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I recently had a question closed, with very little in the way of feedback or explanation, because the question didn't fit in with the current rules. The fact that the question was 7 years old and highly upvoted and viewed didn't seem to matter. The fact that the question was highly relevant to World Building didn't seem to matter. What mattered was the fact that the rules had changed and now my question was now deemed to be worthy of closing (when I asked why it was closed, I got about 3 different explanations, so why the question was closed was not clear to me).

I understand that moderating a website like this is hard work - I recognize that rules need to be put in place and that many of the submissions made here will ignore those rules, and that only makes the lives of moderators harder. I have done moderation myself, I get that it's a difficult and often thankless job.

But is this group of moderators so lazer focused on the rules of the site that they have missed out of the spirit of this group? The very purpose of this group was for World Builders to be able to share and pool their knowledge - not so someone can jump through several hoops just in order to appease the latest version of the rules - if this is the case, don't the rules need adjusting so that they better reflect the spirit of this site?

So my question is this:

If you see a question (or answer) that is very much in the spirit of World Building, about the subject of World Building - a question or answer that could very well help others with their own World Building - BUT that question doesn't fit in with the current rules of the site - what is your current response?

Do you just vote to close and move on?

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    $\begingroup$ From an outsider's point of view, if I see a question in the review queue, I don't look at how old it is. Also if it's been up for 7 years, then it being closed shouldn't make a big difference right? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 25, 2022 at 13:27

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You seem to be mistaking questions that are appropriate for building fictional worlds from questions that are appropriate for this site. Stack Exchanges is an opinionated platform. It has been designed to be strict about the questions that are permitted on a site.

The stack exchange format promises that there is structure and moderation of questions. The tour, after stating that "we're a bit different from other sites", emphasizes that there are types of questions that should not be asked on this site.

Not all questions work well in our format. Avoid questions that are primarily opinion-based, or that are likely to generate discussion rather than answers.

Questions that need improvement may be closed until someone fixes them.

Don't ask about...

  • Anything not directly related to worldbuilding
  • Questions that are primarily opinion-based
  • Questions with too many possible answers or that would require an extremely long answer

The spirit of this site is based on the Stack Exchange model. We don't hold a monopoly on worldbuilding. We don't even hold a monopoly on worldbuilding Q&A. There are countless worldbuilding sites out there. Each brings something unique to the table. We are worldbuliding.stackexchange. From it's inception we were built to be a Stack Exchange site.

We're a grand experiment in how to make this model work for the very broad and often subjective topic of worldbuilding. Every rule we've created, every policy decision, was informed by being a Stack Exchange site. We could have permitted questions about 3rd party worlds, story based questions, but that would run contrary to the design philosophy of SE. If you look at other SE sites with subjective topics they still close questions that are too subjective, or broad to fit within the SE model. We are no different. As an SE site we must base our policy decisions on the SE model. To do otherwise is to remove the one thing that makes this site unique.

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