Currently we have three custom off-topic reasons:

  • Questions on economics are off-topic unless they relate directly to personal finance.
  • Questions seeking product or service recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve.
  • Questions about accounting are off-topic unless they relate directly to personal finance or investing from an individual's perspective.

However, we seem to be finding other common off-topic reasons that people are then shoehorning into these reasons. Should we instead combine the first and third reasons into something like

I've been seeing some close reasons coming through for, say, bitcoin or politics questions but being labeled as economics. The other alternative is to write out a custom close reason. But that's extra work.

This would free up a custom close reason and offer a general bucket for "that's not really personal finance" questions.

We can only have three or four custom close reasons, so we can't add enough close reasons for each subject that people are using (I've seen recent examples of six of the subjects that I posted).

  • We definitely need to keep the existing 3 as different. I was thinking about it for a while but didn't put it out. Let me see if I can find time early next week. For example it should be questions on accounting, calculation, formula... Like wise for others
    – Dheer
    Jan 11, 2018 at 17:41

2 Answers 2


I’m not in favor of this change.

When these “quick close” reasons exist, people tend to use them instead of providing a custom reason for a close vote. And you’ve turned this quick close reason into a “catch-all” reason. Close voters will choose this reason for anything at all that they don’t like, as it covers “some other subject.” It doesn’t really teach the OP what is or is not on topic. We already have trouble with close voters choosing the “product or service recommendation” quick close reason for questions that do not ask for recommendations.

Another danger is that all of these subjects that you listed can be the topic of an on-topic question. We do indeed get on-topic questions on accounting, gambling, economics, bitcoin, law, politics, and quantitative finance, as long as they are also related to personal finance. We certainly get off-topic questions on all these subjects as well, but the danger, in my opinion is that this quick close reason would encourage more close votes on questions that should not be closed, and would give people the impression that all questions about these subjects are off-topic.

We don’t have any trouble closing questions on this site. In fact, I tend to think we close too many questions on this site. We don’t need to make it any easier to close questions.

  • I agree, Ben. I am guilty of using the "product recommendation" close choice when, on reflection, another specific reason would be better. Jan 10, 2018 at 16:20
  • We also have a problem with people closing questions that are about law, politics, or business strategy as economics or closing corporate finance or business questions as accounting. Part of the point here is to at least be honest about why we're closing questions, as we often aren't. In my opinion, the overuse of the recommendations reason is partly caused by the problems with the other two reasons. People can't pick the reason they want, so they pick the closest match. Making closing more frustrating encourages that behavior more than it prevents closing too often IMO.
    – Brythan
    Jul 19, 2018 at 17:02
  • @Brythan You have a good point, but the solution is not to broaden one of the quick-close reasons until it is meaningless. Instead, if too many people are selecting the “accounting” or “recommendation” reasons inappropriately, perhaps a better solution would be to simply eliminate those quick-close reasons and force a manual entry.
    – Ben Miller
    Jul 19, 2018 at 17:08


We should consolidate the two current custom close reasons into one new reason with the following wording:

If you think this wording is better than the two close reasons we have now, please upvote this post.

If you think that you have a better wording, please check to see if someone has already posted it. If not, please post as an answer so people can vote on it. Upvote if better than the current two close reasons. If there are several popular alternatives but the consensus is clear that we should do something, we can post another question to determine the best one.

If you think that this is a bad idea, please look to see if someone has posted an answer raising your concerns that you can upvote. If not, please post one.

  • I upvoted but I think you should drop "some other subject" for the reason in this answer
    – Qsigma
    Jul 19, 2018 at 12:16
  • @Qsigma That sounds like an answer. As I said, alternative wordings are entirely responsive to this question.
    – Brythan
    Jul 19, 2018 at 16:41

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