We seem to be missing an off-topic close reason. I think. Unless I'm missing something.

When I select off-topic, I can choose from:

  • homework with insufficient research
  • engineering
  • fringe rather than mainstream physics
  • belongs on math.SE or meta.physics

But there are potentially plenty of off-topic questions which don't fall neatly into one of those four boxes, so I'd have to use the option of flagging a diamond mod with a custom reason. Which seems like overkill.

So I think this is turning into a feature request for a new close reason (one that will also appear on the flagging screen): "this question is not about physics concepts"?

  • $\begingroup$ I had requested this once. But now, just use the custom flag reason . $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 14:07
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It's actually better to not use a custom flag as we discussed somewhere... maybe in chat? Custom flags only send it to moderators while off-topic flags send it to the review queue. And it turns out that the OT flags chosen aren't actually shown, so nobody knows the specific OT flag chosen if under 3000 rep. So I always just use Homework regardless so it goes in the review queue and nobody knows what I picked anyway. $\endgroup$
    – tpg2114
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 16:03

2 Answers 2


There is a freeform off topic reason*, but that's only for 3k users. These users get to type an "other" close reason. This becomes a comment on the question. Subsequent closevoters get the additional option to choose the same close reason (which results in a comment upvote). When the question is closed, it gets the default off topic wording ("this is off topic for Physics because it doesn't fit the scope defined in the help center" or something like that), and the comment stays.

This isn't available to flaggers, though. However, the off topic subreason you choose is not visible to anyone (even mods) -- the flag is always counted as "off topic" from the POV of reviewers and mods. So my advice would be to just pick a random offtopic subreason when none fit.

This raises the question "if it isn't visible, why make flaggers choose?". Well, these subreasons subtly teach new flaggers what is flaggable. This happened to me on SO, I didn't know that certain types of questions could be closed until the flag changes came out.

I do feel that this system is slightly unweildy though, and have proposed a change to it

*Known hereabouts as the trolley car close reason

  • $\begingroup$ Gah, sorry, I should have checked on meta.SO first. For some reason I thought it was a physics.SE custom-close-option problem, but I see it's an SE-wide problem. $\endgroup$
    – 410 gone
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 12:02

How about "Because I don't feel like answering this question"?


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