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I'm asking about this question:

What is this coin and what is its value in INR?

The question was originally closed as off-topic by five users, and when it has been placed in the reopen queue by other users, it has received additional "Leave Closed" votes.

Can someone explain this to me? This question is literally about money; the coin in question is legal tender. And since the money is in the possession of a person, that makes it "personal finance" by definition. How can this be considered off-topic?

One close voter left a comment implying that this is a trivial, obvious question. "Trivial question" is not a close reason, but even if it was a reason to close, the answer is not obvious. A high rep user posted the first answer to this question, but deleted it later after he realized that his answer was wrong.

Another close voter left a comment saying that this was a numismatics question. Numismatics is not inherently off topic, but regardless, this is not a numismatics question. The question is not asking us about the rarity or condition of the coin; this is a legal tender coin, and the question is asking about the legal tender value, not the collectible value.

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I'm not sure whether it's on-topic or not and I haven't voted either to close or reopen, but some possible reasons:

  • "What is its value in INR" is very time sensitive. Perhaps could be replaced by "what is its approximate value in INR".
  • It seems like a very specialised question. Stack Overflow used to have a "too localised" close reason but it was removed in favour of more detailed reasons like "unlikely to help anyone in future".
  • Thanks for your response. Yes, the value fluctuates daily, but not much. And the answer includes a link to today’s value. As for your second point, StackExchange deliberately removed “too localized” as a close reason. It is impossible for us to judge whether or not anyone will have the same question in the future, and having questions on our site that may not get a lot of hits in the future does not hurt the site in any way, so SO realized that there is no need to close questions for this reason. – Ben Miller Apr 2 at 7:35
  • I would say that the word “approximate” is understood in the question; of course, all representations of value are subjective. The fact that the word is missing is a poor reason for closure, in my opinion. :) But if it must be explicitly added to open the question, I am not opposed. :) – Ben Miller Apr 2 at 7:40
  • @BenMiller I think Stack Overflow removed the reason because it was being overused, not because they are happy to have questions that noone else will have in the future. They still explicitly have "unlikely to help future readers". – Ganesh Sittampalam Apr 2 at 7:57
  • Not exactly, from what I can tell. They have a site-specific close reason to handle “code dump” questions, a class of questions explicitly disallowed on SO that used to be closed with the old “too localized” reason. – Ben Miller Apr 2 at 8:24
  • And on the meta question you linked to, it says that they removed “too localized” because they realized that over 50% of questions getting closed for that reason should not have been closed. – Ben Miller Apr 2 at 8:27
  • @BenMiller I'm thinking of the one that starts "This question was caused by a problem that can no longer be reproduced or a simple typographical error." The essence of the reason for it is in the next sentence, "While similar questions may be on-topic here, this one was resolved in a manner unlikely to help future readers." - I think that sentence best reflects the spirit of the reason. – Ganesh Sittampalam Apr 3 at 0:20
  • That custom close reason on Stack Overflow is for a very specific class of questions that they get, where someone posts their code asking for help, and either the bug is not reproducible (the code turns out to be correct after all) or the bug was the result of a simple typo error (forgot a semicolon, or misspelled a variable name). Those kinds of questions are specific to programming; I don't think we have any analogous questions here. – Ben Miller Apr 3 at 3:18
  • The sentence you quoted does explain why the community there has decided to close those specific "typo error" questions, but that close reason is not to be used for just any question that someone thinks might not be helpful to others; that general close reason (Too Localized) was removed explicitly, as it was misused, subjective to judge, and unnecessary. – Ben Miller Apr 3 at 3:20
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I voted to close. I thought it was clearly off topic, and I still do.

We have a picture of a coin. we are asked to identify the coin and then give it a value in a specific currency.

It doesn't matter that somebody could look it up in 2 minutes. Unless the canonical answer is to go to website X to identify the coin, the number of questions we can get just like this is unlimited.

  • Thank you for responding. My comment is that we should not close questions on the basis that you don’t like the question. When a question is closed, there should be a reason. Questions about currency have always been on-topic, and for good reason; it is probably the most fundamental subject of personal finance there is. Yes, we could get other questions like this, but we haven’t been. Even if we did get another question like this, it is on-topic and answerable. I had never seen this coin before, so I found the question interesting and learned something. – Ben Miller Apr 3 at 11:31
  • I agree with you that it doesn’t matter how easy it might be to find the answer to a question. We should not close questions on that basis. – Ben Miller Apr 3 at 11:33
  • I think my reasoning is much like mhoran's. Questions about PF are rarely 'unique'. I dare say that 95% of questions are ones that are going to help others in similar situations. In this case, I'm thinking "what are the odds this ever helps a single other member?" And yes, even though there have been no other 'identify this coin' questions since, can't help but wonder at what point we'd say "ok, off topic, one per month/day/hour, time to put a stop." – JoeTaxpayer Apr 5 at 17:53
  • @JoeTaxpayer We don’t close or delete questions on the basis of whether or not the question is likely to help anyone in the future, as we can’t predict that. That is one of the reasons why “too localized” was eliminated as a close reason. The question helped the OP, it helped at least you and I to learn something new, and if someone googles “Bahraini coin” this question might come up. If we get another similar question in the future, great! Those questions are answerable. – Ben Miller Apr 9 at 16:10
  • Right. As Ganesh noted, too localized was removed. – JoeTaxpayer Apr 9 at 17:05
  • And the votes to reopen are gone, but 2 deletes remain. Your point is right, regarding that process. – JoeTaxpayer Apr 9 at 19:21
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Be aware, there may be a gray area, as is often the case. A question that a Mod may not quickly delete, but is okay with members voting to close. i.e. a gray that means let the wisdom of the crowd prevail.

In which case, you are welcome to vote to reopen, as you did, while other appear to be voting to close.

The 5 members who closed all have name recognition (read that as 'high rep') and the same way that I try to engage and respect your view on some of the close / delete discussion, at this point we should also respect theirs. I suggest you open a chat room and invite them to discuss this further.

  • Agreed. I respect their opinion, as I do yours and Ganesh’s, who I know did not vote to close. In fact, I am inviting them to share why they think this question about money is off-topic by posting this meta question. – Ben Miller Apr 2 at 12:57
  • Although you were not one of the original close voters, you have voted “Leave Closed” in the review queue, where if you had no opinion you could have selected “Skip.” Can you tell me why you think this question is off-topic? – Ben Miller Apr 2 at 12:59
  • No. I really meant to hit skip. I messed up. No taking that click back. – JoeTaxpayer Apr 2 at 13:00
  • You may not be aware, but I believe that a “Leave Closed” vote from a mod immediately removes the question from the review queue. Another example of the bias the system has toward closing questions and leaving them closed. – Ben Miller Apr 2 at 13:02
  • No, Ben, I didn’t know that and I agree that’s bad. Really bad actually. I’ll use skip on those more often, when “abstain” is what I mean. – JoeTaxpayer Apr 2 at 13:03
  • @BenMiller clicking "Reopen" from a mod would also insta-reopen it, so it's not a bias towards any particular outcome. – Ganesh Sittampalam Apr 2 at 22:13
  • Yes, but in the big picture, it’s power I would like to back away from. This should be driven by members and not just us. – JoeTaxpayer Apr 2 at 22:18
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    Yeah, I avoid the review queues for that reason. Or if I do use them I skip except for clear-cut cases. – Ganesh Sittampalam Apr 3 at 0:23

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