I'm still relatively new to this site, but periodically, I'll see questions like:

  • "Why can't anyone see the prophecy that's happening before our very eyes?"
  • "Doesn’t nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him?"
  • "Are you willing to solve the puzzle [of when Jesus will come back]?"

I suppose we could just go with "unclear what you're asking." These questions seem like they have a more fundamental problem, though: fundamentally, the asker doesn't even seem to be looking for an answer to a question - the "question" is purely rhetorical, an excuse for a thinly-veiled rant (see the first two example questions), an excuse to write what amounts to a blog post trying to expound on some view, or just a stump-the-chumps type question. In any case, questions like this are definitely not real questions where the OP is genuinely soliciting information from the community.

Can we have a close reason for questions that don't even appear to be soliciting an answer (e.g. “______ sucks, am I right?” type questions, "soap-box questions" where the poster is just trying to persuade us of a particular view, etc.)?

Perhaps something like the following:

Posts written primarily to advocate for a particular view or opinion are off-topic here. Posts are expected to contain an actual question that can be answered by appealing to facts, references, or specific expertise, but this either does not contain a question at all or the question cannot be answered in its current state because it is vague, ambiguous, overly broad, incomplete, or rhetorical.

The wording could definitely be improved, but could there be some kind of close reason for "not even asking a legitimate question"?

  • 3
    There used to be a "not a real question" close reason SE-wide. Many of us have lamented its absence. But yes, "unclear what you're asking" was intended to replace it.
    – Susan
    Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 2:30
  • 1
    @Susan Yes, it was replaced by "too broad" and "unclear" (there's also one on Stack Overflow for "incomplete / insufficient information"). I do think that there ought to be a "not a real question" close reason for our site that's distinct from "unclear," though - there's a difference between "you're actually looking for information from us, we just can't tell what it is" and "you're not even looking for information from us, just ranting about x" - if anything, I actually think that the latter is actually more harmful to the site. Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 3:29
  • The very existence of the site causes there to be a 'soap box' present, unavoidably. Kicking the soap box away would involve closing the site. But closing questions is sometimes a rather discrete process. I don't have to say exactly why I want to close a question. I can use my discretion.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 13:02

1 Answer 1


I understand what kind of question you're talking about, and yes we do need to close them. But besides the underlying motivation of the asked (which you have described) these posts are almost always directly symptomatic of one of our other close reasons. Some of them are too broad, some don't start from the text, others and unclear.

I haven't seen an example yet of a question of this sort that isn't also symptomatic of one of our other close reasons and easily dispatched that way.

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