I have a question about my Network Engineering Stack Exchange post: What are typical causes for phantom messages and how do network protocols deal with them?

This question was closed for being off-topic, the reasoning was that the question belongs in the category "education, certification, or homework", wheras my reasoning for asking in here was that i saw the category "theory of protocols used to operate a network (e.g. IP, TCP, routing protocols, STP, etc)" was listed specifically as being on-topic.

Could anyone expand on that? Is there a different SE site it would fit better in your eyes?

1 Answer 1


We don't have a problem answering questions about the theory of protocols, but we are not going to answer your homework questions for you. If we just hand you the answer, then you haven't done the work, we have. Most SE sites discourage homework questions for the same reason. There are many Internet sites that cater to networking education.

Another problem is that the answers acceptable for your course don't necessarily correspond to the answers that we would give from a real-world perspective.

Off-topic questions get placed On Hold for a few days so that you have the opportunity to edit them to be on-topic, if possible. If you had asked a question where you defined what you mean by "phantom messages," and just asked how TCP deals with them, then that could be on-topic, but simply asking a course question, including the bonus question, is off-topic.

  • 1
    While I can assure you that this is not a "homework" question I'm quite certain there's no way to convince you of this if you've already made up your mind about it. A little disappointing to be judged like that to be honest, but at least I get where you're coming from now. And if that's the consensus of the community than so be it. Anyway, have a great day and thanks for clarifying.
    – ASM88
    Feb 24, 2017 at 18:55
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    If you edit the question to be less like a homework question, then the reopen vote starts automatically. We get a lot of homework questions, and this one certainly sounds like one. You could simply edit the question, then we can answer it.
    – Ron Maupin Mod
    Feb 24, 2017 at 18:57
  • Fair enough. That seems reasonable. I will try to rephrase the question and provide additional information. Thanks for taking the time.
    – ASM88
    Feb 25, 2017 at 11:40

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