I recently asked an question which was promptly closed featuring a spoof-GIF mashup of Dr. X and the Iron Giant. In order to make it searchable I did my best to textually describe what was going on so that it might help someone else. Ultimately I was curious because I thought the animation style was quite pleasing and wanted to see more.

I am aware of the current poll about keeping/discarding ITx questions, but it presupposes keeping "ITMs":

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.

Being a member over at Arqade, ITG questions existed early on, had opposition, and were later ruthlessly banned. However they bounced back after a post titled “Here is a thing. Look at the thing. Do you see the thing? I would like to know what this Thing is Called.” A plea for sanity, very similar to the one here that came up a year later: A plea for sanity: What is this thing? I would like to know what this thing is called. Alas, I came here with a thing but was promptly disparaged for doing so.

Granted, it was a "non-stock" GIF-clip of a movie, but I can't help but shake the feeling that if I simply did not say the word "GIF" or include it in the post, rather just describe it with text as though I was "remembering it", it would have remained open.

  • 1
    "A plea for sanity"? - Wow, now I know where kalina got that stupid title from.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    May 28, 2014 at 1:19

1 Answer 1


So my reasoning (as the definitive destroyer of said question).

It is a mash-up GIF, made on SA for a(n?) SA thread.

The question specifically asks "What is being spoofed" to which a commenter brings up why I closed it:

Have you considered asking the original poster? He'd know for certain, as opposed to the guesswork we can do here.


Considering it's from SA, as you say, it would be more worth your time to simply ask "what is this spoofing?" on SA and most likely get a more accurate answer.

When I (or anyone else for that matter) have to look at a question and think wut it probably doesn't belong here. At the end of the day I looked at that question and thought to myself "This is ID-this-GIF I found on teh interwebz".


If that was literally a GIF of a movie and the question asked what is this movie in this gif while I have a personal distaste (I think I've hammered that in enough this week?) it would then be on-topic as it's providing not only your own description of said events, but a GIF backing it up asking "what is this movie mang!?" (which that answer was provided*)

I do have to admit, however, some of the points raised up in that Arquade post make a bit of sense but the first answer also raises what's on my mind: quality of the question.

If we have to keep some ID, pictures do help tremendously. However our history with these picture questions haven't been.....good... which, as the saying goes "You only get one chance at a first impression".

Regardless my decision stands (there are re-open votes people!). and if the situation was differnt, my opinion would also be different.

And that's my 2 pence kroner pounds hodors cents.

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    Something Awful forums cost money, a fact that I figured everyone knew by now. If that's your primary reason, I would deem it invalid. Further, and back to my original rationale, you just reinforce my notion that including the GIF rather than describing it purely textually, "describ[ing] it with text as though I was 'remembering it'", is why you closed it. If you don't like my affinity for low-brow humor, sure, downvote it, but that doesn't mean close.
    – Nick T
    May 28, 2014 at 20:31
  • @NickT Actually I did not know that SA was a paid service.
    – Tablemaker
    May 29, 2014 at 2:50
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    No, the question is not off-topic/closeworthy because you included a gif, but because you asked an id question about something that can not be 100% verified by anyone but the person who created the spoof. ID questions about pics/clips from a movie are bad enough, but if we start to guess on stuff now that is user-created and simply might be referencing a major work of art, that crosses the line for me.
    – magnattic
    May 30, 2014 at 13:54
  • Of course you could try to game the system and pretend you have seen a movie and try to remember it from a scene. That doesn't make your current question any better for this site. The main point is that you are asking a question about something you don't know, which is pretty much the same issue as discussed here
    – magnattic
    May 30, 2014 at 13:57

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