ID-This-Commerical Will be Off-Topic

ID-This-Music-Video Will be Off-Topic

Scrap any question which doesn't include a description/title of the movie/tv series the actor was in - regardless of whether the post includes a picture or not.

will remain separate from


I'm adding this as a follow on discussion to @atticae's brilliant meta post regarding identify-this-picture questions, which has sparked a whole range of fairly diverse opinions.

Currently, we have the following "identify-this" questions:

Now, quite often the criticisms of one of these "types" of question can be applied to all of them (that they are hard to answer, relevant to just one person or a small group of people, that they are poorly worded with little thought etc).

Despite this, the community has made it clear that and are both on-topic and wanted here. The number of upvotes these questions get and the detail put into them (albeit too often after some prompting) demonstrate they are popular enough. Not to mention some users (looking at you @Walt) are fantastic at providing detailed, descriptive, accurate answers to them. I see no reason to bring up an argument about whether they should be kept. I think the community has spoken enough about the matter.

However, what about the other identify-this questions?

There are currently 19 questions. 5 or 6 of them are just pictures or descriptions of actors (what was referred to in @atticae's post as questions), with no link or reference as to where they were seen, e.g. this. The other questions, e.g. this, or this have enough about them that they are answerable, although their usefulness to anyone apart from the OP is debatable.

Moving on, we have questions. Previous meta questions, such as this one, show a strong dislike of this genre among the community. However, they still exist. A recent (poor) question, here, shows this dislike, with it sitting on -1 points.

The fifth identify-this shown above was . There have only ever been six of these questions.

Finally, there is an tag, but there's only ever been one question and it was closed as off-topic, meaning it's unlikely we need to worry about it.

Now, we quite rightly discuss things in detail on this site. But sometimes (as the tag shows) we can discuss things for a while, before forgetting about them, without enacting any change from them. So I'm going to post a few answers here and I'm hoping to get some upvotes/downvotes based on people's preferences. Perhaps then, in say one week, we can review the answers and take some definitive action because of them.

My proposals would be:

  1. Scrap as off topic
  2. Amalgamate with
  3. Scrap (which is already effectively done)
  4. Scrap any question which doesn't contain a reference as to where the actor was seen, e.g. an episode/movie/series, along with a description - meaning a single picture would be put on hold. Whilst this single picture may be easy to answer, it's unlikely to ever be searched for by someone online, so it's not useful for the site. A description accompanying a picture could be searched for though, just like identify-this-movie questions are searched for.

Obviously these are just my ideas and I know from experience :) that my ideas are certainly not always indicative of the community's. I'm going to add some answers and if people can upvote/downvote as they see fit, we can hopefully get some final consensus on this...

On a final note, this isn't meant to "hijack" @atticae's excellent discussion, but rather broaden it a little to include a discussion of other types of "identify-this" questions as well.

