There's a recent meta thread in politics that discussed new close reason for their SE, and both seem apt for the History SE. Quoting them verbatim:


Questions asking for the internal motivations of people, how specific individuals would behave in hypothetical situations or predictions for future events are off-topic, because answers would be based on speculation and their correctness could not be verified with sources available to the public.

Too opinionated

a.k.a. "rant in disguise"

The primary purpose of this question appears to be to promote or discredit a specific political cause, group or politician. It does not appear to be a good-faith effort to learn more about governments, policies and political processes as defined in the help center.

Might there be merit in adding some variation of one of both of them here?

  • 3
    It probably is about time we took a good hard look at the wording of our close reasons. I'd suggest rephrasing the custom one we do have while we're at it, but perhaps that's another meta question.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Jul 21, 2017 at 22:06
  • 2
    Might I humbly suggest answers to this question look over the meta thread history.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/618/…. I've been linking newbies to it for a couple of years. It might be nice to make some attempt to reconcile what's in there with our close reasons.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Jul 21, 2017 at 22:10
  • @T.E.D.- That list you gave looks like a lot of work.
    – J Asia
    Jul 21, 2017 at 22:14
  • @JAsia Yes, Mark Wallace is awesome. A force for improving quality around here. Jul 24, 2017 at 14:09
  • @axsvl77 - It seems this self-policing is burdensome. Is there no comprehensive guide - such as Wikibooks guidelines - that we can simply adopt and stick with? Too much work on admins otherwise.
    – J Asia
    Jul 24, 2017 at 15:36
  • @JAsia It is more of a community; it is what we make it. A set of rules without enforcement probably won't work on the internet today. Jul 24, 2017 at 21:51
  • It may be a good idea to omit from the description of "Too opinionated" the following: "The primary purpose of this question appears to be to promote or discredit a specific political cause, group or politician." The problem is that it posits the internal motivations of people and is thus itself "Speculative." However, perhaps in the absence of a description of the train of thought that led to the formulation of the question, we have a vacuum that may be filled by speculation that the motive is to promote or discredit something. May 4, 2021 at 16:47

2 Answers 2


Yes, there could be some overlap. Politics is all about leadership -- that's almost always about character and motivation. But, on the whole, I think History is different because it is more big picture. History covers more than just personalities, it is - at heart - factual. And it's about events, occurrences, geographical, ecological, etc ... the lot.

So, it depends on the question really, is it really asking about the motivation of a historic character. In fact, in well-documented events, the motivation of lead character, i.e. Hannibal, Henry IV, Hideyoshi, etc. -- their motivations were usually documented.

In short, I wouldn't put a blanket NO.

  • 1
    From what little I've participated in over there, that stack actually tolerates a lot of slop in questions and answers that we don't.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Jul 21, 2017 at 22:03
  • So, you're sating it is more 'strict' in HISTORY?
    – J Asia
    Jul 21, 2017 at 22:11
  • 2
    We tend to be a very strict stack. I think last I checked your odds of keeping a new question open were about 2 in 3. I once talked to a mod in some other obscure beta that actually has a higher closure rate than us, but there aren't a lot of them.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Jul 21, 2017 at 22:26
  • Ah, ok. Didn't realise.
    – J Asia
    Jul 21, 2017 at 23:56

"Too opinionated" is a "common" problem on the site. The usual context is "holocaust revision" but there are others. We have in the past wondered what to do about such questions. It seems like Politics SE has given us a good answer.

As for speculative questions, there is "good speculative," and "bad speculative. A "speculative" question is one like this one. Even though it was poorly worded, I answered it by citing a passage from "Mein Kampf," and a "good speculative" question should ask for such a reference, IMHO. A "bad speculative question (that doesn't ask for references like this one) should be closed. I would not answer it today, but doing this exercise helped me clarify my thinking.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .