I am sad that some people seem either lazy or pretentious (they are marketing the movie) in the tag .

  • Example 1: If the asker knows it's a Wayans movie, was it so hard to go find Wayans' filmography, and then figure out which from the plot?
  • Example 2: Maybe David Duchovny is not so famous, but Demi Moore? Couldn't the asker check out her filmography. It's also bad because the movie is so recent.

The first appears like gross abuse, but maybe the 2nd is forgiveable because someone who appears famous to me may not be to someone else.

There should be other examples I'm forgetting.

  • We need a lmitfy.com ("let me IMDB that for you") site to refer these OPs to.
    – JYelton
    Mar 8, 2012 at 17:54

3 Answers 3


Personally I agree that we were perhaps too easy on Example 1. I'm not that familiar with Wayan's work (even Scary Movie), so it didn't strike me when I glanced at this that it was something that could be easily looked up on IMDB. To my mind this is the key issue - Movies.SE is never going to be a good replacement for looking up reference material on sites like IMDB. Closing questions is not a 'punishment', it is usually a 'this question is not a good fit for a stack-exchange site.

As for the second example, I think this is more forgivable. We have no evidence that the asker knew it had Demi Moore in it, despite more detail being requested.

I would propose closing Example 1 - not as a punishment to the asker, who has got some upvotes and an answer - but more so it is not an example that people can point to when we close their question.

  • 1
    Yeah, i guess the Wayans one could be closed as an example of "Not enough effort"
    – DForck42
    Feb 28, 2012 at 14:25
  • I will wait and see whether other opinions disagree, and if not close this later today.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Feb 28, 2012 at 14:28
  • 1
    Agreed re: Example 1. Searching (without quotes) "wayans hood" produces "Don't Be a Menace..." as the second result. If the question was asked during the day, it probably would've been answered in less than half the time it took.
    – stevvve
    Feb 28, 2012 at 15:29
  • Ok done. We can always re-open if there is a groundswell of opinion the other way.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Feb 28, 2012 at 17:17

Although an answer already has been accepted I think that the general question on being to easy on [identify-this-movie] has not really been addressed yet.

I wonder how we could be less easy, if we should be at all. The voting and flagging mechanism is a strong instrument to deal with people that abuse the community in any way. I see identify-this questions generally getting lots of upvotes. Currently, only one is voted down (OK, probably others we removed, I don't know). So is there really an issue with this specific tag?

Low quality posts is a problem on all Stack Exchange sites (at least, the ones I visit), but it is always hard to fathom the reasons of the poor quality. Unless you've got a crystal ball you can't really tell whether someone is lazy. Maybe he/she is not very effective in searching the internet (I know some people...), maybe not very eloquent, maybe wrestling with the language. Votes will reveal the common feeling about a question. And if someone is kind enough to answer the question, fine!

So I'm not denying that low quality posts are a problem, they are, but I think it is hard to identify them, especially in one specific area, and the tooling to deal with them is sufficient.

  • I agree with you about the quality of these questions, and as a result I do not upvote them. The question has a low value to the community as a whole and the asker's reward should be getting an answer, not in gaining reputation. The reason why the Jude Law one got a downvote was that it was trivially easy for this to be looked up on IMDB - so the OP was (IMHO) being lazy and assuming we would do their work for them. There are others of this nature, but they are fairly quickly closed and deleted.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Mar 9, 2012 at 14:36
  • But do you think that specifically identify-this questions often show low quality? And if so, what more can we do about it? I think the current tools do a good job. Mar 9, 2012 at 14:54
  • 1
    So by 'tooling to deal with them is sufficient' - you mean specifically just voting, and not closing. Personally on this specific issue, its not really about 'punishing' someone that puts an easy/lazy question out there - is about not encouraging questions that would make us a poor substitute for IMDB. Looking up what movies Jude law is in, does not really sound like a good fit for SE, and many sites close 'general reference' questions. Identifying a movie from plot details is clearly more suitable for a group of movie addicts to answer.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Mar 9, 2012 at 15:00
  • Your answer might be broadened to 'are the moderators getting the balance right between leaving open and closing questions' question in general. It would be good to get feedback.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Mar 9, 2012 at 15:06
  • @iandotkelly I mean voting and flagging. That's what I can do. I can not tell whether or not the moderators get the balance right, but I don't mind them (you) to be pretty strict and set the tone in the beta stage. Of course we can't expect first visitors of the SE ecosystem to fit in instantly, but no mercy for frequent visitors that refuse adapt to a site's etiquette. It's not up to moderators only, though. Sometimes help vampires are too easily answered just for a bit of rep. Sometimes I wish regular users would be a bit more disciplined there. Mar 9, 2012 at 15:35
  • +1 I do broadly agree with you. I would be happy for people to vote down and flag poor question - and to refrain from answering something that is too easily answered elsewhere.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Mar 9, 2012 at 16:13

Yeah, I'm not 100% sure what to do with the Wayans one. They really should have been able to figure that out by using IMDB, but if you're not that familer with their stuff it's easy to overlook.

As for the second one, they don't make any mention of actor's names in the question (I even checked the revisions), so the use of an actor's name in this instance isn't an issue. In fact, I'm not 100% sure why you don't like this question.

  • Maybe my error is that I assumed identify-this-movie tag is applicable to movies you have actually seen, not heard of. Point is, if the asker saw the movie, or even just a trailer, how could she have forgotten that there was Demi Moore in it.
    – tshepang
    Feb 28, 2012 at 21:00
  • 3
    @tshepang not everyone is as big a movie nerd as us. Even us movie nerds have differences in tastes. I love Allen Tudyak and Nathan Fillion, but TylerShads may have no idea who they are. Also, some people just aren't good with names or faces, but they might be able to recite the entire plot. That's why the tag exists, to find movies that you just can't figure out what it is.
    – DForck42
    Feb 28, 2012 at 21:27

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