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This question already has an answer here:

I have seen too many questions, more than hundred, marked as off-topic;
but I am sure that we can not put most of them in this category:

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

What does those users mean by voting as off-topic?

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marked as duplicate by accursed, Community Oct 11 '17 at 20:47

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    $\begingroup$ It's a long story, but the bottom line is that badges have very little, if anything, to do with it. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Oct 11 '17 at 11:32
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    $\begingroup$ BTW it was pointed a few times that the wording might be a bit confusing and there is also a feature-request to change this (currently with score +13): A feature requested for the purpose of avoiding unintentional newbie-biting. (And maybe other posts linked there might be interesting i connection with your question, too.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Oct 11 '17 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ In case the asker attempts to delete the following, again, post includes" "For example please have a look at this there are too many other such questions; which I can not find them by now; I myself suspect that: some users only vote to get more badges; and this is not good." $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 11 '17 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ @amWhy ; but in his profile it has written that the last seen is about 2 days ago! $\endgroup$ – accursed Oct 11 '17 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ @amWhy ; Because I know him! I, myself invite him to math-stack-exchange ! $\endgroup$ – accursed Oct 11 '17 at 21:01
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    $\begingroup$ Ahhhh, the asker of your linked example is a friend: that explains the question. Any way, the example you posted that was closed as off-topic: lacking context...., posted by your friend, is a valid example of what you claim, whether or not your friend has been seen for two days. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 11 '17 at 21:03
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    $\begingroup$ The reason for closure, which you took one sentence only: "This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason: '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.' If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question." $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 11 '17 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ @amWhy What do you mean by this "that explains the question". Simply he asks me why my question has been closed; but I do not have a strong reason. I have seen this problem before, but because of my too many businuses; I have never try for asking. Now I am satisfied by any of the followings: math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/27181/… and math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10103/… . $\endgroup$ – accursed Oct 11 '17 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ Encourage your friend to post such a question on meta, himself. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 11 '17 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ Bottom line - I am glad you found satisfying answers. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 11 '17 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ @amWhy ; I think he could'nt post nothing on meta yet; his reputation is very very low. $\endgroup$ – accursed Oct 11 '17 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ @amWhy ; Than you my dear amWhy for your patience. $\endgroup$ – accursed Oct 11 '17 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ Try to encourage your friend to remain; at least half of all new users (maybe more) jump in to the site, and ask, without knowing site standards. Those who take the suggestions for improvements sincerely, and read the material covered in any links provided them, progress very well here. $\endgroup$ – Namaste Oct 11 '17 at 21:27
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Often, it means that the question is a copy-paste homework problem. There isn't an option to close it as that, so off topic is used instead.

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    $\begingroup$ (+1) Clear and concise. $\endgroup$ – accursed Oct 11 '17 at 19:40
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The important point of the phrase is "within the scope defined in the help center." It means that the question is (perceived as) not suitable for the site. What is suitable is explained at https://math.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic, which is also linked in the sentence you mentioned.

Moreover, usually, a more specific reason is provided, such as:

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.

However, this more detailed description is not directly shown on some mobile devices.

Thus, "off-topic" does not mean "not about mathematics" but instead "not suitable for this site."

I hope this was the type of answer you were looking for. If instead you want to know why many questions are seen as not suitable for this site, then this is a broad subject and you best would narrow down the scope by providing some examples of questions.

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    $\begingroup$ @acc, did you read where it says, "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."? Do you see, in the statement of the question at your link, any "thoughts on the problem"? Did you see any attempts the questioner may have made to solve it? $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Oct 11 '17 at 11:36
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    $\begingroup$ @accursed while I agree that it would also be a reasonable position to say that the question you link to, especially after the improvements you made to it, should be acceptable, I think it is hard to deny that the question provides hardly any context. In addition to what Gerry said: where does it come from: Is it an exercise in a Alg. Graph Theory book? Does OP need it as part of a longer argument? Etc. Thus, the users that voted to close follow agreed upon procedures. If you disagree with those procedures, that's fine and we can discuss about it. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 11 '17 at 12:20
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    $\begingroup$ What is however not helpful is to accuse other users to act in bad faith. And doubly so if there is no substance to the claim. As a matter of fact there is no badge for casting many close votes. There is a badge for performing many close reviews but if one just wanted that badge one could just as well vote to leave open, which is even simpler. Leaving aside that part of the users already have all those badges. Plus at least one of the users that voted to close is a top-expert in the field. @accursed $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 11 '17 at 12:20

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