There are many people here from diverse backgrounds, and we need to allow for the real possibility that some questions may be considered off-topic by one person, but considered on-topic by another. What do we do in those cases?

  1. Discuss it on meta. (And definitely not in the question's comments, where it'll never been found by anyone.)

  2. We vote to close/reopen. Perhaps 10% of people think a question is off-topic, or maybe it's 90%. That's a big difference! But how do we tell? The voting process safeguards against those times when our opinions are in the minority (and we may be unaware).

In my (perhaps brutally honest) opinion, closure at Chinese.SE (still) has significant issues. It can be difficult to figure out what is and what isn't on-topic (I recall making this survey a while back). Even if you know a question is off-topic, it can be difficult to find an appropriate close reason. It's like the "reopen" button doesn't even exist. We still have diamond-heavy closures, where non-diamond users are sidelined.

In any case, I'm hoping we can find a way forward. To restart the streamlining process (sorry, I've been distracted HSKing), I'll begin with my general thought process when deciding if a question is on- or off-topic:

Is it about the Chinese language and written in English and/or Chinese?

  • No. Has the community nevertheless agreed it's on-topic?

  • Yes. Has the community nevertheless agreed it's off-topic?

    • No. Then it's on-topic. If you feel this should change, bring it up on the Chinese.SE meta.

    • Yes, I can point to a meta post or a help page where the community considered it an exception. Then it's off-topic. Commonly encountered exceptions are no-effort-shown translation requests and What does this say? questions.

I'm interested in comparing my thought process with other users here, to see if we're generally on the same page about this.



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