This question is not off-topic. Specifically, it is a question that might be asked by a computer enthusiast, about

  • computer hardware,
  • computer software, or
  • personal and home computer networking

and it is not about

  • programming and software development,
  • video games or consoles,
  • websites or web services like Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress,
  • electronic devices, media players, cell phones or smart phones, except insofar as they interface with your computer,
  • issues specific to corporate IT support and networks,
  • asking for a product, service or learning material recommendation,

Additionally, it does not fall into the list of questions to avoid asking:

It is a practical, answerable question based on an actual problem. It is not chatty or open-ended. It is reasonably scoped. It is not a request for discussion. It is not a subjective question.

If questions with simple answers that can be found simply by Googling "traceroute" are not welcome on the site, then this should be made clear on the on-topic or off-topic pages. As it is, it is incorrect and unhelpful to new users to close a question like this one.

I did a bit of research before posting, and it is not clear to me what the correct course of action is here. There are posts on other sites about this, but I couldn't find anything directly addressing this for SU.

I suppose my ultimate question is: why was this question closed? which by its asking, obviously implies that the already provided answer (it is off-topic) is incorrect.

I've tagged this for support and discussion because I am concerned that this specific problem addresses a larger problem with SU and perhaps SE as a whole, and I want feedback both from moderators and from the community about how it should be addressed.

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  • I'm not convinced it it off-topic for the reason given, but it is quite broad.. as in what depth do we go into into explaining the meaning of the IP adresses and various bits and OP doesn't actually explain what their problem with the actual output is... but there are a good couple of duplicates and related questions that already exist. superuser.com/questions/611736 and superuser.com/questions/777866 are a couple of easy ones to find and have good answers. – Mokubai Apr 9 at 16:24

Why was this question closed?

There are a finite amount of close reasons, it's the system we have, and the close reason that would best describes the reason "too broad" no longer exists. Perhaps the moderator should have chosen, Needs more focus instead of saying it was asking for a learning recommendation, but it was still a low quality question in my opinion.

Here is a current screenshot of Multiple IP addresses on traceroute

enter image description here

The author wants somebody to explain the results of a trackroute, it's not clear by their question, what part of that output they didn't understand. The author failed to provide any indication what their research they performed before they asked the question. To put it simply, while it's clear what they want explained, what they want is extremely broad in my opinion.

I said something similar in a more recent question about this particular question. I also indicated that at any point the author of the question, could improve their question, and it would be eligible to be reopened. In fact, if enough users thought it should be reopened without an edit, the community could override the closure of the question. I think it's important to point out, multiple users have indicated they disagree with the closure of that question, but not a single one of those users have actually voted to reopen the question.

Related Question: Continuous overuse of moderation rights

which by its asking, obviously implies that the already provided answer (it is off-topic) is incorrect.

Multiple IP addresses on traceroute did not receive an answer before it was closed.

I've tagged this for support and discussion because I am concerned that this specific problem addresses a larger problem with SU and perhaps SE as a whole, and I want feedback both from moderators and from the community about how it should be addressed.

The question probably should have been closed as a duplicate instead of the current close reason. Given that it has received almost zero attention I am not sure if reopening it to close it with the correct reason would benefit anyone.

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  • It's disappointing that the most correct thing for me to do is select an answer that substantiates my speculation: the original post was closed for the wrong reason. But yeah, it seems that such is the case, and as such, this is the answer that makes the most sense. – SuperElitist Apr 9 at 20:19
  • @SuperElitist - It wasn't necessarily closed for the wrong reasons. The moderator select an option, that in their opinion, was the closest reason they believe the question was closed. The closure allows the author to fix the problems with the question. – Ramhound Apr 9 at 20:44
  • We're going to disagree on that. I believe that just because the Mod chose a reason that was "closest" doesn't make it correct. Is it acceptable? Well, I'm not going to stop using SU because I think a single mod made a single incorrect decision... But ultimately I brought it up because I think there's better solutions, and that to better service the community, especially new users, we should focus on developing those solutions. The feedback I've seen here makes me suspect that very few other people share my viewpoint, though. – SuperElitist Apr 10 at 17:10
  • @SuperElitis - If you want to suggest better ways to close a question that should be closed make that suggestion. However, it’s impossible to have a close reason, for every reason a question should be closed. It’s unproductive to reopen a question just to close it with the correct close reason. That certainly can be done by the community though, but I won’t vote to reopen a question, that I believe should remain closed. – Ramhound Apr 10 at 18:28

Why was this question closed?

The OP asked:

What are each of these lines?

Explaining how tracert works and what is the meaning of its output is asking for "learning material" recommendations.

The OP also did not provide any evidence of having researched tracert.

From How do I ask a good question? - Help Center - Super User:

Search, and research

Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and above all, it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!

If the OP had searched for "explain tracert output" he would have found on the first page of results the following links all of which answer his question.

Etc, Etc.

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  • Because it's part of the clause about product recommendations, I believe that "learning material recommendations" explicitly refers to requests for the materials themselves, i.e. "what textbook would do a good job teaching me about tracert?". Answering the question itself is not providing learning materials (I mean, you could argue that, but it's a pretty disingenuous use of semantics). The second part of your answer is much more on-point, although I didn't see anything on that page that suggested that not following those directions would result in a question being closed. – SuperElitist Apr 9 at 17:01

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