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I've recently noticed a pattern that Movie Identification questions tend to get down voted and then VTC'd as off-topic if they aren't up to snuff. This is significantly unfair to the asker, especially if they come back and fix their question.

If an ID question doesn't have enough detail, there's no reason to down vote it AND VTC it. Just VTC and move on. Or, hopefully, post a comment and prompt for more information to be added so that it doesn't get closed.

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    Agreed. I think that there has developed a bias when it comes to ID. I think that people are seeing ID and just automatically down voting. I don't know. Just my opinion. – steelersquirrel Mar 27 '17 at 21:59
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    I'm not, I only downvote the bad ones for exactly that reason. Downvotes are as much reversible as close-votes (in fact even much easier) and not downvoting a bad question in anticipation of its possible improvement is counter-productive, because until it improves it is a bad question that the community seems to think is totally fine since it's not downvoted. We are voting on the questions, not on the questions we hope for them to ultimately become one day, if ever. – Napoleon Wilson Mar 27 '17 at 22:00
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    VTC because it lacks detail to be on-topic... DV because it's an ID and it can burn in hell. Two different things. – KutuluMike Mar 27 '17 at 23:35
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    @KutuluMike Hahahaha! Tell us how you really feel :P – steelersquirrel Mar 28 '17 at 0:43
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    Downvotes are for bad questions, close-votes are for inappropriate questions. While those two actions are quite orthogonal, this also means they're not mutually exclusive. And in the case of ID questions, they can often go hand in hand, since the close-reason pretty much is for lack of quality. You seem to want to suggest we don't downvote bad conent, which I'm afraid is not how SE works. – Napoleon Wilson Mar 28 '17 at 10:40
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If an ID question doesn't have enough detail, there's no reason to down vote it AND VTC it. Just VTC and move on.

I don't downvote every ID question that I VTC but I suspect that there is a close correlation.

The vast majority of ID questions are poorly contructed and/or lacking in sufficient detail.

As such, they deserve a DV because:

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful.

They also likely deserve a VTC because the question does not "contain sufficient detail to meet the site's quality standards".

Unfortunately in the case of a poor ID question the two tend to go hand in hand and, as I said, we get a LOT of poor ID questions.


I use canned comments and these are tailored to each question but the basis is:

Please try to add anything that may help identification. When was it released? Was it in Color or Black & White? What time period was it showing? What country was it likely from or what language was it in? Are there any other plot details you remember? Descriptions of scenes or names of characters or actors you can give? Anything at all? Feel free to [edit] any additional details into the question. For help writing a good identification question, see: Identify-This-X Questions.

This often prompts a response from the OP with information and I can retract either or both votes as required.

Recall, closure is not the end. It's intended to incentivise the OP to improve the question.

If the ID questioners would bother to read and follow the guidance that is available we'd have a much better question quality ratio than we do.

That's why it's so important to upvote the good ID questions. They are precious and rare...let's try appreciating those.

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    ...and why it's so important to downvote the bad ID questions, to not encourage further bad content. – Napoleon Wilson Mar 28 '17 at 10:41
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    I agree with most of what you said. But there are a few issues with 2 of your last 3 points: 1) "closure is not the end" - new users don't know that. They see their first question closed and all they think is, "What a bunch of dicks!" They don't even know to look in the Help section. 2) "If the ID questioners would bother to read and follow the guidance..." They don't and we should stop pretending like they will. New users come from all over and many don't even speak English very well. This is expecting too much. You do a search, find a site and jump in. It's human nature. – user1118321 Mar 30 '17 at 5:46
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    @user1118321 If they can't be bothered to read the closure messsage then there's no helping them anyway. As for not reading the Guidance, if they can't be bothered to help themselves I see no reason to help them further than I already do. It's simple courtesy (and common sense) to read the guidance for a new site. If they have neither...again, I'm pretty sure we don't want them. – Paulie_D Mar 30 '17 at 8:42
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    However, the reasons for downvoting and close voting have nothing to do with the user. It's about the question quality pure and simple, we want good questions and answers and that's the point. – Paulie_D Mar 30 '17 at 8:45
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    @user1118321 "This is expecting too much. You do a search, find a site and jump in. It's human nature" It's why much of the internet sucks, and why the stack exchange sites don't. So a selection of new users discover how the site works by having their questions removed rather than by reading the help and checking out out the site works first. That's fine. – user9930 Mar 30 '17 at 12:15

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