Can some one please explain, further than this post What does "too localized" really entail? why too localized mean a post needs to close. My understanding of it is that the question probably won't be answered (due to not having enough expertise/experience in it etc) which I understand but not as to why it must be closed down. Just because some thing is very narrow or appeals to a limited audience (today) doesn't make it's irrelevant and just because it isn't answered or popular today doesn't mean it can't be tomorrow.

My opinion here is based upon the definition on why to use the Too Localized vote:

"This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, see the FAQ."

To me, this vote reads as 'the question is too hard to answer' which puts a negative connotation on the entire site and down-values the experts who willingly give their knowledge and time.

I think marking it as too localized is a good thing to let the OP know the answer is unlikely to come soon, but to not have it answered at all may not be good, unless the sites do this to 'protect its reputation'; closed votes may be better than unanswered votes (and please don't ready negativity into this question, I'm a fan of these sites and spend well over 90% of my time answering other peoples questions).

Any one willing to shed their ideas on this will be great, as always I'm happy to be wrong but do feel that this area of the site is not strong, although I certainly have no solution. May be I'm thinking too much into it, which ironically would mean as a question/discussion it's probably too localized!

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    Questions showing no research effort or understanding of the topic are not generally too localized. Could you provide some examples?
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 15:41
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    The sidebar has a few interesting MSU topics in the "Related" section you should check them out. I still mostly hold this opinion BTW.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 15:42
  • No, as I can't find any now, ha ha, but this one may be: superuser.com/review/close/68538, although I think this is a the best of a bad bunch to use an example. I think the Related section shows how miss-understood this term is really, so may be that is the case (in that my understanding is also wrong).
    – Dave
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 15:43
  • That question is not too localized IMO. Note that it takes five users (or one moderator) to close a question as too localized, but only one to make it appear in the close review queue. Appearance in the queue doesn't automatically mean other users agree.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 15:46
  • Right, now I remember... I updated my post and added a quote!
    – Dave
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


To me, this vote reads as 'the question is too hard to answer'

No, that's not what it's about.

  • If something's hard to answer for you, then don't answer it, but don't vote to close.
  • If something cannot be answered at all due to logical flaws or false presumptions, then you leave a comment pointing that out and vote to close as Not a real question.
  • If something cannot be reasonably answered within the boundaries of our site, because it'd take a book to explain, it should be closed as Not a real question.

Any question that can be answered and, by doing so, would be a useful question for visitors searching for a similar problem should not be closed as too localized. Unless there are other problems with it, of course. And even if there's a chance that a single person might find the same question useful, it probably shouldn't be closed.

Too localized has multiple dimensions:

  • Time – the most powerful graphics card today will not be the same as in three months from now. Being too localized to time is also one reason shopping recommendation questions are off topic.

  • Space – the fastest internet service provider in Fairbanks, Alaska isn't really something that concerns more than a handful of people. That's what's probably meant by "geographic area". Could be seen as too localized, but then again how many people do in fact live there? Wouldn't someone looking for that also land here, looking for a solution? This is a tough one, although we'd close this as a "shopping" recommendation. Similar concerns apply to languages: Are languages too localized?

  • Situation – this is probably where we close the most questions as "too localized". Did your problem occur because you had a typo somewhere? There's no way someone else will have exact the same typo and land in your situation. The same for shopping recommendations: Your individual configuration of hardware makes your question localized to your machine and no one else's. Or do you work in a company and you're trying to solve a problem with your internal software nobody else has access to? Too localized, definitely.

Just because some thing is very narrow or appeals to a limited audience (today) doesn't make it's irrelevant

Of course. It's the definition of "narrow" and "limited" that makes the difference here.

  • Ah, so like my comments in my OP, it is quite possibly a fault with my understanding. However, why are you explaining this instead of pointing me to a clear definition of the vote tags? Surely your answer should start as the basis of what the tags mean because your answer, however excellent, does not reflect the definition (IMO) of the vote.
    – Dave
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 15:53
  • Although, I think if it's a shopping recommendation Off Topic is better :) However, this really goes to show how 'relax' the terms are (and may be that is a desirable thing, I'll leave it to the SO teams).
    – Dave
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 15:54
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    I assumed the definition was clear, because you see it every time you vote to close as too localized or see a too localized quesiton: > it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation – I mentioned all of these. Space, time and situation.
    – slhck
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 15:54
  • It's amazing, not seeing the wood for the tree's. Yes, your answer is very good, but I think your examples really allowed it to hit home for me. So, in this case it's my understanding which was at fault, thank you for taking the time.
    – Dave
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 15:55
  • slhck and Daniel, thank you both, this is now nice and clear.
    – Dave
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 15:56

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