About a year ago, the post notices on closed questions changed across the entire SE platform. This changed a number of aspects of the Q&A engine software's behaviour and how it communicates meta information about threads to different classes of users, but one particularly important change is that for a wide class of users (specifically, people who are not logged in, and users under 3k rep), the closure notice on off-topic questions looks like this:
That is, post closure notices became completely uninformative regarding the reason about why the question was closed. This is actively harmful, as it stops us from informing newcomers about what questions are off-topic and why, and from directing them to the resources that can help them get a good experience of the site.
Now, as it turns out, the reason for this is that the software's behaviour has been improved, as explained by Catija on Meta Stack Overflow $-$ the software now supports the ability to show different closure reasons to different populations:
More specifically, instead of having a single text associated with the closure reason, the software now allows a detailed breakdown as follows:
- A usage guidance text, shown in the Vote To Close interface.
- A public message, shown to <3k-rep users and non-logged-in visitors.
- A message shown specifically to the question owner.
- A message shown to >3k-rep users.
As such, this presents a call to action to restore the site's functionality, as well as an opportunity to improve how we communicate our site's scope to visitors and newcomers. I would thus propose that we take on the following tasks:
- For moderators: ask the developer/CM team (on the moderator Teams?) whether these changes can be implemented for the existing closure reasons, or whether we need to make new ones.
- For moderators: fill in the existing text into all the fields for the various closure reasons.
- For the community: find better ways in which the closure banner can be customized when shown to question owners and the general public.