Has anyone else has wondered why the "missing context" close reason is labeled under "off topic?" After all, here's the description for "off topic" close reasons in general:

Off topic: This question does not appear to be about math within the scope defined in the help center.

Here's the description for the "missing context" close reason:

Missing context: This question is missing context or other details: Please improve the question by providing additional context, which ideally includes your thoughts on the problem and any attempts you have made to solve it. This information helps others identify where you have difficulties and helps them write answers appropriate to your experience level.

First, I think there's some overlap with the "unclear what you're asking" close vote, which involves a similar request for additional information:

Unclear what you're asking: Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking.

Second, I find "missing context" frequently used for questions that are clearly about math and within the scope of MSE, but lacking any input on the user's attempt to solve the problem. The "off topic" label applied to the "missing context" close reason seems rather counterintuitive, when so often it is used on questions that are definitely about mathematics. This has, it seems, caused some confusion: see OP's comment.


The question definitely isn't "off topic" in the usual sense of the phrase, merely lacking any contribution from the user's end.

Perhaps a small issue, but I'd like to see this situation addressed. I personally would like to see "missing context" as a standalone close reason, as opposed to under "off topic."

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    $\begingroup$ As far as I recall, off-topic is the only category where we can get custom close-reasons. $\endgroup$ – Tobias Kildetoft Jan 2 '14 at 11:19
  • $\begingroup$ Ahh, so that's why... $\endgroup$ – rschwieb Jan 2 '14 at 14:06
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    $\begingroup$ Related: Can we rename the off-topic close reason label on the primary screen? $\endgroup$ – Post No Bulls Jan 2 '14 at 15:25
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, I think that it would be great if instead of "Off Topic" that would be "Unfit question" or something like that. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jan 2 '14 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ @PostNoBulls Thanks for the link, good to know that others have thought about this as well. One of the suggestions I like is to rename "off topic" to "site-specific reason." $\endgroup$ – Gyu Eun Lee Jan 2 '14 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ Totally agree with this one. It's a misleading term. By the principle of least astonishment (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_least_astonishment) we should refactor these categories to be more intuitive. $\endgroup$ – Colm Bhandal Jan 18 '18 at 21:33

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