Should we have a new reason for close votes which is "There is an inaccurate statement or a false premise in the question"?

We have a reason to close that says "needs clarification", but that's really not the same as an actual inaccurate statement or false premise in the answer.

To give an example, see Why do airplanes lift up their nose to climb? which contains the false premise "a greater lift leads to a gain in altitude without the need to pitch"

A lot of the beginner-level questions asked to this site contain a false premise like this. Shouldn't questions with false premises be closed until they are edited and improved? Otherwise they attract answers that need to waste a lot of time correcting the false premise, which would have better been dealt with in a separate question (like "Is lift less than weight in a climb?", which in this particular case has already been asked.)

Or would adding a close reason like this just lead to a lot of debate about whether certain premises are accurate or inaccurate? It might. I'd be really unhappy if one of my questions were closed for containing a false premise, when I was certain that it actually didn't. This is a bit of a sticky subject I guess, and I'm not here to argue strongly for one approach or the other.

On further reflection I'm starting to think that adding a new "close" reason like this would tend to bring a lot of debate on the veracity or lack thereof of certain concepts, into the Meta site. Maybe not such a good idea after all. But if a question had a really basic inaccuracy that virtually everyone with any understanding of aviation would agree on (and I don't necessarily mean the concept that I mentioned above), surely a "close" vote is not inappropriate, and it seems we don't have a good reason to give when voting to "close" for this reason.

Also -- as noted in this related question You're asking a dumb question!!1! -- perhaps even no matter how obviously wrong the premise of a question is, it is better to leave a constructive comment than to vote to close? The only problem with that is that if the vote to close is delayed in hopes that the question will be improved, and then it attracts lots of answers focused on fixing the problems with the question, then those answers would be invalidated (made irrelevant) if the question were changed. So that's kind of a can of worms too-- isn't it better to close the question till it gets fixed?

  • $\begingroup$ Never mind; for reasons noted in the answers I now agree that it would not be a good idea to add this as a new reason to vote to close. $\endgroup$ Commented May 1, 2020 at 12:22

2 Answers 2


Should we have a new reason for close votes which is "There is an inaccurate statement or a false premise in the question"?

Most definitely not.

A question by nature stems from not knowing. You can however use the vote up/down to grade the question on its level of research, clarity, and usefulness.


  • How does the engine reverse spin the fan backwards?

Clearly a stroboscopic effect that was not considered by the asker, and the question made a judgement leap*, but it can still be answered as would:

  • How does reverse thrust work?

* Although, before brakes were commonplace, one inventor at least patented a reversing direction propeller for reverse.

A recent example: The post Why does Thrust Reverser need to be operative during the cargo door operation? shows a misinterpretation by the asker that was addressed in the answer. The question is also clearly worded and the issue is well-presented.

(...) they attract answers that need to waste a lot of time correcting the false premise (...)

Don't answer poorly written questions (source).

  • $\begingroup$ "You can however use the vote up/down to grade the question on its level of research, clarity, and usefulness." -- but surely it is the best practice to leave a comment on how the question might be improved, along with the dv? Often it seems that does not happen. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ @quietflyer: "Along with DV?" No, either DV or comment IMO, see: aviation.meta.stackexchange.com/a/4033/14897 $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting link there; thanks. Definitely a different viewpoint from what I would have tended to assume was best $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ From aviation.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3764/… -- "Imagine a random person leaving a Post-it on your desk that reads, "You're doing a bad job," and offering no hint at what you're doing wrong. This is the analogy to the comments that don't offer a way to improve the post." -- but surely a DV with no constructive comment is often perceived in the same way, no? Especially if the asker is not aware that the question contains a false premise? IN that specific case would it not be best to DV and comment both? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ @quietflyer: Why are you insisting on the DV? Read the link in my previous comment. So we are on the same page, reserve the DV to sloppy posts, try to help otherwise. And please, when you do comment, keep it short (one clear to-the-point comment), as this site isn't a discussion forum. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ I upvoted this answer because I agree with all its content but I think it is missing something: comments can help the OP improve its understanding and thus rewords its question. $\endgroup$
    – Manu H
    Commented Apr 17, 2020 at 6:53

My current thinking is that on a site that is open to beginner-level questions, it is impractical to expect that some, even many, questions will not contain inaccurate statements or false premises.

Also there are some misconceptions that are held by many people familiar with aviation, even many experienced pilots, so having a false premise be a valid reason to close a question would just bring some debates out of the main ASE site into the Meta ASE site.


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