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Our close reason for questions that ask for recommendations states:

Questions asking for recommended external websites, tools, resources, and software are off-topic as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. Recommendations for software are permitted on Software Recommendations, but be sure to read their quality guidelines before posting there.

I have a user that is asking for documentation about where we decided that each of those recommendation categories is off-topic:

  • External websites
  • Tools
  • Resources
  • Software

I'd like to find the meta discussions relevant to each one, or if meta discussions don't exist, create documentation here.

If appropriate, should we modify the help center to better match the wording of the off-topic reason?

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I suggest that we edit the help center to more closely match our off-topic close reason. I'm proposing that we change the recommendations section to:

Recommendations for sites and resources — Questions that ask for recommendations of external websites, tools, resources, services, or software attract lots of self promotion and spam answers. In addition, answers to such questions quickly become out of date. Such questions are closed as off-topic.

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    I would suggest appending services in their too. – Simon Hayter Mar 3 '18 at 23:28
  • I don't disagree @SimonHayter, but isn't that covered by 'resources'? – Steve Mar 25 '18 at 5:02
  • Yes, technically the term resources do cover services and forgive me if I come across as stereotyping but I would automatically assume that people whom their main language is not English would not know that resources also cover services. – Simon Hayter Mar 25 '18 at 13:16
  • I think adding services would be desirable. I've edited that in to my suggestion. – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 25 '18 at 23:45

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