I don’t get how the "This question does not appear to be about Apple hardware or software within the scope defined in the help centre" works.

Today I saw this question: WhatsApp doesn’t show usernames on notifications and I found the answer really helpful to sort out a similar problem. The closure reason was:

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's a Basic Customer Support question. Please see the meta post link for details on how to proceed if you can edit the post and, if put on Hold, have the Hold reviewed. You can also contact the software developer for assistance with their product.

But I don't get why this question was closed when other questions like: Command in MS Word on Mac to resize whole text, OSX Powerpoint 2011 Pagination, and How can I sort PDF by date in Adobe Acrobat on iOS? are allowed to remain open

The first two questions are about the Mac versions of two different Microsoft products.

The third question is about the iOS version of an Adobe product.

How are any of these different to the iOS version of WhatsApp, a Facebook product?

Maybe I'm a little slow, but last time I checked Microsoft, Adobe and Facebook are all not Apple, so why are they being treated differently? Should they not all be treated the same?

Surely all these questions should either be open or closed.


1 Answer 1


Before I dive into the specifics of close reasons, let's be clear about "Surely all these questions should either be open or closed" – since this site is community moderated by volunteers across time zones and across the globe – there will never be a unified bar on what all questions are and how to interpret the line between a poor question or a good question, and the system is designed to work around that lack of one clear line between good and bad.

Also – when I say moderators I mean all of you that vote and flag and edit – not us handful of elected moderators or the site operators and staff.

As to this specific post - we have dozens of FaceBook whats app questions open so this just looks like a run of the mill situation where one post was closed since different people had different positions on what's off topic and what's on as opposed to a hard line being crossed and everyone is in perfect agreement that the post is low quality.

Your premise is correct – there should be no preference for one third party vendor or another – and even our "problem child" app of Clash of Clans that draws the highest count repetitive, poorly worded, pleas for basic customer support questions isn't "off topic" due to clash of clans. The bad questions asked about those third party apps should be closed due to general low quality issues - not that it's about COC.

The initial revision of this post is a good example of a question lacking any basic troubleshooting and is simply a two sentence plea for HELP if it's not clear what a quality problem might be with a question in general.

Back to the main point, should this post be closed? In this case, I disagree with the close reason – there's enough research and clarity that a good answer could be added. Furthermore, this is a widely used app and this is a core feature of that app that's broken so people will need help understanding how to fix that feature on iOS.

Technically, now that it has an answer, I don't think there's a huge benefit to reopen it since I doubt another good answer will be provided, but as part of levelling the data and doing the theoretically "right" thing – let's leave this open unless we discover that you and I are the only ones that feel this should fall on the "OK to be open" side of the basic trouble shooting close reason. This looks to be a subtle interaction between app features, iOS SDK design decisions and not some basic feature the OP missed in a third party app.

  • 2
    I didn't get that the community can also close questions by how they vote! Thank you for the explanation.
    – derutaef
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 20:02

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