Please add a "doesn't follow category guidelines" flag reason

When flagging a post, I feel as if more specific options should be available. As I look at the forum today I come across many posts that don’t follow category guidelines. The post isn’t inappropriate, isn’t in the wrong category, nor is it advertisement/spam so the only real option is to either tell them how to use it correctly or flag it as “something else”.

As stated in the forum rules, users should be reading the About topic before posting. When doing so, they will be able to know how to post correctly. However, many topics (in scripting support for example) do things like this:

  • Post or ask for full scripts
  • Post screenshots of scripts (instead of formatting them correctly)
  • Don’t post any code at all
  • Don’t say what they want to achieve/their error
  • Aren’t specific & very vague

which is the opposite of what is asked of members to do when posting a topic


If a post does not follow the category rules, it is not appropriate for the category, thus is off-topic.



My point is if topics don’t fully follow category guidelines. A topic which regards scripting yet doesn’t describe their specific error (for example) isn’t off topic nor inappropriate for that category. It just doesn’t follow the guidelines, but that doesn’t make it off topic. If this request isn’t possible, I still ask that dev rel can make the off-topic option more specific to include posts which don’t follow its category guidelines.

I like to point out that these guideline expectations can usually be corrected by user-awareness. If you believe that OP is not providing enough information, you can ask for them to elaborate on their issue. If OP posts a screenshot, you can ask them to format it correctly. Sometimes a little nudge in the right direction is more productive then flags, especially in support categories. If a user intentionally fails to listen to your advice, then you may consider flagging.

IMO, mentioned above, “It’s Off-Topic” to me is the reasonable option for not following category guidelines.

It is though. Each category has it’s specific expectations. In this case, it would be “Aren’t specific & very vague”, which makes it off-topic because you no longer are meeting the relevant expectations for the category. Though I wouldn’t really say failing to provide a specific error is much of an issue. At that point you could just inform/ ask or give them advice.

To add to @Automationeer 's point, you can flag posts which don’t follow category guidance as spam. They might still be in the correct category (and therefore aren’t off-topic) but if they don’t adhere to what the guidance is telling them to add, their topic is essentially useless, and can therefore be classed as spam.

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Flag options can’t be changed by DevRel as it’s baked into the forum software.

However ‘not appropriate for this forum category’ does include violations of the category guidelines, not just posts that would be better suited elsewhere.

Alternatively, you may use Something Else and briefly describe that the flagged post violates category guidelines.

You typically want to use “Something Else” when flagging so you can give more information, like mentioning which part of the post specifically doesn’t follow category guidelines.