My question got closed as being offtopic and of the arguments was that it was 'touchy'. Thus very specifically: are touchy subjects forbidden for being touchy?

Please do not answer different questions. This question is purely about whether touchy subjects are automatically off topic?.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you define "touchy", so we know what the question is about? And please don't write your question so that "yes" is valid for the title but "no" is valid for the body. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Mar 28, 2015 at 0:49
  • $\begingroup$ I don't want to distract from the discussion here, but I think you're referring to my edit summary: "Minor rewrite to move focus away from mental health (touchy subject)." I'd like to note that I did not vote to close or to re-open. $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2015 at 5:07
  • $\begingroup$ Calling the subject of the question you refer to "touchy" is disingenuous at best. $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Mar 28, 2015 at 9:19

3 Answers 3


The problem with "touchy" subjects is that they tend to invite the wrong type of attention. Instead of answers based on fact and evidence, they can encourage responses based on opinion. For recent events, there is the added temptation to speculate before the facts are available.

However, this does not mean the question is automatically off topic. The question needs to be phrased in a way that encourages real answers based on facts, and avoids encouraging speculation.


Touchy topics aren't off topic.


Yes, they can be on-topic. What is not on-topic is:

Accident speculation
"What happened to Flight 12345?" when the incident is still under investigation

Your question wasn't doing that and, frankly, shouldn't have been closed. It has since been reopened.

We did seem to have some harsh edits and close votes today and your question was a victim of such. That isn't normal here. Mentioning an accident doesn't make a question off-topic. Speculating about one (or inviting speculation) does. You seemed to do a reasonable job of avoiding speculation.


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