I asked the following question, and it was closed as "too broad". This boggles my mind, as the research I did for the question meant that I'd made it as specific as a question could possibly be, and the fact I included in the question every link necessary to answer it meant that all that was required of a prospective answerer was the time to read the patent and the technical knowledge to understand it.

The specific problem faced is a clear one - how to securely wipe an SSD with 100% effectiveness - and is a huge issue for those who know the state of the issue; that due to faulty implementations of Secure Erase, there is currently no 100% reliable and free way to do so, for a technology that will make up the vast majority of hard drives within the next 10 years. Given this background, understanding how the only patent out there that reliably does so works seems a specific and highly important problem for the average consumer, least of all myself.


The gist of the question is outlined here:

... I don't have the time, technical knowledge or experience at reading legalese required to decode it.

The question should be closed as off-topic because the question is "provide me a summary of the page being linked" which itself can be seen as too broad because at what reading level do you want it distilled down to?

  • Nonsense. What reading level does the community usually decide to write answers to, or does common sense generally dictate that well enough? Most of the specialised questions on this site require summaries of crucial sources. You're telling me the extra, voluntary step of including the link in the answer suddenly makes them off topic? – Hashim Jan 7 '19 at 23:02
  • You're providing a non-sequitur of a defence - a defence for a different and brand-new close reason no less - that doesn't stand up to any sort of rationality, but it will be voted up regardless because this community is intent on closing even good questions provided it's able to pluck inane close reasons out of thin air, even while disregarding any sort of base consistency between those reasons. – Hashim Jan 7 '19 at 23:02
  • @Hashim, the question was closed before I saw it, but my reaction to it was the same as random describes. At least as written, the question is not how to solve a computer hardware or software problem. It asks people to distill a document for you, which is not really on-topic. If you tweaked the wording to just ask for an explanation, and assuming the content is well known, that would be more of a computer science question. But it might be "close enough" that the community might make an exception (which is the value of the "inconsistency" you complained about in your other post). :-) – fixer1234 Jan 8 '19 at 0:30
  • @fixer1234 So in answer to my question, removing all of my research prior to "How exactly does Blancco's patented technology for securely wiping SSDs work?" would indeed make the question more on-topic... and you don't think that's backward? I'm being punished for actually doing my own research, and it's a ridiculous approach to moderation. Also, as has been evidenced, it wasn't close enough - that's why we're here. – Hashim Jan 8 '19 at 0:34
  • @Hashim, the problem isn't the context or your research, it's what you're asking people to do in answer to your question. Asking people to distill a document isn't an on-topic request, even if the content relates to computers. Asking people to explain how a computer-related thing works is closer, but still computer theory rather than a specific computer-related problem. However, that kind of question often gets a pass from the community. (cont'd) – fixer1234 Jan 8 '19 at 1:03
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    If the patent you're asking about has already been implemented and people are familiar with it, the question would be more on-topic and get a better response than if it is still just a theoretical approach. – fixer1234 Jan 8 '19 at 1:03
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    @Hashim - A question being closed is not a punishment. – Ramhound Jan 14 '19 at 20:23

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