Consider Sign in problem with Google in Pokèmon Go, and the two close reasons:

  • Unclear what you're asking

    • Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.
  • Too broad

    • There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.

I'm going to use this question as an example, but I've seen this time and time again. Questions with little detail are often closed for "Unclear what you're asking" instead of "Too broad", when the latter seems more appropriate to me. In the example question, the asker has a very clear problem, and is asking a very clear question, but the amount of detail on the question makes answering it mostly guesswork until it's edited to provide more information.

I believe an appropriate close reason, in addition to comments on the question itself, would help the asker understand what is wrong with their question, and fix it accordingly.

I've seen this other meta post about a similar topic, but no mention of any "Too broad" close reason makes me think it didn't exist yet: Is “Unclear what you're asking” -flag used as a way to ask for more details?.

So unless I'm terribly misunderstanding both close reasons, I'd like you all to remember that the "Too broad" close reason exists, and to use it appropriately.

  • Unclear works fantastically for the exact same purpose. Either close reason works.
    – Frank
    Sep 23, 2016 at 19:21
  • 8
    @Frank You mean you're not sure what my example is asking? I have to disagree with that and I'm disappointed that you think two close reasons are the same. Sep 23, 2016 at 19:22
  • 6
    I don't think the two close reasons are the same. But when not enough details have been provided, either reason works just fine. There's an argument to be made for either.
    – Frank
    Sep 23, 2016 at 22:55
  • 2
    @Frank If the reasons can be one and the same, why do they both exist? Sep 26, 2016 at 15:58
  • 2
    @Kaizerwolf Because we only have a limited number of close reasons, and we try to ensure they aren't too specific, so they can be applied across broder areas. It means we run into things like this, sometimes, where multiple close reasons can be used for the same thing. Neither is perfect, and both can work.
    – Frank
    Sep 26, 2016 at 16:00
  • 5
    @Kaizerwolf they are not one and the same, but sometimes both apply to the same question and later close voters tend to pile onto whichever one the initial close vote picked. Sep 26, 2016 at 19:19
  • I'd say this would be a problem if people were regularly raising metas or comments on closed questions that are closed as unclear (with their complaint being that the close reason is wrong). I'm not sure that is the case. Being told a question is too broad or unclear will re-open if the OP (or others) re-define the scope of the question.
    – user101016
    Sep 28, 2016 at 16:02
  • Don't get me wrong, I agree that people do occasionally choose unclear when it should be too broad, but regardless it doesn't seem to have a negative effect.
    – user101016
    Sep 28, 2016 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


Too Broad is for when the question is answerable, but the answer would be too long for our format.

Unclear What You're Asking is for when the question can't be usefully answered because it doesn't have enough details or is so poorly worded.

As someone who's never played Pokemon Go, I can't say for sure which of those works better for your example, but I could see it going both ways.

One might think that you could answer the question by providing a breakdown of every possible reason for not being able to sign-in again. But, not only would that be broad, most of it would not actually apply to their situation, so you might say that that is not only too much information, most of it isn't useful. So, since there's not enough information to write an answer that definitely applies to them, you might say that it is unclear what they're asking.

Either way, Frank is right, it's not really important which close reason is used. Close voters (the first one, at least), should leave some kind of explanation of why they are voting and what changes they think could save the question. This is more important than the canned message in the banner.

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