Why cannot questions on the main site be flagged as off-topic due to lack of research? The option is not there.

  • 6
    Lack of research is generally seen as a reason to downvote, not close.
    – user111
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 13:51
  • @Hamlet Are ELL and ELU atypical in this respect?
    – Mick
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 13:54
  • 1
    it's possible for sites to add "custom close reasons", which is what I guess ELL and ELU did. This is something we could do after we leave private beta. But my sense is that the majority of the userbase would be opposed to a custom close reason for lack of research.
    – user111
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 13:56
  • @Mick Yes, definitely. A custom close reason which essentially comes down to "bad question" has been implemented on a few sites such as ELU and M&TV, after much community discussion, but on most sites "bad question" is a reason to downvote, not to VTC. Like all private betas, this site currently has no custom close reasons.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 16:54
  • @Randal'Thor Thanks. That explains why a lot of questions on Stack Overflow get hammered.
    – Mick
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


Because that's not what makes them off-topic, that's why you downvote.

The downvote button, on mouseover, says:

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful

Remember, a VTC is not a super-downvote.

And the Help Center on voting says:

Voting up a question or answer signals to the rest of the community that a post is interesting, well-researched, and useful, while voting down a post signals the opposite: that the post contains wrong information, is poorly researched, or fails to communicate information.

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