As an effort to understand the site, can you illustrate the difference between these two questions, in which the first one is off-topic for being a legal advice, and the other is not?

I read Policy for questions that clearly ask for specific legal advice and still don't see how they should be different.

1 Answer 1


The closed question asks:

1) How do I get the site taken offline? (court order, ICANN, etc.)

2) I would really like to know more about how to dispute the site through ICANN and other internet governing bodies

3) How do I sue the person for defamation per se, libel, slander, and whatever else is possible

4) Is there anything I can do in addition to filing the police report to compel the prosecutor to prosecute the case

The non-closed question asks:

-- Whats the difference between a charge and a referral?

-- What do they do at an intake conference?

-- Do I need an attorney?

-- Will they (NPD) need to forensically investigate his electronics?

-- What is the sentencing for Sexual Harassment?

-- Is it sexual harassment? On the referral it states "Threat / Harass.".

-- What will they already have on record?

-- Can he be arrested if the intake officer deems the family or him unfit for society?

The first set of questions more clearly asks for recommendations of what that person should do in the specific instance, and the second predominantly asks "what is the law". "Legal advice" is the situation where you ask a person for a recommended course of action to solve a particular problem. Such advice can only legally be given by a licensed attorney, and it requires more knowledge (especially better knowledge, answers to questions asked by the attorney) of the case specifics than is given in an LSE Q. It also creates a legal relationship between the client and the attorney. This is not allowed on LSE, and questions that solicit violation of the law in this way are off-topic. In a nutshell, it comes down to "what should I do?" versus "what are the facts?" – the surviving question is clearly a request for information, and that is what LSE is for. To anticipate a follow-up question, a benevolent practice is to ignore "what should I do?" wording and turn the question into "what are the legal facts?".

  • it seems that turning "what should I do" questions cannot always be achievable. If not then that question should have been done already. Do you know why is that?
    – Ooker
    Jun 6, 2019 at 15:56
  • @Ooker: Yes, sometimes the OP is really not interested in the facts and only wants to know "what would you advise?". or at best "which of these options is preferable?". Such questions are not salvageable. Jun 7, 2019 at 9:07
  • @TimLymington they don't like to have their questions stay opened?
    – Ooker
    Jun 7, 2019 at 10:37
  • @Ooker: No, often they are only interested in the answer to their (off-topic) problem. Jun 7, 2019 at 16:12

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