, or what to do - as in, how the OP can improve their skills for that situation, or similar ones - are likely to be on-topic, in my voting. The key in your last comment is, and/or what to do about it which was never even hinted at by this OP.
    – User 27
    Sep 5, 2017 at 4:09

You must log in to answer this question.

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