Recently, the software has been changed regarding how the closing reasons are displayed for people. If you don't have close-vote privileges or you are not OP, this is how it is displayed:
For reference, this is how it is shown for those with the aforementioned privileges:
Of course, saying that something is "off-topic" without further elaboration can be quite confusing. (For reference, a recent meta post alludes to this. There were also flags regarding the issue.) Unfortunately, it is most confusing precisely to those that are not well-versed in our procedures, and those have high correlation with those who do not have the close-vote privileges.
The solution that we came to is simply to encourage the use of the "Needs details or clarity" whenever someone would use the "Off-topic: This question is missing context or other details". Furthermore, we are removing this latter one from the list in order to avoid confusion altogether.
To emphasize, we ask that:
If you were to choose to close a question as missing context or other details, please do it with the reason of "Needs details or clarity" now, instead.
Some relevant points:
- This is not intended as a change of policy. (In whatever way.) This is a way to avoid confusion given the changes to the software, which is something we have little control over and have to maneuver around.
- If somebody really wants to keep voting off-topic for whatever reason, they can do so using "other" and pasting the old reason. Likewise, if they find the "Needs detail or clarity" reason not sufficiently expressive, they can also add a comment.
- Not all of us (moderators) think that this is an optimal situation. But as far as I can see, we all agree that this is the best solution given our constraints.