Somehow my flag for too broad got declines on this question: What is time dilation really?. Just the fact that the answer spans over 3 actually answers proves, by definition, that this question doesn't belong on a StackExchange site. There is a limit on answer lengths for a reason. I wanted to flag What is the proper way to explain the twin paradox? as well now because it's clearly too broad as well, but even this one isn't as absolutely terrible as the original one.

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  • $\begingroup$ And yes, I am aware that it's self answered and a community wiki, but that doesn't change the basic issue... $\endgroup$ – David Mulder Mar 7 '16 at 19:03
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    $\begingroup$ It got declined because three reviewers voted to leave open, thus ending the review process. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Mar 7 '16 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ Oh wow, I feel stupid for the part where I forgot that low rep 'flags' don't get handled by moderators and are just 'throw in the queue' votes. Oh well, I probably should flag for moderator attention in that case right? Though I guess they will see this post soon enough. $\endgroup$ – David Mulder Mar 7 '16 at 19:05
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    $\begingroup$ Relevant $\endgroup$ – Danu Mar 7 '16 at 19:06
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    $\begingroup$ No, flagging for moderator attention when you think the question should be closed is not appropriate. Closing and reopening is decided by the community review queues by design. (The exact same thing would have happened had you the right to vote to close, except that there would now be a single close vote pending on that post) $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Mar 7 '16 at 19:08
  • $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind Yeah no, but if review queues fail then contacting a moderator is the appropriate action. Either through meta or just a direct flag. $\endgroup$ – David Mulder Mar 7 '16 at 19:10
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidMulder "review queues fail" Remember that the community decides what's on- or off-topic. $\endgroup$ – Danu Mar 7 '16 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Danu Nope, the community decides what's offtopic within the boundaries of the SE network. This was a 1:1 match with the 'too broad' close reason. There a million answers that could answer that question and the answer is too long for the SE format. $\endgroup$ – David Mulder Mar 7 '16 at 19:13
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    $\begingroup$ I disagree, and I think most of the "hard core" of the community does too. $\endgroup$ – Danu Mar 7 '16 at 19:24
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    $\begingroup$ If review queues fail (in the sense that you think the outcome of the review should be overturned), bringing it to meta is probably the way to go. Flagging for mod attention to override the review is unlikely to get you the outcome you want. Off the top of my head, I can think of only one instance where it happened, in the entire time we've had review queues. $\endgroup$ – David Z Mar 7 '16 at 21:51

That question, along with the twin paradox one and the first in the series, What is time, does it flow, and if so what defines its direction? are intended as canonical questions.

Where we get lots of questions on the same topic it's nice to have a definitive answer that we can point people to. But that definitive answer is necessarily rather lengthy because it has to cover lots of details.

Whether canonical questions are a good idea was discussed in Do we want and need a set of canonical questions with canonical answers? and the general conclusion seemed to be that they were. In the absence of other guidance I decided to write some canonical Q/As on subjects I was particularly interested in and hope that others found them interesting as well. So far the number of upvotes suggests that the questions are welcome.

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  • $\begingroup$ Canonical answers are great, but that doesn't allow the questions to suddenly be offtopic for SE ;-) . $\endgroup$ – David Mulder Mar 7 '16 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ And popularity doesn't equate good, they made it to the HNQ list and now give a very bad example for a lot of users. $\endgroup$ – David Mulder Mar 7 '16 at 19:12
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    $\begingroup$ "but that doesn't allow the questions to suddenly be offtopic for SE " Actually, the vote of the userbase (in the meta-question John refers to in hist post) that such a question would be on-topic and appropriate does allow it because the users say what is on and off topic. We're sorry that you missed the memo and disagree, but the mods are not going to unilaterally change this. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Mar 7 '16 at 19:29
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    $\begingroup$ BTW--A fact of some interest in this discussion is the long-term existence of the c++-faq tag on Stack Overflow. This basic idea has been condoned on Stack Overflow since August 2008. I don't think it is going away. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Mar 7 '16 at 19:46

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