The consensus for now seems to be to try it further with identification questions on the site and see how it will pan out in the future. We will shortly post more meta discussions about how to deal with this decision and how to proceed further.
As many of you know, one way or the other this site has a problem with identification questions. The relative ratio of those questions on the site is steadily increasing over time without a sign of decline and they will at some point become the primary type of question on this site. At the same time they have been identified as one of the primary problems this site has to face since graduation. They have a variety of disadvantages about them that make them a plague more than an asset:
They are not what this site is about. Those question have never been, are not, and won't ever be what this site is primarily concerned about. This is a site for appreciating films and TV and analysing and explaining its content and themes by interesting and engaging questions and answers. It has never been a quiz show for guessing movie titles.
They have nothing to offer to this site's broader perspective. Those questions only ever help a single person and are hardly ever of interest to anyone once they are answered. As said they build a mere quiz show for guessing movie titles, which I won't deny can be a great deal of fun, but does not contribute to a site that concerns itself with interesting questions discussing films. We are first and foremost a source for interesting questions about film and TV and only after that people's individual help-desk.
They distort the image of what this site is about. Their steadily rising presence on this site distorts the brand of what this site is about. It confuses people about the primary goal of this site, which never was movie identification. Identification questions have only ever been a "necessary evil" on this site and a side-task offered by its community. However, when the majority of new questions start being of this type, it starts to distort the site's image and this becomes the primary goal of it, detracting from what this site really is about. This is the reason why they are so contagious, since their rise only encourages more of those questions and at the same time drives away avid users uninterested in a mere quiz show site.
They rarely encourage users to become engaged community members. While those questions indeed tend to attract many new users, those users rarely stick around to even care for their own question, let alone ask and answer other questions, let alone ask and answer non-ID questions. They comprise a sub-site of questions on this site which it is rather easy for new users to get into but very hard for them to break out of into the larger and primary subject matter of this site. They thus seem to fail their purpose of being an entry point to the site.
They are often of rather low quality and very vague, with low chance for improvement. They often require major clarifications and elaborations to be asked for since people either can't or won't add the necessary details to make the question remotely useful. This becomes largely tiring and often those requests stay unanswered and the question may end up closed. Add to this that in contrast to every other kind of question, they can usually only be improved with the help of the asker. It sometimes happens that someone asks an interesting and engaging question that is just not fleshed out enough to make for a good question. But when the central idea is recognizable the rest of the community can help to flesh out their question into a great form. However, the missing details of an ID question just cannot be construed out of the blue by someone else, they have to be supplied by the original asker.
They encourage bad and unexplanative answers. Those questions, be they good or bad, but especially when lacking in detail, often also encourage rather unexplanative answers that rarely have a motivation to be improved with further details (because, well, they already answered the question afterall) and thus again lead to downvotes, which again shed a bad light on the site, its community, and the quality of its answers.
They require many special rules to mitigate their problems. There are various features in place just to mitigate the problems of bad ID questions, from a specific close-reason, over an automated tag-based popup, to manual maintenance tasks for cleaning up loose ends. However, all those special rules just feel like fighting the symptoms rather than the desease and their success for the latter is not entirely clear.
Their many downvotes and close-votes result in an "unwelcoming" atmosphere. Many of those questions end up being (rightfully) downvoted and/or closed. While ultimately a consequence of the questions' low quality and a necessary measure to work against that, this leads to an image of the site being "unfriendly" to new users, especially since new users might not always grasp the workings of SE and the meaning of downvotes immediately and might interpret them as more personal than they are. This is not a pleasant experience for those new users and neither does it draw the picture of an inviting and open community.
However, there are some possible reasons for embracing those kinds of questions:
They tend to fit to the general Q&A model of this site. The usually have a definite (even if not always easy to find) answer that the asker can accept.
They bring many questions and site hits. Banning those questions will unncessarily reduce our daily income of questions (in fact it might actually halve it by current trends).
It is a service that largely profits from the film-expertise of the site's users. Movie identification by description is still something that largely requires a human to do properly and those questions could indeed profit from the film and TV experience of this site's users.
They might hold the occasional pearl of a generally interesting question. Now and then there might be a question that goes beyond the bounds of a mere ID question and offers insights about the larger industry, genre and working of film and TV.
The issue of those questions has been discussed starting with the site's very inception and onward and has been a controversial topic ever since. However, for a long time we simply ignored the problems and dangers those questions really pose for the larger picture, cleaning up behind the mess as best as possible. This ultimately led to them getting out of hand in the way they are now. But looking at sites that are as plagued by them as we are (or maybe even less than we are) and their successful efforts for finally getting rid of them, it seems about time to do something about the issue here, too. We have to finally make up our damn minds if we still want those questions around. So I will ask straight up
Shall we declare identification questions entirely off-topic?
Feel free to offer your views or possible arguments. Make your voice be heard! You have at least till June 1st to make your case and share your input, be it only by voting.
Note that a vote for "Yes, we want to ban them" of course won't magically solve all the mentioned problems from one day to the other. Even if they're off-topic we will still have to fight a daily struggle close-voting the many daily ID questions, since they won't just stop coming in. However, we'll be able to deal with them in a clear, fast and conclusive way and over time the image and community of this site will hopefully recover and the questions will change. But changing the site philosophy and policy and repairing the broken windows is a necessary first step before anything can improve.
Neither does a possible "No, we don't want to ban them" vote mean a stop to all the existing measures for controlling and improving those questions. A vote for not banning them is a vote for keeping the status quo, not for turning this site into IDThisMovie.SE.
This question is also not concerned about what exactly to do with the existing identification questions, which are not particularly few. But we don't want to complicate matters here by already discussing what to do with those questions once they're off-topic or letting those considerations influence our decision. Here and now we are deciding if they are off-topic in the first place.