For example:

Is a guest-operator QSO recorded in the host-station log too?

Being a question about regulations, the answer will differ based on the jurisdiction under consideration. However, the question doesn't specify any jurisdiction.

Reasonable actions might be:

  1. close the question until it does specify a jurisdiction
  2. close the question as off-topic
  3. allow people to answer with "well, in my jurisdiction"
  4. assume the jurisdiction of the asker, if it can be inferred by his profile

Based on How to encourage specifying one's locale?, I actually added a site custom close reason. Unfortunately it's listed under "off topic" rather than what would be more appropriate as a special case of "unclear what you are asking", but I guess that's the best we can do within the framework we have at the moment.

This question asks about specific regulations, but fails to specify the relevant locale. In order for this question to be answerable, you need to specify the geographic or political area to which the answers should apply.

Since amateur radio is surrounded by legislation, both national and international, I don't think we can completely avoid legality-related questions, but they do need to be reasonably scoped. Based on the questions currently tagged it would seem that ensuring that posters specify the relevant location would go a long way toward scoping these questions. Putting questions that do not specify a locale on hold and ultimately on track for closure will ensure that if the OP actually wants an answer they will need to specify the relevant location.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Definitely put it on hold, this creates an incentive for the OP to update it. Otherwise, they may just ignore the comments regarding local and wait for an answer. $\endgroup$ – David VK2VXK Dec 3 '13 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ Then you need to poke one of the other two moderators ;) Actually, the issue I've found is that we needed to deactivate a reason first - a real downer $\endgroup$ – W5VO Dec 8 '13 at 7:18
  • $\begingroup$ @W5VO That close reason is actually active now on the site. While you don't have the cast close vote privilege on the site yet (it requires 500 rep) you should be able to see it under flag -> another reason -> off-topic. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Dec 8 '13 at 12:17
  • $\begingroup$ This position is clearly wrong because it unnecessarily stops useful answers for people all over the world. When a location is not specified it can very well mean anywhere which will collect relevant answers over time. Blocking questions like this just makes this stack exchange less useful to the internet. $\endgroup$ – Arthur Jul 18 '16 at 4:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Arthur, as one relative newcomer to Ham SE to another, it looks to me like this has already been discussed and answered. It's fine to disagree, but just showing up and assuming you know better than the existing community consensus is not very constructive. $\endgroup$ – Rafael KR7MJ Jul 18 '16 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ @ArthurUlfeldt In addition to what Rafael KG7YWU wrote, note that this thread is from late 2013. If you want to suggest a change of policy, it's probably better to make your case in a new Amateur Radio Meta question. It would certainly get more attention that way. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jul 18 '16 at 9:52

I think our general strategy to should be to encourage the OP to update the question with the region for which they're looking for an answer, but also allow people to provide answers for various regions (as long as they make it clear what region(s) they're answering for).

If the OP never updates the question, the answers still become a useful resource for others with the same question.

There may be exceptions to this, especially if the answer varies widely by region and/or the regions in question are rather small.


If a question is conspicuously incomplete (i.e. needs more information to answer correctly), I prefer to put the question on hold so the user can complete the question before users start guessing what the intent of the author was.

unclear what you're asking
Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking.

Don't forget to leave a thoughtful comment to the author with specific guidance about what is needed, and make it explicitly clear that they should 'flag' to reopen their question once that information is provided:

This question asks about specific regulations, but we need to know where you are located to answer correctly. If you can provide that information, please feel free to 'flag' to reopen so we can answer. Thanks.

  • $\begingroup$ I actually added a site custom close reason specifically for this, based on previous meta discussions and because I really think that unfortunately people assuming the regulations are the same everywhere will be a recurring problem. It's still pending approval, however. The specific question that prompted this meta question has been fixed. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Dec 3 '13 at 19:59

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