Recently I posted a question of Identify X movie type. It was soon answered by some user, and I accepted the answer because I recognized it was the movie I was looking for.

My question now is, why was my question flagged as off topic - Identification after the question was already answered?

It says I need to provide sufficient detail of information about the movie. I don't understand why, because I did, I posted every information I remembered about the movie. If I knew more information I would have probably found the movie on google, IMDb, Wikipedia etc.(but I didn't I try for a long time and couldn't find it). And besides, with the information I provided the user found my movie, so I don't understand the reason for putting my question on hold.

  • Reason is listed there only : "Identification questions must contain sufficient detail to meet the site's quality standards and should not be about a commercial, music video or consist only of an image. For help writing a good identification question, see: Identify-This-X Questions."
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 13:11
  • 2
    Several identification questions every day are closed with the insufficient detail reason when they clearly do contain enough detail. That is just the way this site works. Closing is down to voting, Voting is down to individual judgement.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 8:00
  • 1
    There is a distinct cadre of moderators who automatically downvote and/or vote to close identification questions no matter how much detail is present.
    – aryxus
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


As the user who answered, I should perhaps weigh in here...

I'm not a fan of ID questions and am, perhaps, one of the strongest critics of them as a whole on Movies & TV even though I've only been here just over 12 months.

Unfortunately, there is no consensus, nor is there likely to be, about how much detail is enough to meet the criteria laid out in our guidance.

This is especially true since users often have incomplete or incorrect memories of the movies we are asked to identify.

Is a highly specific scene enough to ID a movie?...Some say yes, some say no but there is no practical qualitative measure that could be imposed or implemented to produce an "acceptable" question.

Movies & TV has a history of poor ID questions which feeds into a much larger discussion about bannng them altogether.

Evidence suggests that we close / delete between 60% - 70% of all ID questions which, by themselves are 40% - 45% of ALL questions asked.

Those are not good numbers (IMHO).

The debate rages over whether to ban ID questions and the most recent 'poll' was just over a year ago. In fairness, extrapolation of 2017 data (based on a perhaps unrepresentative 6 months sample) suggests that ID questions are getting slightly better but the margin is not really that wide and, as I said, not based on actual final data.

enter image description here

In this specific case (and I'm obviously not impartial) I did think that there was enough detail (or inferred detail) to answer otherwise I wouldn't have done so....but none of us is infallible.

Is the "policy" too strict.

Well, there is no "policy"...only user consensus. If enough users think it doesn't have enough detail it will be placed "on hold"...and that decision will be reviewed by other users.

That's not the end though...this is important.

A question isn't DEAD because it's on hold. it's just in "pending MORE information" and the message provided gives hints as to what more is required.

If you think about it there WAS more information you could have added..dates, actor descriptions, actor ethnicity, language etc.

I'm at fault here because I thought there was enough information but my thinking is not matched by other users.

Mea culpa.

  • 1
    What I love most about your answer to this meta question is you clearly have an opinion on this type of question, and clearly tried to give an impartial overview of the general situation. Great job!
    – Erik
    Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 17:35
  • 1
    But... you also do realize that the prejudice that exists against identification questions LEADS to higher closure rates, right? I mean, obviously it's not the only factor, but it is a huge one. In this instance, you say that other users thought there wasn't enough information, but there is a distinct group here that automatically downvote and vote to close ANY identification question. I mean, if YOU of all people thought it had enough information, than it MUST have had enough information.
    – aryxus
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 20:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .