Now that we have consensus on adding a fourth custom-close reason (and confirmation from Community Manager @Catija that she's happy to do so), we now need to agree on the wording.

The original phrasing was...

This question does not appear to be about science fiction or fantasy within the scope defined in the help center.

Which I felt (at the time and now) is perfectly clear, but there's evidently concern that this is 'too generic and not helpful' and there's too much scope for it to be used to generically.

Any ideas on how to improve it? Suggestion from @Catija was

The media this question is about is not considered Sci-fi or Fantasy by our scope [link to meta post]

  • 1
    For an example post for what close reason fields need to have wording proposed for them see here.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 14:49
  • 7
    I actually found the original wording quite clear.
    – Basya
    Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 13:40
  • @Basya - There was concern that it might be misused or misunderstood, despite a wealth of evidence to suggest that that didn't happen before.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 14:45
  • 5
    @Valorum: I tend to assume that the problem is "within the scope defined in the help center" sounds like boilerplate "blah blah blah we didn't like your question, now kindly @%!$ off" rather than an actual pointer to useful information. Or at least, that's how non-SE users tend to interpret it, anyway.
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 19:08
  • @TheLethalCarrot - This ever gonna happen?
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 18:43
  • 1
    @Valorum the CMs won’t do anything until some concise wording has been chosen. The only answer with that still has templating in it so they won’t do it yet.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 18:51
  • @TheLethalCarrot - At present we appear to be using the old wording repeatedly in custom closes.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 22:23

2 Answers 2


I am going to suggest a slight modification to @Catija's wording:

This question does not refer to a work or story element that is considered Sci-fi or Fantasy within our scope [link to meta post]

I think this wording covers all of the bases without going too far into the weeds.

  • I dislike the word "media" here because a story's substrate should be irrelevant.
  • Sometimes tropes in general are the subjects of questions, especially history-of ones
  • Some story-id questions don't have enough details to determine if a specific work is meant or not.
  • Sometimes there are mixtures of elements from different stories that OP conflated.
  • Finally, there have been several questions about works that OP thinks is SF or fantasy, but just can't provide any elements that fit the bill.

"work or story element" could be lengthened to "work, story element, or cultural phenomenon" or just shortened to "anything" (but the latter might come across as too nasty).

  • 3
    To be clear, a new custom close reason would need to fill all five of the text boxes mentioned in Skooba's answer, with clear information about the close reason, as detailed as possible when accounting for character limits. Since the feeling is that the current proposed close reason is too vague, CMs would like to see a clear description of it to justify the need to create a new close-reason slot for SFF.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 19:48
  • @Randal'Thor I was hoping to get more done on my answer. Then alas, I have been distracted for days! This is why I made my answer a community wiki; I was hoping other users would fill in the blanks or make changes.
    – Skooba
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 11:56
  • @Skooba I guess if I inserted the "work or story element" language into your answer, we'd all be closer?
    – Spencer
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 12:57
  • Brief Description is the bold header for the close reason.

Out of Scope

  • Usage Guidance is what will appear in the close menu, advising people when to use the close reason.

The work or story element being referenced in this question is not considered to be Science Fiction or Fantasy within this community's scope. For more details about what is considered in-scope, please (follow this link).

  • Close Description will be shown to everyone in the post notice and should be relatively short.

This question was closed for not being about a work or element of Science Fiction or Fantasy (described here). It is currently not accepting answers.

  • Post Owner Guidance appears in the post notice and is how the OP should fix the question (if possible).

This question was closed for not being about a work or element of Science Fiction or Fantasy (described here). Please edit your question to show clear elements of Science Fiction or Fantasy. After that, you can post a request on our meta site for the question to be reopened.

  • Privileged User Guidance is informative for the people with close privilege regarding what the close reason is.

This site is about Science Fiction and Fantasy, and questions should clearly ask about works or elements from this genre. An asker may or may not actually have such a subject in mind, but even then, we can't be sure when the question doesn't contain clear details within the site's scope.

  • 1
    "about a work of..." could be interpreted as meaning "you have to specify a particular work in a question and we're only going to talk about that one" and exclude questions about SFF tropes and history-of type questions.
    – Spencer
    Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 9:48
  • 1
    Out "community scope" does not consider the media or work to be science fiction or fantasy? Our "scope" is personified as a conscious being, capable of considering some work science fiction or fantasy? Was this passage Google-translated to English from some other language?
    – user14111
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 5:36
  • 2
    @user14111 instead of just a snarky comment, why not propose different wording?
    – Skooba
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 11:54
  • 1
    @Skooba I added some stuff, but since I don't know what the character limits are, they may be too long. Also, we may need a diamond to give us a better privileged user guidance.
    – Spencer
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 13:10
  • @Spencer See here for an example from when "we" did the FWP close reason.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 13:25
  • @TheLethalCarrot Are we within character limits?
    – Spencer
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 21:06
  • @Spencer I’m not sure, the character limits are shown in my link above though. That said there are still placeholders in the recommended text above so it still needs some work.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 21:13
  • @TheLethalCarrot I can't see what's left.
    – Spencer
    Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 0:06
  • @Spencer the text having things like [Meta Link 1] is always a sign it’s not finished.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 7:11
  • @TheLethalCarrot You probably already saw my new separate meta question asking if a simple link to the appropriate help article is enough. I don't know if you have a time limit in mind.
    – Spencer
    Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 14:47
  • 1
    I totally forgot I started this.... whoops.
    – Skooba
    Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 14:55
  • 2
    Some feedback, Skooba and @Spencer: (a) the help/on-topic page actually contains no information about what's considered sci-fi or fantasy, only about what types of questions (about sci-fi and fantasy) are considered on-topic for this site, so better links are needed there; (b) recommending askers of closed questions to make meta posts requesting reopening is probably going to go down like a lead balloon: not every closed-and-edited question needs a meta post, usually they either get reopened without meta help or they'd stay closed anyway.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2022 at 19:43

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