While polling still hasn't closed on the featured discussion Shall we ban identification questions? (if you haven't voted there yet, go and do so now!), it looks at this point as if the community consensus will be not to ban ID questions.
However, it's still undeniable that there are a great many very low-quality ID questions being asked every day on this site, and the decision not to ban them doesn't mean we should do nothing about this problem. On the contrary; the linked featured post itself says:
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.
My suggestion is that we go further than the status quo and try to crack down on poor ID questions even harder than before. This is in order to try to counter the effect mentioned by Napoleon Wilson:
Those questions are the biggest danger for the well-being of this site and its community. If nothing is done about them, there is a big chance that their volume will ultimately lead to the demise of this site as the amazing place for interesting and engaging questions about films and TV-shows that it hopefully still is. [...] They transform the site into something that it never was intended to be and there are enough complaints from avid users who ceased their activity just because of the overabundance of ID questions, and it always hurts to hear that from users who contributed to making this site great over such a long time.
There have been many complaints about the fact that the volume of bad ID questions is large enough to swamp other questions, so my suggestion is:
Let's crack down harder on deleting bad ID questions!
Not just downvoting them and closing them, because that still leaves them visible on the site and on the "new questions" feed. If they're not going to be improved, they should be swept off the site entirely, and more quickly than the automatic roomba deletion which will already take place after 30 days (9 days if the question is closed) for negatively-scored unanswered questions. I've had a quick look at the existing policies on deleting old ID questions here at M&TV specifically, but they seem to be no more draconian than the roomba deletion script.
Any 10k user, of which there are currently 21 on M&TV, can vote to delete a closed question starting from 2 days after closure. Any 20k user, of which there are currently 10 on M&TV, can vote to delete a question as soon as it is closed provided that its score is less than -3. Three users are sufficient to delete a negatively scored question. So here's my suggestion:
- for any ID question which is sufficiently undetailed to be closed, if the OP doesn't return within 3 days to add more detail, high-rep users should start voting to delete it
- in order to avoid the appearance of moderators unilaterally nuking questions, a mod should only delete such a question once 2 other users have already voted to delete
- in order to organise people to actually do this, it might possibly be a good idea to set up either
- a chatroom where people post links to such questions so that others see them and can vote to delete them (along the lines of the SO Close Vote Reviewers room), or
- a meta post with a list of all eligible questions, to be constantly updated as new questions appear and old ones are deleted.
(I realise that last suggestion might be a bad idea, since this site doesn't have a hugely active chat or meta community, but perhaps this is an opportunity to get those people who care about the site but don't spend much time in chat or meta to start doing so!)
Note: the biggest counterargument I can see to my idea here is that deleting questions too quickly deprives the OP of the chance to provide more detail and edit the question into a form that might be worth reopening. However, I think it would be better for the long-term future of the site to proceed in this way. OPs rarely come back to make their questions reopenable as it is, and if by any chance they do return and manage to provide enough detail, they can always repost the question. Good ID questions are still welcome (assuming, of course, that the voting on that featured meta post doesn't drastically change after this point).