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Apologies if this is a duplicate; my search keyword mojo wasn't able to find one.

This question was closed, and the OP subsequently defaced it by deleting the body of the question. Since three answers had been provided, I rolled the question back to its original form.

While doing so, I noticed that the reason for closure was reported inconsistently.


enter image description here


  • When viewing the edit history of the question, the closure reason is indicated (between versions 1 and 2) as "not suitable for this site." This seems incorrect (except in the general sense that a question that was closed for any reason may be considered as unsuitable); with revision to provide context, the question would indeed be suitable for MSE. See the screenshot below:

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Is this a known SE quirk/glitch, or did something go wrong with the closure of this particular question? It doesn't seem ideal to convey mixed messages to the OP.

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    $\begingroup$ When you vote to close a post and choose "commnnity-specific reason", the page starts with "Why isn't this question suited for Mathematics Stack Exchange". My guess is that any post closed under community-specific reason will be shown as : "Not suitable for this sites" in the edit. $\endgroup$ Jul 3 at 7:46
  • $\begingroup$ @ArcticChar Yeah, that sounds plausible. Maybe it's always inconsistent like this and I've never noticed. It would be great if the message in the edit matched the one attached to the question. "Not suitable for this site" seems (to me, at least) to imply that it would be more suitable on some other SE site. Maybe it's a stretch to tag this as a bug, but if I were responsible for the UI on this site, I'd want to fix this. $\endgroup$
    – user169852
    Jul 3 at 7:51
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    $\begingroup$ I don't see the inconsistency, nor the implication. "Not suitable for this site" clearly means "Not suitable for this site as it stands," and allows for the possibility of editing into suitable shape. $\endgroup$ Jul 3 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson I don't agree that the "as it stands" part is obvious, even less so for a newcomer. Why not use the same language in both places? "Not suitable for this site" doesn't match any of the actual closure reasons, which are (1) "This question is not about mathematics", (2) "Missing context or other details", (3) "Seeking personal advice", (4) "This question belongs on another Stack Exchange network". To me, "not suitable for this site" sounds like a paraphrase of (4) or, at a stretch, of (1), but not of (2), which is the actual closure reason here. $\endgroup$
    – user169852
    Jul 3 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ It also doesn't match the "This question does not meet Mathematics Stack Exchange guidelines" umbrella description used for all of the above four community-specific reasons. My guess is that someone updated the language in one place but forgot to do it in the other, or, less likely, went out of their way to use different language in the two places. $\endgroup$
    – user169852
    Jul 3 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ If people don't see a problem, I'm certainly not going to make an issue out of it (beyond having made this meta post). Quite possibly UI inconsistencies like this bother me more than they should. :D $\endgroup$
    – user169852
    Jul 3 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ Think outlines @Bungo: I. Pronouncement: "Not suitable for this site." (Why is it unsuitable?) (a) it is "Missing context or other details." The two are consistent, but not equivalent; the former states the overarching category for closure, and the latter gives specification. I suspect you want the two statements to be equivalent, which is stricter than consistent. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Jul 3 at 22:42
  • $\begingroup$ @amWhy OK, fair enough. I agree that the statements are consistent given that interpretation. They didn't seem so given my original interpretation. But I seem to be the only one confused by it - it wouldn't be the first time. ;-D I'm not much of a meta user - what's the appropriate way to resolve this question? Should I delete it? Self-answer it with a summary of what folks have said in the comments? $\endgroup$
    – user169852
    Jul 3 at 23:48
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    $\begingroup$ Bungo, No need to delete the question. Meta questions don't impact your rep, and most everyone (who comes to meta regularly) has posted a not-super-well-received question. Upvotes and downvotes on meta are really nothing more than "^ I agree with the concern" or "v I disagree with the concern". $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Jul 3 at 23:53
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    $\begingroup$ And you are absolutely NOT the first one to be confused about close reasons and how to understand them. Even users voting to close sometimes need to pick the only reason available that is close enough to their concern. My point is, you did absolutely nothing wrong in posting your question. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Jul 3 at 23:55
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    $\begingroup$ Bungo: feel free to self answer the question, with your take away from the interaction here today. That's a great idea!! $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Jul 3 at 23:58
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Answering my own question to summarize the feedback from comments.


I'm reasonably persuaded that I misinterpreted "Not suitable for this site" as being a paraphrase of the "This question belongs on another Stack Exchange network" option, which was the reason I thought the two explanations were inconsistent.

Instead, one should read "Not suitable for this site" as synonymous with the higher-level closure option "A community-specific reason: This question doesn’t meet a Mathematics Stack Exchange guideline" under which the various suboptions appear, including both "Missing context or other details" (the actual closure reason for the cited question) and "This question belongs on another site in the Stack Exchange network".

Since comments can be ephemeral, I'm summarizing the helpful remarks from the commenters here. (Feel free to edit to remove your comments if you intended them to be ephemeral!) Thanks to all who responded!

Arctic Char:

When you vote to close a post and choose "community-specific reason", the page starts with "Why isn't this question suited for Mathematics Stack Exchange". My guess is that any post closed under community-specific reason will be shown as : "Not suitable for this site" in the edit.

Gerry Myerson:

"Not suitable for this site" clearly means "Not suitable for this site as it stands," and allows for the possibility of editing into suitable shape.

amWhy:

Think outlines @Bungo: I. Pronouncement: "Not suitable for this site." (Why is it unsuitable?) (a) it is "Missing context or other details." The two are consistent, but not equivalent; the former states the overarching category for closure, and the latter gives specification. I suspect you want the two statements to be equivalent, which is stricter than consistent.

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