I've noticed that the off-topic "Other (add a comment explaining what is wrong)" messages are sometimes non-constructive at best, and outright insulting at worst. I don't think that we should be insulting people asking questions, and we shouldn't be having the community and the system reinforcing messages that do so. The option is there so that people are encouraged to think of a constructive reason for closing (for off-topic) and articulate it prior to clicking the button, and to encourage thoughtful votes to close, not so that other users can make personal comments about the asker.
That sort of comment on its own is bad enough, but close reasons are worse. Close reasons are put into the review system, and get automatically upvoted when someone agrees that the post should be closed, creating an illusion (I hope) of consensus on those sentiments. A question may be off-topic, may be low quality, and may lack effort or thought, but it's possible to write a closure message without being gratuitous (and indeed, some of those things are not reasons for closure).
In review, I've sometimes found it necessary to add my own comment rather than agreeing with the first vote, even when the existing reason was arguably true, and at times even to flag the previous automated comment as "rude or offensive". I've noticed this coming up every so often for a while, but looking at the recent reasons in the moderation tools has shown that it's not an isolated case.
At the end of the post I've included the current1 list of custom off-topic close reasons from the last 30 days. Because this seemed to distract people who then didn't read any of the rest of the post, I've removed it; it's still present in the revision history for those who wish to see it. It has all messages from the 30-day list at the time of asking, good, bad, and otherwise.
Most of them are fine, many are even constructive in suggesting better places to ask or explaining why the question is off-topic, some are brusque, and a few are clearly inappropriate. I don't want to identify particular messages or authors, but I think it's clear that at least some of them are not suitable.
There are some relevant parts of the Be Nice policy:
- Rudeness and belittling language are not okay. Your tone should match the way you'd talk in person with someone you respect and whom you want to respect you. If you don't have time to say something politely, just leave it for someone who does.
... If you see them, flag them:
Name-calling. Focus on the post, not the person. That includes terms that feel personal even when they're applied to posts (like "lazy", "ignorant", or "whiny").
I'd like to ask people, firstly, to stop posting these close reasons, and secondly, not to agree with them when they encounter them in review, which adds an upvote to the comment and gives the impression that the community is agreeing with the sentiment, nor to upvote them directly as comments.
Instead, provide an alternative comment or use one of the built-in reasons if applicable, and if appropriate flag the inappropriate comment for deletion. If there's a particular tag, or a particular user, whose questions you find infuriating, just skip them entirely. There are also positive examples of close messages below, so use those as a model when composing one.
1 I believe the list is incomplete, given the way that switching date ranges seems to behave, but it has representative examples of all the sorts of message I want to mention.