I flagged this question. When I did, there were 5 or so flags available, including "need of moderator intervention". I picked this one because I could not find the option "not suitable for this site" which used to be there. Now the flag was declined because I did not pick the correct flag. If I want to flag it again, this is what I see:

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It seems the list changes if a questions was closed. For a different (open) question, I have these options:

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There is no "not suitable for this site". So which flag should I use in this case?

  • 1
    We've understood that there's definitely some confusion about how to recommend closure for a question from the flag dialogue - the "needs improvement" terminology and the description doesn't really indicate to many people "should not be here" or "off topic" - we're hoping to look into this in the future but don't have any immediate plans, so I've marked this status-deferred.
    – Catija
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 14:49

1 Answer 1


I managed to find the flag, it is buried in the flagging menu:

  • "needs improvement" (clearly not true for a question which is off-topic, it should just be closed),
  • "community-specific reasons" (again, I don't see why this makes sense: do other SE sites not close OT questions?), and then
  • "blatantly off-topic".

I find this placement immensely counterintuitive for people like me who only flag occasionally, as I need to make two selections which seem wrong.

  • 5
    I feel most of your pain, but am powerless to address it. See here for a relevant post on Meta SE. I do consider off-topic a community-specific reason, however, since it is specific to the community what is off-topic. That doesn’t mean that it’s intuitive, of course. It can’t do any harm to add a sentence to the explanation though. The problem with the word off-topic on SE is that it has been the label of this category for so long that it has acquired a different meaning on SE. This caused a lot of confusion in the past.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 12:00
  • 1
    do other SE sites not close OT questions? – Yes, but they receive far fewer of those than we do (at least off-topic questions in the common meaning of the word). On the two other sites I moderate (German Language and Graphic Design), questions that are completely off the scope (and not spam and similar) are a rare event. Only few sites need and have an explicit close reason for blatantly off-topic stuff like we do.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 12:03
  • @Wrzlprmft I see. Maybe that's why the meta SE question hasn't gotten more resonance. (81 views? I find that quite surprising.) It still seems like a good idea to request this, especially since this is (in terms of the underlying technology) a trivial problem to solve. Is there any good way to petition SE inc for this?
    – cheersmate
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 13:19
  • 3
    The "needs improvement" item used to read "should be closed", which better explains what it is: it is essentially a version of the close dialog available also to people with not enough reputation to access it, through a flag. I guess that the SE politically correct police decided to change the wording (meta.stackoverflow.com/q/396754) because closing questions is too offensive. :) Commented Apr 12, 2021 at 12:24
  • @cheersmate About the number of views of that question, beware that the main meta is a somewhat different site, with its own culture. Things that get attention might not necessarily be the most useful from the user experience point of view. Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 19:28

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