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We have a custom close reason that reads:

Questions about current events are off-topic because these items are rapidly changing and do not have a definitive answer. For more information, see our FAQ.

On the FAQ page, I suppose these two bullets apply:

  • TV news, sports and current affairs
  • A title's release date or rumors about a specific title or series.

Can we enumerate what we really mean by "current events" a little more explicitly?

As an example:

I don't understand why this was closed as current events. Just because the films aren't out yet doesn't mean that the OP wanted someone to tell him the future. We have a lot of plot explanation questions that boil down to "we don't know" or "that's just how it is". Yes, a future film could clarify the answer, and that's fine, but is there really anything wrong with the question? Particularly considering it has three answers, one of which has 6 upvotes.

My general understanding of what "current events" means is people asking about things like:

  • When is the next ____ movie coming out?
  • Will ____ come back as ____ character in ____?
  • Who's going to play ____ in the next ____ movie?

So, really, "current events" is more like "future events".

  • I haven't seen that Baahubali movie, but I'd pretty much agree with your reasoning. Another example, which was once close-voted for "current event" but IMHO absolutely isn't, would be this "why the delay" thing, which is similar to that recent Wolverine thing. – Napoleon Wilson Jul 30 '15 at 22:23
  • @TomCody That's actually why I didn't VTC... I don't see it as "current events" but similar questions have been VTC, so it was more of a warning than any sort of "I think this should be closed" comment... though it is phrased really poorly... I was trying to be ironic and failed. – Catija Jul 30 '15 at 23:52
  • I have watched Bahhubali, it ended one arc completed then in the end X character (son of Y) asked Z then how his father get killed and he said i killed him. Its deliberately put in there and completely unanswerable for now until sequel comes. – Ankit Sharma Jul 31 '15 at 5:36
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    @AnkitSharma That doesn't mean it's a "current events" question. If the answer is "it can't be answered because the film does not explain it and it is ambiguous" then that is the answer. If there were no future films planned, there would be no discussion about this, the answer would simply be "the story is ambiguous". – Catija Jul 31 '15 at 5:40
  • @Catija So you have issue with the reason or closing all together. – Ankit Sharma Jul 31 '15 at 7:45
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    Which might pose the question if we even need the "current events" reason anymore, or if many of the rather speculative "will there be/who's gonna be" things might not as well go under "primarily opion-based". – Napoleon Wilson Jul 31 '15 at 9:47
  • @Catija there is sequel film is planned to answer that question. So, this is not answerable now. Its like if someone asks of "Sansa is going to be successful in escaping from winterfell", and we have either close question or answer that wait for next season. – Panther Jul 31 '15 at 9:48
  • @Panther but the question doesn't ask "what is going to happen in the next movie?". It asks, "What happened in this movie?" The fact a future film is planned is irrelevant. – Catija Jul 31 '15 at 9:52
  • @Catija In current movie, Kattappa told that he killed Bahubali in last scene, skiping lot of back story which will be shown in future movie.It is done to create suspense for next movie, there is no relevant information provided why he will kill? – Panther Jul 31 '15 at 10:03
  • @Catija Even though "event happened" in first movie but question is" why happened" and this "why" is part of second movie which is unrealised so it is as good as "what is going to happen in next movie" – Panther Jul 31 '15 at 10:07
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    @Panther So? You're ignoring what I'm saying. If there were no sequels planned, this question would be perfectly fine, so it should be fine in general and the answer, at this point should be we don't know. See this question about Inception. The ending is ambiguous and the answer explains that. – Catija Jul 31 '15 at 16:46
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So, noone has dared to answer this yet after nearly a month. I'd thus deduce that

We really don't seem to know (and should thus get rid of that close reason to use its slot for something more clear and urgent)!

You are right in that this close-reason seems quite inconsistently used, especially recently. Let's take a look at some examples and how to close them (or if even):

  • Why did Kattappa kill Baahubali?
  • Or, for our Game of Thrones enthusiasts, think of something like

    Is Jon Snow really dead?

    This is actually hard to decide. For questions like those it really depends on how the question is phrased. Does it encourage answers based on reasonable deduction from the existing material (be that primary or secondary) or if they just invite complete speculation. "Is it ever clarified or is there any evidence for why Kattappa would kill Baahubali?" vs. "What do you think why Kattappa killed Baahubali?". Now without getting into the intricacies of which of the two groups the specific existing question belongs to, it seems that the first group would be on-topic and the second, while off-topic, still doesn't seem to be about "current events" at all so much, rather than just being plain and good old "primarily opinion-based".

  • Is there any information if Deadpool will break the fourth wall in the 2016 film?

    This is a good example of a question that, while probably being exactly (upto even trivially) answerable once one has watched the full movie, still seems to be on-topic in its current form. It is even on-topic now, since it specifically asks for existing evidence. If there are trailers or interviews giving a clear answer now, fine, if there are not, fine, too, wait for the movie then. And for that it got reopened after some improvement.

  • Why the delay in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

  • Why is Hugh Jackman not going to continue to portray Wolverine?

    Those are two excellent examples that were on the verge of getting "current events" closed. However they are not about current events at all, rather than genuine production/casting-related questions. Even once Batman v. Superman is finally released, it will still have been delayed, that delay will always be there and doesn't go away once the movie is released, neither do its reasons. The same for the Wolverine question. Even if Hugh Jackman decides to return, he still will have made a decision to leave the role at some point. Revoking that decision doesn't eliminate its original reasons he had. Neither do thsoe two questions invite speculative rumours but sourced explanations.

There are however questions which I agree would fall under the things listed in the help center. While we don't seem to get question about news and sports events and stuff, there can indeed be questions about rumour for "future events", things like:

  • When is the next ____ movie coming out?
  • Will ____ come back as ____ character in ____?
  • Who's going to play ____ in the next ____ movie?

Depending on their phrasing, however, they might even be on-topic if they aren't entirely speculative. But even if they are, they can either fall into existing reasons, like "primarily opinion-based", or be given a custom explanation. A custom close reason for those would also force people to think more specifically about why it is off-topic exactly, instead of smashing a canned close-reason at it that we apparently don't seem to have a perfectly clear understanding of.

So on the bottom line there are very few closed questions that would genuinely deserve to actually be closed as pertaining to "current events" and are not better served by another close reason. And for those things, a properly formulated custom off-topic reason might actually contribute to clarity, compared to a canned one about whose meaning the community seems to be unclear.

Much of my reasoning here is also based on and encouraged by Jon Ericson's answer to this related question, which points out that this particular close reason is very rarely used and the custom close-reason slot (which are of limited supply) it occupies might be put to better use for the much clearer and more frequently encountered class of "recommendation" questions.

So let's get rid of this not very well-understood and inconsistently used close-reason and let's introduce a more often needed and much clearer close reason instead!

  • I have the idea that "current events" is designed to prevent questions about people who happen to be actors or filmmakers but are asking about their lives in a way that doesn't relate to M&TV. For example: actor x and actor y were friends until 2000 but they aren't friends anymore. Why is that? – Catija Aug 25 '15 at 16:40
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    @Catija Sure, but as said, when they happen, and they seem to happen very rarely, if at all, they can also be tackled by a custom reason. Afterall such questions are downright out of scope, "current" or not. As we have seen (most apparently from your very own question), that close-reason itself is quite confusing. And I'd rather opt for the much clearer and more often used recommendation reason. – Napoleon Wilson Aug 25 '15 at 17:30
  • Nicely crafted, can't be more agree. – Ankit Sharma Aug 26 '15 at 9:47

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