We have many questions on the topic of regulatory certification which have been allowed to stay open and flourish.

We also have had some that are closed because of narrow scope, and others that don't seem to be too different from questions that aren't closed.

To me, questions about regulatory certification are certainly on-topic, since it's a subject that just about everyone who will be releasing a product to the global market will need to have some knowledge about (be it choosing recognized devices to provide power, or going through a full-blown product certification).

Also, since we're in a globalized world, it really seems unfair to me to say "questions about UL and FCC are OK, but Korean certification is off topic." Anyone who wishes to sell worldwide is going to need those regional certifications. How about CSA? TUV? VDE? NOM? Is this a worldwide site or American-only?

Let's try and reach a consensus on the acceptability and scope of regulatory questions.

  • \$\begingroup\$ As cleanup I went through here, and I missed one message. Had the question been the US it would have been closed the same as if it were korea. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Jan 19, 2013 at 1:13

2 Answers 2


I feel Kortuk misunderstands what too localized means. A question that is too localized is a question that will have no benefit for others. For example : I connected this and that in a certain why, what's wrong here? is a type of question that is too localized since it's very unlikely another user will have done the same. This is unless it has value otherwise and allows us to explain a concept.

Asking "What kind of certifications are needed in Korea" is not too localized, despite the fact that it's about Korea, because:

1) SE is an international forum. The issue relates to a complete country and note a specific situation (many people may experience this). Closing it is a clear sign of bias towards NA which I disagree with

2) Other people with the same question can come at SE, look at the answer and be satisfied. Given that other people are likely to have the same question, answering it is in the spirit of this site and what people expect.

Closing questions needs to meet a very high bar. You need almost unanimous consent, and for bad questions you can clearly see that this exists. However, when there are doubts about this I clearly see it needs to go the other way.

@Kortuk: When you say: "I do find it frustrating when people think that closing a question for a country is showing we are just a site for US, what about the EU questions we have open" exactly shows the bias that exists. Leaving a few questions open for EU doesn't negate that other geographies are not represented.

If we're not OK with people repeating the question (which I can agree on that), then we need some wiki that people can easily find and will have that answer.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you were to change this to just be, "You misunderstand what too localized means" and give me a link to the link I gave, I will upvote instead of downvote and I will delete my answer. If you feel a need to discuss the rest, such as I am doing it due to bias about countries or that closing needs large groups(which moderators are elected to deal with odd edge cases and react to flags), then I am keeping a downvote. We have many old questions from our SE1.0 site that are not within current SE2.0 standards but have agreed to leave them alone and not stir the hornets nest without flags. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Jan 19, 2013 at 1:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Had someone gone through and flagged every question like this one for other countries that were very old then I would have cleaned them up, they are only there because no one has looked at them in years. The site was started by Aussies and had a very large dominance of US users, which means of the crap stuff it would be very easy to find more of it being US, which is just user base caused, not intentional bias. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Jan 19, 2013 at 1:20
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk: I just think that the guy deserved an answer to an otherwise perfectly good question. You should consider each question according to its own merits unless it was a duplicate and op didn't look at the original one. Our objective shouldn't be to attain question purity, it should be to ensure people have answers to their questions, so other benefit. Feel free to downvote. It's your right. This isn't the first time I feel that questions were indicated as "too localized" when it was just an issue of geography. Obviously people complained about this and things continued the same. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 19, 2013 at 1:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ As I often say, Just come to meta. When you come to meta I can point people to the issue. I understand that you have feelings about how moderation should be performed, and I will agree, errors will always be made, expect to keep seeing them, everyone on the site is human(I hope). It is often my job to deal with edge cases and I spend most of my time on the site just talking to those that know better from SE and attempting to help keep things on the track. On geographical note, South Korea is one of the more awesome places electronics wise, but I am no expert on that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Jan 19, 2013 at 4:40

The more we discussed it the more I wondered, so I went and asked again, which is what I did the first time this topic came up. Years ago, I was told by other mods this is what it was for, but it seems I received bad advice.

Joel Spolsky talking about it here.

Long story short, too localized is meant for a much smaller area then a country, but I was mostly trained by talking to others and this has only been brought up in discussion, to my memory, once before by a question, and never on meta.


You must log in to answer this question.

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