When I click the Flag link under a question, the options offered to me are:

  • spam
  • rude or abusive
  • needs improvement
  • a duplicate
  • very low quality
  • in need of moderator intervention

No "off-topic" among these.

Even reading the descriptions, I cannot identify whether one of these was intended to cover the concept of off-topic.

Why is this? Maybe I don't have enough reputation to see it?


I'm posting the flag-dialog as I see it now. Sorry I did not have the idea to post it earlier:

enter image description here

Update 2 Just to help making sense of the UI:

As I have learned from the answer, selecting some of the radio buttons in the above screen may open up further screens with options "a level deeper". This can go on to several levels deep in some cases.

  • The multiple-levels-deep is not something new, that has always been the case. Since your account is two months old, I'm actually surprised you know about the word "off-topic".
    – Glorfindel
    Feb 15, 2021 at 12:38
  • I am continuing here so as not to bombard Glorfindel with comments. @Levente yes, it is our ultimate goal. Which is why I edited the question to keep only the relevant, answerable parts. The OP has already dealt with the restrictions about the trailing slash and alphabetical order, so they are not relevant here. All the question is asking is if there is another way to escape spaces other than quoting. And they have already received an answer telling them how. Feb 15, 2021 at 12:50
  • 1
    As for bad questions, not all bad questions are off topic, many are on topic but bad (poorly researched, lazy etc). On topic bad questions should be downvoted and eventually deleted, not closed since that gives the wrong impression about what is on topic. Only off topic questions (good or bad) should be closed as off topic. On topic, bad questions should be downvoted. These are the two quality control mechanisms we have and they each serve a different function. Feb 15, 2021 at 12:52
  • @Glorfindel "Since your account is two months old, I'm actually surprised you know about the word 'off-topic'" 1. I'm here every day (unfortunately (you know, addiction (surprise? I think not!))) 2. The term "off-topic" flies around on a daily basis in here, it's hard to miss. 3.) my ultimate concern was about ensuring high quality by ensuring relevance.
    – Levente
    Feb 15, 2021 at 12:54
  • @terdon thank you very much, I will give myself a little time to process (and possibly, adopt) your points.
    – Levente
    Feb 15, 2021 at 12:56
  • I'm glad to see you use "possibly adopt". I was rereading my previous comment and I feared you might feel I was claiming this is the One True Way® because I used to be a mod. So, to clarify: this is just my opinion and what is and is not off topic is decided by the community: your voice is just as important as mine or anyone else's. That said, I'm an opinionated bugger, so I feel quite strongly that my opinion is right, and I can back it up with help documentation and precedent, but you are under absolutely no obligation to agree with me! :) Feb 15, 2021 at 13:51
  • @terdon "I'm an opinionated bugger" — many of us are ;) ... Regarding "back it up with [...] documentation and precedent" — In contrast, I seem to tend to think in terms of "perceived intent" and/or "implied goal". I'm very ready to suggest that the documentation is imprecise/out-of-date, and that the precedent is insufficient/retrograde. Perhaps I should head over to the Law, Politics, & Philosophy SE sites (any other suggestions?) to get learnt on how to deliver my points driven by aforementioned thinking so that my observations can still contribute towards an improved end-result.
    – Levente
    Feb 15, 2021 at 15:10

1 Answer 1

  • needs improvement

That's the one you're looking for; then, choose "A community-specific reason" and you'll get the familiar list of options:

enter image description here

They have renamed the option last year; for details, see Question Close Updates: Phase 1 on Meta Stack Overflow.

  • Given that the "Community-specific reason" is missing in our widget on AskUbuntu, in the meanwhile, how should one proceed with a question like this? askubuntu.com/questions/1316602/…
    – Levente
    Feb 15, 2021 at 11:51
  • Sorry, I was incomplete. I was hoping you could find it by 'muscle memory'. You'll need "A community-specific reason" next.
    – Glorfindel
    Feb 15, 2021 at 12:00
  • @Levente I'm afraid that is quite on topic, just a very bad question with no effort or research. The best thing to do is downvote it. Feb 15, 2021 at 12:06
  • Thank you, but this set of choices are insufficient to express that the question does not meet the site's guidelines about on-topic questions; guidelines that are listed in the "Get answers to practical, detailed questions" section of the site tour.
    – Levente
    Feb 15, 2021 at 12:28
  • In this case the question is nor practical, neither real-world, it's somebody's homework with artificial and arbitrary limitations imposed by their teacher.
    – Levente
    Feb 15, 2021 at 12:31
  • @Levente that doesn't make it off topic I'm afraid, just annoying. We can absolutely downvote and choose not to answer because of the restrictions, but the section you are quoting is more to avoid hypotheticals (what would happen if I...). To determine if something is on topic or not, please see askubuntu.com/help/on-topic and askubuntu.com/help/dont-ask. The tour is not specific to Ask Ubunntu, it is the same across SE (only the example posts change) so should not be used to determine on-topicness. Feb 15, 2021 at 12:37
  • @terdon you yourself have used the terms "bad question", and "annoying" to describe this question. Isn't our ultimate goal to keep up the quality and focus, and to keep down the noise? I may understand that the words in today's guidelines may not literally address the specific issue this question brings, but I believe the spirit of the guidelines (high quality / focus, low noise) already could imply coverage. Is a new meta question due to suggest an update to the wording of the guidelines?
    – Levente
    Feb 15, 2021 at 12:46

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