If you've been around for a bit, you have probably noticed that we close a lot of questions! Sometimes the default close reasons are fine, but we've also developed a few guidelines that can feel shoehorned into those categories, or that aren't obvious from the close message. This is especially problematic when people don't leave comments on why they are closing, because for users unfamiliar with the rules, it's not immediately apparent why their question about (what they think is) an interpersonal issue was deemed "off-topic" for a site about interpersonal skills.
For example, some of our rules are:
- No "Should I...?" or "Tell me which decision to make" questions
- No questions that require professional help
- Questions must be about interpersonal skills, not intrapersonal
But we don't have custom close reasons for those (yet).
To that end, there was a discussion in chat a couple days ago asking if we could get custom close reasons for the site - mod Catija responded:
It's really, really difficult to justify close reasons if y'all don't use custom close reasons. Using the "generic "This question does not appear to be about interpersonal skills, within the scope defined in the help center." close reason is not really helping us figure out why questions are closed. The "other" option is there because it tells the user more directly why their question is a bad fit.
The only time you should use the "not about IPS" close reason is if the question is literally not related at all... for example, it's about programming or ... cooking...
It also doesn't help users figure out why their question was closed. If the question's closed because they need to seek professional help, tell them that... the "other" reason automatically creates a comment that says whatever you put in the box, so feel free to link to meta and explain the discussion.
Unless the question is blatantly not about interpersonal issues, use a custom close reason.
Custom close reasons help the user understand why their question is not suitable for the site.
Custom close reasons will allow us to make policy decisions on meta more visible on main.
Custom close reasons can be examined in mod tools, and if we keep using particular custom reason, it will make a strong case towards making that a default option.
Now since this is discussion... let's discuss!
- Do you agree/disagree with using custom close reasons more often? Is there a reason you would hesitate to do so?
- Suggestions for custom close reason comments? (The mod tools count how many questions were closed using a comment, so it's less work to determine what custom reasons are most frequent if we're using the same string all the time.)