Recently, dozens (!) of old questions have been unilaterally closed in Web Apps SE as “needs details or clarity”, or closed as duplicates of questions also closed as “needs details or clarity”. (Some of them are also locked.) None of them have any comments indicating what specific details or clarity would make them reopenable, and this comment (or a similar comment) was left on those questions by the moderator who closed them:
This question doesn't meet the current quality standards.
The comments link to the help center article, “Why do I see a message that my question does not meet quality standards?”
That help center article is for users whose questions were automatically blocked by the SE server and are automatically notified that their “question does not meet quality standards”. However, the questions in question were posted successfully and not blocked, so that article should not apply to them.
I'd agree that that Help Center article should not be linked to in these cases, because it's about a completely different situation, as you point out.
The Web Apps SE help center also categorizes that help center article under "Closed Questions", as if it's a reason for closing questions. Screenshot:
I made this meta post because I’m puzzled that the “needs details or clarity” close reason has been connected with the help center article for questions that are automatically blocked by the SE server, as if it is site policy. I’m wondering whether this was an intention or purpose for the “needs details or clarity” close reason.
I would like to ask for clarification about this practice of closing questions as “needs details or clarity” and referring the askers to the aforementioned help center article. The article suggests that questions should show research, among other things.
- Is the “needs details or clarity” close reason connected with that help center article?
- Is this practice consistent with SE policy?
- Is it applicable to all SE sites or only to Web Apps SE? (I've only noticed this practice in Web Apps SE.)
- Does this mean that questions without research will be closed in Web Apps SE? (A cursory look at questions on this site, will show that most of them do not show research.)
I appreciate any clarification on this matter.
Note: I originally posted a version of this question on Meta SE, asking if this practice was appropriate for all SE sites, but it was closed for the reason that I should have posted it on Web Apps SE Meta instead. Therefore, I am posting it here with some modifications to make it specific to Web Apps SE.
Relevant Web Apps SE meta posts for context about the closure of the questions in question:
Do the moderators plan to close most questions on this site? — lists some of the questions closed, there are dozens more not listed
Is showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps SE? — A meta discussion post, ironically closed as “needs details or clarity”; no further answers can be added to the discussion of this topic by the community.
Is showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps.SE? — A meta discussion post, closed as a duplicate of the above closed “needs details or clarity” question, again preventing the community from discussing the issue.
Let's make "research efforts" more specific: request to search the web app help — This meta post discusses “research effort” and refers to the “Why do I see a message that my question does not meet quality standards?” help center article.
- The OP, who is also the moderator who closed the questions, mentioned the help center article:
This oldest rules have synthetised in the help article Why do I see a message that my question does not meet quality standards?.
However, the top-voted answers disagree with the OP’s post, which indicates a lack of community support.
Why do the moderators refuse to clearly state whether showing research is a requirement when posting a question on WebApps.SE? — There is still no clear answer on what the policy is to avoid getting questions closed as “needs details or clarity”. For example, is “showing research” mandatory?
Relevant Web Apps SE meta posts about some of the specific questions closed (Notice the votes of the question and answers; the Web Apps SE community is generally not in favor of closing these questions):
- What part of the question "Can I permanently hide the YouTube chat window?" needs details or clarity?
- This question is extremly clear and detailed, but closed. How can it be made clearer?
- What shall I add in this question on Slack to have it reopened?
- Should questions be closed if there might be an answer somewhere else on the web?
- Request to reopen my Facebook question that I believe was wrongly marked as duplicate of a question closed as "needs details or clarity"
- Please, reopen my question or give me a good reason on why it was closed
- How are we supposed to show one's research when posting a question?
- What part of the question "How do I schedule a comment on Reddit?" needs details or clarity?
- What can I do if my questions are getting closed by 1 mod as "needs details or clarity" but no comments are given as to what is unclear?