  • Agree with all the options.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    May 26, 2014 at 14:27
  • @AnkitSharma: My only thing would be do you agree with 4a OR 4b? Not both... :P May 26, 2014 at 14:28
  • Oops correction done.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    May 26, 2014 at 14:28
  • @AnkitSharma: You're a star. I've tried to make it clearer for future voters. May 26, 2014 at 14:28
  • Just tired enough with reading other meta discussion that i didn't read your answers completely.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    May 26, 2014 at 14:30
  • @AnkitSharma: No worries. Do me a favour then, and vote down 4c as well which I've just added. That's the option to keep ALL identify-this-actor questions (which I'm guessing you don't want as you upvoted 4b). May 26, 2014 at 14:30
  • Already done....
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    May 26, 2014 at 14:31
  • @AnkitSharma: Legend! May 26, 2014 at 14:31
  • What is the difference between 4a and 4c? And great (and hopefully fruitful, no matter in which direction) question.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    May 26, 2014 at 15:45
  • @NapoleonWilson: They're polar opposites. 4a is delete all identify-this-actor questions. 4c is keep all identify-this-actor questions. 4b is keep them if they pinpoint what movie/series the actor is from. May 26, 2014 at 15:46
  • 2
    I really loathe using Meta as a polling tool instead of a discussion. The lack of people's opinions and arguments strips a great deal of nuance from the decision-making process.
    – user209
    May 29, 2014 at 18:41
  • 2
    @Keen: People are free to add comments or use the chat to get their voice across. I just feel too often we discuss and discuss and never implement anything we discuss. At least this way we get some definitive action. May 29, 2014 at 19:15
  • 1
    It might be a good idea to document the exact vote result in the question for historical reasons. (before it changes)
    – magnattic
    Jun 2, 2014 at 18:13
  • 2
    I agree with Keen. Also I'm sure this is the normal time but 7 days seems like a short amount of time to vote on changes that affect this site. I feel too often this site limits the questions and the answers rather than build or encourage users. Identify in general is a polarizing topics but it brings people in. This whole vote seems like one big extension of the should we close identify questions issue. That's of course just my opinion. Jun 2, 2014 at 21:21
  • 2
    Thanks for your input Kevin. My thinking was really just to get some sort of consistency, even if just across the site's core users. This is because among "us" there is no agreement. I felt if some consensus could be reached, then even if we didn't all like it, provided we all followed it we would be able to train new users as to what was acceptable and invite them to meta to discuss any of their concerns. These questions are definitely controversial though and it appears everyone has a slightly different view on what is acceptable. Jun 2, 2014 at 22:32

6 Answers 6


3. Scrap questions.

Vote up or down depending on your preference.

  • 1
    I don't think I ever considered this to be on topic.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    May 26, 2014 at 22:29
  • 3
    I hate commercials and hate being ambushed by them. KILL IT!! ; ) May 27, 2014 at 16:49

1. Scrap all questions

Vote up or down depending on your preference.

  • Sorry for being its creator, now want to take my step back from this tag.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    May 26, 2014 at 14:32
  • 3
    @AnkitSharma: We'll not forget your part in its creation. Your punishment will come later :P May 26, 2014 at 14:32
  • I was die heart fan of all ID once but now want to restrict them to some extent.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    May 26, 2014 at 14:34
  • @AnkitSharma: I was too, but they're swamping the site and some (in particular music video questions) just seem so far off the purpose of this site. Still, guess the community has to decide. May 26, 2014 at 14:35

4b. Scrap any question which doesn't include a description/title of the movie/tv series the actor was in - regardless of whether the post includes a picture or not.

Vote up or down depending on your preference. If you agree with this, vote DOWN 4a AND 4c.


4a. Scrap ALL questions with NO exceptions.

Vote up or down depending on your preference If you agree with this, vote DOWN 4b AND 4c.


2. Amalgamate with .

Vote up or down depending on your preference.

  • 3
    If you already know the series but just want to watch an individual episode again, this is a good place to find help. Sure, many sites devoted to Star Trek exist, but not every show has that kind of following. I strongly would like to keep this one open, more than any of the others. People come to us because they expect we know a lot about movies and TV, and by and large we do. We also seem more savvy than many on the art of research. May 27, 2014 at 13:49
  • @MeatTrademark: Good comment. This is definitely the one that people are divided over, which suggests to me it should stay. May 27, 2014 at 14:52
  • -ve vote, change of opinion.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    May 30, 2014 at 7:47
  • 1
    @MeatTrademark This answer is not about disallowing ID-this-episode questions at all but merely about removing the specific tag and tagging those questions with identify-this-tv-show. But I absolutely agree that the identify-this-episode tag should stay (in fact to me it's one of the best, if not the only good, of all the ID categories). Just to clear that confusion your comment seems to exhibit.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    May 31, 2014 at 22:51
  • @NapoleonWilson I understand, and want both to remain. I might need that episode ID myself someday. Jun 1, 2014 at 15:08

4c. Keep ALL questions, regardless of whether they consist of single pictures/single descriptions etc.

Vote up or down depending on your preference If you agree with this, vote DOWN 4a AND 4b.

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