First of all, it shouldn't come as such a shock that your question was deemed to be too broad. I warned you specifically this would be a challenge before you even asked the question:
@FMShyanguya I would like to see a question that helps sort out the different labels used both inside and outside the Catholic church. It seems it might be hard to do it without being too broad, but maybe a couple for the various aspects (Rites, schismatic groups, other labels, etc.) Such question(s) would be a good complement to this one. – Caleb♦ Aug 13 at 7:33
I specifically refrained from VTC'ing your question, but I was not in the least surprised it got closed. In fact I agree with the judgment call of those who did vote.¹ The question was too broad and too confusing. The first comments and answers being so different suggested that it wasn't clear to people reading it what the main focus was. Wax eagle commented asking for clarification about the requested perspective and The Freemason went off on the definition of 'Catholic' because you'd miss-quoted a creede. One answer ever took the liberty of addressing only one aspect of the question as if than was the whole question and we had to deal with that separately on meta. Not all of these only the fault of the question, but neither did it give a clear enough focus to avoid those sort of issues.
I believe part of the reason it was confusing was simply the formatting. Usually people make the opposite mistake and don't format their posts enough to be clean and readable. You quite often err in the opposite direction and format your posts to death! There is so much bolding and italics and sequencing schemes and line breaks going on that it becomes very difficult to just read your posts².
In addition to the excessive formatting, your posts have a tendency to be dis-jointed. Even if you can just read them through it is often unclear how the points connect from one paragraph (or ever sentence) to the next. The content just doesn't flow³.
These formatting and writing style problems may be a matter of preference and style, but they work against you when it comes to posts like the one we are discussing. When the reading experience is disjointed, even simple issues appear complicated. Excessive bullet points and bolded terms make a question seem broader than you might have intended it to be.
In addition to the general technique issue I see you struggling with, the question that prompted this meta discussion really does cover too much topic space. Dannii's response highlights just how many issues you tried to pack into one post. Besides the laundry list of labels that needed disambiguating, you also tacked on stuff about the RCC's views. This would require not only an overview of how people label themselves and how all the labels overlap, but dealing with whether each label was RCC sanctioned or schismatic, etc. The combinations quickly become unwieldy.
I would suggest this needs to be broken down into several questions, each with a specific focus. Some of these may already have been asked and they could be broken down in other ways depending on your interest as well, but here is a suggestion for one way it could be split up:
- Who uses and how the terms that sound like political ones relate to each other (traditional, liberal, conservative, etc)?
- Who is the SSPX, especially in relation to Sedevacantism, and what labels are appropriate for them?
- How group names (e.g. Jesuit, Opus Dei, Neo-Catholic, etc. rather than general labels) relate to each other and the RCC?
- What is a 'Rite' and how is it different from other kinds of labels?
- What makes something schismatic according to the RCC and is what groupings does this tend to apply (e.g. would groups, labels, or rites be labeled schismatic)?
- What does in mean when somebody identifies as 'Catholic' but goes on to include extra details such as a 'personal ordinate'?
There might be more, but those should be plenty to get started⁴. Most of those are still very broad questions, but I think if each one is focused on the specific issue without dragging in too many other layers they should be each answerable in their own right.
Incidentally those who vote to close questions do so at their best discretion. Responding to your initial version of this meta post, the burden of proof is not on those who vote to close. They do not need to be put on trial for their judgment call. You can request feedback from them about why they made the judgment call they did, but they are under no obligation to participate further. Asking questions on this site is considered a privilege—not a right—and if you disagree with the community's collective judgment on issues such as closures, the burden of proof is on you to prove that your question fits the site guidelines. This is part of the reason I re-wrote your post to solicit feedback about how it could be fixed rather than argue about the closure.
I would hazard a guess that some of the unexplained downvotes you've been so concerned about stem from this. Even though you usually give accurate answers and often have good references, it's not always easy for a reader to process the way you present the the information. If the logic is hard to follow, somebody might be inclined to downvote even if the content is technically correct. Since votes are intended to sort answers based on relative perceived usefulness, it's possible that answers that are easier on the eyes with sequential logic and clear articulations are more likely to get upvotes than ones that appear to be piece-meal fragments (even if they make perfect sense in your head).
This is often exacerbated by your edits. You add relevant information and references (which is good) but they are frequently not well integrated into the other content (creating an even more disjointed feel). Rather than becoming progressively more clear and cohesive, they become progressively more of a hodge-podge.
I'm not saying you have to ask all of these. Maybe only one or two of them actually catch your interest. I would suggest only asking ones that you personally are interested in learning. It is very difficult to compose "staged" questions. Even though self-answering is encouraged, it is hard to do well and I have watches some of the most knowledgeable people with the best writing skills around struggle to do this well. I've also had this problem first hand. A number of questions I wrote so that I could answer them got closed. Some stayed that way, a couple others were rescued by a third party stepping in to re-write the question. Jon Erikson once wisely noted, "Asking good questions is hard and asking good questions you already know the answer to is exponentially harder."