I notice that many people here are brand-new to SE sites. They are asking thoughtful questions, but oftentimes those questions get closed solely because they are inappropriate to an SE site, or to SE.Drones. (How important is the plastic coating around a coax? is my favorite go-to example right now).

Voting to close and/or down-voting are important and unavoidable, but there's a certain unintended sting associated with seeing that your question isn't appreciated in the context you intended. It would be great to lessen that sting and instead channel the energy into productive ways.

I feel like the relative quantity of newcomers here fundamentally changes the equation and so techniques from other SE sites might not carry over well.

Advice for how to close something gently, but efficiently?

  • $\begingroup$ Well worth reading meta.stackexchange.com/search?q=new+users+downvote as this has been discussed many many times across different SE sites. $\endgroup$
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Apr 17, 2020 at 8:56
  • $\begingroup$ I feel like those answers have critical mass of experienced users in mind. Do you feel the answer stays relatively invariant with our high percentages of SE newcomers? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 17, 2020 at 13:03

2 Answers 2


It will depend on the question, but in some cases, it may be possible to edit it so that it is a better fit and would be considered on topic; the risk is changing the meaning of the question too much. For example, if the question you cite was actually the OP asking if he could remove the outer coating for weight reduction, it could become a more on-topic question.

Additionally, posting a friendly, useful and constructive comment explaining why you think it should be closed is helpful, as it helps the newcomer to understand why their question is being rejected.


What is the best way to close questions without losing newcomers?

One should start by welcoming the newly arrived newcomer. Then and should explain why we think this question /answer should be closed as well as offering a way to improve questions/answers for future enquires.

Always be polite and follow the Code of Conduct for all Stack Exchange sites.


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