The "on-topic" help page appears to indicate that only questions about particular works or groups of works are acceptable. The only part of the page stating what questions are on topic is the first bullet list:

  • Analysis of content or theme of all forms of Movies and TV series
  • Questions about a Movie or TV show's production.
  • The works of a director / an actor / a writer related to Movies & TV
  • Identifying a Movie or TV series (see below for details)

This list may be intended as a non-comprehensive set of examples of on-topic questions, but in fact it's not presented that way.

"Content or theme" questions must of course apply to specific works, and I imagine the same goes for "production" questions. (I suppose, at a stretch, that questions about a movie studio but not mentioning particular films might fall under this umbrella, but the bullet point isn't phrased this way.) The third bullet specifically state "The works of...", and of course identification questions are necessarily about a specific work.

However, per the latest topic challenge (and the comments discussion underneath), the scope of the site is clearly less restrictive than that, since questions about the Academy Awards themselves (rather than about nominees and winners) are apparently on-topic.

This wouldn't be the first time I've incorrectly interpreted a bullet list as comprehensive when it wasn't intended that way, so I'm not trying to argue that the latest topic challenge is actually off-topic or anything like that. I just think the on-topic page could be clarified, because, as far as I can tell, there is no indication there that questions about the film and TV industry in general are appropriate.

Side note: the bullet list is preceded by "If your question generally covers..." This sentence is never actually finished. The verbiage appears to be in imitation of the StackOverflow on-topic page, which similarly introduces a list of topics with an ellipse, but on the SO page the sentence is concluded "… then you’re in the right place to ask your question!". And, of course, since SO was the original site and has the biggest problem with off-topic answers, the bullet list there really is intended more or less as a comprehensive list of what's actually on-topic.

  • Would adding something like "Questions about the film industry" as a bullet point address your concerns? Or would there still be areas that aren't covered? Feb 28, 2017 at 4:07
  • @Thunderforge I'm not sure; I started the conversation on the other post because I'm not enough of an active participant here to actually know what is typically considered off topic. That may well be sufficient. Feb 28, 2017 at 4:38
  • I was mostly wondering if it covered the cases you were confused about, like the Academy Awards. If this would cover it, then I think that's something worth adding Feb 28, 2017 at 4:47
  • @Thunderforge Well, Academy Awards questions are the only specific category I wasn't sure about, so yes, I think that adding a bullet point about the film industry would cover that (since the Academy is a part of the industry). That may be over-broad, though: would questions about the careers of stunt doubles be on topic? What about financial practices in the film industry? The history of the film industry? Etc. Feb 28, 2017 at 20:06
  • At the end of the day there will always be things that are on-topic and not listed on there. It's clear that thing isn't a complete list. But thanks for the question anyway.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Feb 28, 2017 at 22:20
  • @NapoleonWilson Clear to whom? Clearly that was not clear to me until I saw the Academy Awards post. Feb 28, 2017 at 23:22
  • As noted in the question, the verbiage around the bullet list could make clear whether or not it's intended to be comprehensive, but it doesn't. E.g., since the sentence beginning with the ellipse is never concluded, the problem could be fixed by adding this after the list: "...or other topics generally related to movies and television, it's probably on topic." Feb 28, 2017 at 23:38

1 Answer 1


Let's add a general bullet point about the film and TV industries

I think that the confusion about scope you, and presumably other users, have experienced can be avoided if we added just one more item:

  • Questions relating to the film and TV industries

This single line covers a number of questions that are currently on-topic that don't fall into any of the existing categories (many of which are tagged with ).

All of these, and plenty more, would be covered by a single bullet point saying that questions about the film and TV industries are on-topic. Based on comments from the author of this question, it sounds like it would have avoided the concern that led them to their original confusion.

  • why does your release dates link to Christianity?
    – DForck42
    Mar 8, 2017 at 17:50
  • 2
    @DForck42 Must have had that tab open when I was copy-pasting and accidentally grabbed it. I've changed that link to go to the question I intended to link to on this site. Mar 8, 2017 at 18:13

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