On meta.SE they have this Tag:

This tag is for questions regarding off topic questions, including whether a question is on topic and what to do with off topic questions.

Wouldn't that be useful here, hopefully not as the most common close reason, but to assist Mods to locate questions to be closed; or possibly where an Editor thought it was obviously off topic and decided to tag the question (and ?hammer? VTC)?

Some sites (SO) have mapped it to [scope] while others (SE) have them separated.

We seem to be missing that Tag, instead we only have these related Tags:

There is no usage guidance for this tag.

There is no usage guidance for this tag.

for questions about which subjects or questions are allowed on this site

In the beta-stage of this StackExchange website we (the community) have to define what our site is about and what our site is not about.

This happens in two ways:

1. Voting to close off-topic questions / Voting to reopen closed questions

2. Meta-posts discussing the scope of this site.

If you have a question whether a topic is on-topic on this site: Ask a meta-question and give it this tag [].

The question you're asking is designed to solicit opinions or best-practices on a particular topic, with the goal of reaching community consensus.

Discussion questions are the heart of your community. For example: Should a certain question be allowed on the site? For what reason did a moderator lock a certain question? Are said actions setting a precedent? Be sure to present your entire case and background information/data so the subject can be discussed fully.

Other references: Off-topic reasons for Quantum Computing

I'll post my 2¢ below, others can put forth alternate suggestions or vote up other answers.

When a decision is made this can get a $\color\red{[\text{status-completed}]}$ Tag and the Moderator can choose the answer. This RFD was prompted by a good question, but better for physics.SE or ornithology.SE.

  • $\begingroup$ Would you be able to give some examples where such a tag could potentially be useful? Also @Discretelizard would you be able to write that up in an answer, so that we can vote on it to get a decision? Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Mithrandir24601 Mod
    Apr 11, 2018 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithrandir24601 I've misread the post, my original comment was based on the assumption that a rename, not a synonym, was suggested. $\endgroup$ Apr 11, 2018 at 13:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Rob Sorry, I meant a post here on meta that would be helped with such a tag - we need a post to actually apply the tag to $\endgroup$
    – Mithrandir24601 Mod
    Apr 11, 2018 at 14:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithrandir24601 - #1, #2, #3, Borderline (better on Math.SE) #4 - PLUS, whatever comes up in the future. I'm discussing the main site on meta, not meta on meta. $\endgroup$
    – Rob
    Apr 11, 2018 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, I'm very confused now - are you suggesting a tag on meta called 'off-topic', or a tag on main called 'off-topic'? If you're suggesting a tag on main, then it's not a good idea as that's the purpose of flagging and voting to close $\endgroup$
    – Mithrandir24601 Mod
    Apr 11, 2018 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Rob The question doesn't talk about tags on main. Please mention this is the question, to be clear. $\endgroup$ Apr 11, 2018 at 17:17
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Rob I suppose the moderators won't accept it as a tag on main: See this blog post: stackoverflow.blog/2010/08/07/the-death-of-meta-tags $\endgroup$
    – luap42
    Apr 11, 2018 at 19:09

2 Answers 2


I don't see the need to change names here. The name scope is clear, and the tag excerpt

for questions about which subjects or questions are allowed on this site

makes it clear. Also, is already a synonym of scope. There is no harm in make a synonym, but I don't like the scheme with the retagging after a 'decision has been made' (by a moderator? What? Moderators should listen to the community, not be an arbiter!), for the following reasons:

  1. Someone will have to decide when there is 'consensus', which is hard in general. Also, potentially useful contributions made after 'consensus' has been reached will likely be undervalued.
  2. Why do we want to 'draw a line in the sand', anyway? I think it is better if the discussion doesn't have a point where it is 'closed', as the voting will make clear what the preferable action is.

  3. This is not how the tag system is designed and seems problematic, as tags need to be locked by moderators to prevent the question answer from changing it.

  4. It is better if the decision (on- or off-topic) is directly accompanied with the reasoning. Making it easier to find the decision and skip the reasoning doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

Your question is a bit unclear, but here's what I'd have to say:

  • if you mean should be on meta, then see Discrete lizard's answer. Tags on meta shouldn't be used to alert mods or anyone to bad questions anyway, unless there is something to actually discuss.

  • if you mean should be on main...oh the horror!

Having a tag like that on main is

  1. a meta tag, which by stack exchange standard is just a bad idea to begin with
  2. rather unnecessary, as if something is off-topic, low-rep users can flag to get into the queue and high-rep users can vote to close to get into the queue.

That's my 2 cents on the subject.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In addition, when it comes to migration (which is something SE doesn't seem to be a massive fan of right now), there are already processes in place for doing this that don't require the use of extra tags $\endgroup$
    – Mithrandir24601 Mod
    Apr 12, 2018 at 7:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .