I have addressed the tremendous problem these questions pose on the health of this site in this previous question before (which with its many links might also be a good starting point for related reading for anyone not too familiar with the long "tradition" this issue has on our meta site), but I'll try to summarize the essentials again. First of all, I consider these questions
The biggest problem this site is facing and its possible demise
Identification questions have only ever been tolerated on here as a service provided in addition to the site's primary purpose. They have never been the essence of what this site is about, though. They provide little to no long-term value and generally don't contribute to the archive of engaging questions about films and TV-shows with interesting answers this site is supposed to build. Yes, not every non-ID question on this site might be of high interest to everyone either. However, the difference here is that these questions are basically one-off services that only ever help the asker (who likely won't stay around anyway) and net the answerer the fun of a quiz show. Yes, quiz shows can be fun, but are badly asked quiz questions why we're here and what we strived for when creating this site? You won't ever go back to an identification question to gain some useful insight about a film (other than how you could paraphrase its story maybe, provided that paraphrasal isn't too bad to begin with).
But you basically get the site you make and the problem with these questions is their contagious nature. They generally create a constant stream of low-quality content (that is hardly ever fixable without the help from the asker, who often never returns to his question), posted primarily by users who are unlikely to contribute further to the site (let alone in its non-ID section). This in turn leads to more users getting attracted to those questions and the questions gradually overtaking the actually useful content this site is supposed to provide. This is observable in the steady increase of ID question ratio over the last years, with no real halt or at least quality improvement in sight. At the moment about half of new questions asked are identification questions, about two thirds of which will ultimately end up closed/deleted.
In this quantity and quality and with this contagious nature they just distort the image of what this site is about and ultimately drown out its community. This site isn't IDThisMovie.SE, but go tell that to someone looking at it from the outside. As metaphor enthusiast Shog9 rather fittingly puts it in a related answer on another site's similar discussion:
Identification questions are like... The cabbage, radishes and shredded carrots that some sushi shops put on the platter before stacking up the meat & rice. They make the plate look nice and full, and they're something to chew on once you've eaten all the meat... But you still gotta have plenty of meat ...If this site gets a tiny handful of ID questions, just enough to fill in the gaps between more interesting and useful questions, they'll probably be fine. But if a majority of questions fall into this category, it becomes quite unlikely that the site will survive. And, let's be honest: if the site takes off, y'all will want to get rid of ID questions anyway simply because when there's plenty of meat they're a distraction, keeping them around doesn't help anyone, and the folks who ask them don't stick around to help anyone else.
The site was okay with providing that service along with its actual meat content, because yes, they have a rather low bar of entry and initially brought in site traffic (which I will address later, though). But this low bar of entry is also part of their problem, as you already address in your question. Over time they just grew unbearable and we have to ask ourselves if they are still worth the trouble and all the useless work they generate. I'm afraid the point prognosticated by another SE employee in this very old answer might have long been reached already:
The problem is they are easy to ask, but they ultimately help exactly one person, and then they're useless. It gets tiresome, and drives away avid users who drive this site. They will continue to pervade the question space. And then they wear down a community. ...It's really hard to articulate as to why these questions are not good for this site; but suffice it to say that, once they permeate the front page, a few users will work long and hard to try and get rid of them. But the masses will keep them coming, inexorably...In a not-too-distant future, most of those questions will be asked by hit-and-run users who will never return to this site. And you'll get bored having to tease out a decent question and provide answers to a post that will not add one lick of value or interest to this site.
The arguments in their favour only work on the surface
There have been made quite a few arguments in favour of these questions over the years, but many of them don't really hold up to scrutiny.
- Yes, they indubitably bring in new questions and site hits. But are these the questions we want and are they the advertizement this site wants across the web? Besides that, with current trends about two thirds of those questions won't even stay open and will ultimately vanish again anyway. Yes, stopping support for ID will lower our questions per day, but it won't stop the site from being active either. Instead that activity will concentrate more towards what the site is really about. I'd be willing to sacrifice some quantity for more overall quality.
- They bring in new users and new users are most likely going to start with an ID question. However, as many a statistic in the past has shown, the retention of users starting with ID who then go on to contribute valuable non-ID content is relatively low. The warm cozy feelings of helping a lost soul in all honours, but a user account that posted a single low-score ID question a year ago doesn't have much actual long-term value to the site itself. Stopping support for these questions won't stop new users joining. They will just join with more engaging questions and answers instead and go on to contribute further along those lines.
- They do actually solve "real-world" problems and might generally be regarded the question category with the most practical relevance on this site. However, this is a flawed premise. We are a site that discusses works of art and entertainment, of course we don't cure cancer here! Saying that the lack of practical use for any individual's life makes our topic less worth discussing, is ultimately a statement against the very site itself. Once you feel guilty for pondering on the significance of violence in a Tarrantino film instead of feeding the poor out on the streets, I'm not sure helping someone remember that YouTube trailer he saw last week is going to help.
- They might have the occasional pearl as a starting point for interesting further insight into a topic and be a generally interesting question for the field of movies and TV. However, this is one in hundreds and if that further discussion is what really concerns the asker, he can very well ask that. The occasional pearl among hundreds of turds just doesn't seem worth the trouble.
- They profit from the film expertise of its community. This is certainly true to some degree. People engaged on this site have likely seen many films and text-based identification is still a job that profits from abstract human recognition. However, the same arguments can be made for recommendations, which we never did here. The fact that we can answer something is not necessarily a reasonable argument for site-scope. There are enough other sites that deal with movie identification specifically and there is no need to serve that here.
But often the users concerned about the problems these questions pose end up refuting theoretical arguments (like the ones above) that noone actually made. The users who like those questions and don't deem them a problem rarely tell us why they're not a problem and why they don't think our concerns to reflect reality or be relevant with regards to the broader course of the site.
So often one of the most prevalent arguments I see personally brought up for these questions is, though, that they are just "fun to answer" and who are we to rob those users who enjoy them of their fun? Well, sure, of course quiz shows are fun (as is recommending your favourite movies to others), but is this site supposed to be a quiz show? In light of the tremendous problems these questions pose for the site and its community at large, this argument seems to at best close its eyes against the broader fate of the site (and at worst ignores it). Which brings us to one of the primary questions sometimes asked by their proponents:
Why don't you just ignore those questions if you don't like them?
The live-and-let-live attitude that is brought up with regards to those questions now and then is certainly a noble goal and we as a community do generally live by that. There are many questions on the site that I don't have the slightest interest in. They are, however, very well reasonable questions and contribute to the collective archive of valuable information that this site has to offer, if I want to or do know the answer or not.
However, this is not about just ignoring a bunch of questions I don't have interest in. The identification questions as a category are so inherently different to the rest of the questions this site deals with (as explained above) and they ultimately distort the image of what this site is about. Their ratio is steadily increasing while their quality decreases and we have tried time and time again to improve that situation but it just seems to get worse.
Shutting the eyes to this fundamental distortion of site purpose won't help, since in contrast to long-time experienced users who refuse to give up on the site, new users don't know the difference between the tolerated "necessary evil" that is supposed to be ignored by anyone interested in serious movie discussion and the actual meat of the site. They can't ignore these questions and they won't, rather they will take them as a model. And you can't tell someone who looks at this site and sees an irrelevant quiz show that the "real" questions are much better than that, since by that time he's already decided to either not participate or participate in the quiz show and at some point those become our real questions.
Just ignoring those questions ultimately means giving up the site. And if the majority of avid community members has to ignore a question category that to the outside world looks like the main purpose of the site, things are quite a bit wrong. Which brings us to the current situation:
How does it look like now?
God knows we debated about ID a fair bit on this very meta site in the past. We implemented a ton of special rules and features (some of them even ingrained in the technical realization of the site) to accomodate for their increase in numbers and decrease in quality. But it's ultimately just treating the symptoms instead of the desease, and it doesn't even work at that.
About 1.5 years ago we asked if we still wanted to allow those questions and we decided to give them another chance. However, the situation hasn't improved. Yes, the community got made aware of the problem and seems more engaged in fixing or closing those questions. However, the majority of users who work on moderating those questions seem to be people who don't particularly care about them to begin with. The deeper problem did not improve. We're getting more and more of those questions and they take up tremendous moderation time (be that of moderators or other engaged community users).
Besides that, it drags our community down. It's a frustrating situation for both the avid users caring for the site at large and the new users asking those questions, who are ultimately the ones (if not the only ones) that those questions are actually supposed to help and be tolerated for. But they more often than not end up getting their question closed and/or downvoted, on a site that supposedly accepts identification questions. This makes us look like a bunch of evil jerks pushing on new users who just want to get their question answered on a site that claimed it will. On the other hand new users begin to look like locusts (or "help vampires" in SO jargon) polluting our beloved site with their low-quality content.
None of these characterizations are fair or even true. Neither can we just stop moderating content and trying to improve the site, nor can we blame anyone for coming here and thinking those are the questions we do, since we say so, as do our existing questions. But those are characterizations that emerge out of this frustration and create a wall within the community.
Then where should we go from here?
While it might sound counter-intuitive at first, I do think entirely disallowing identification questions will ultimately make the site look more tolerant and consistent to new users. Instead of practically "soft-disallowing" those questions and trying to mitigate their bad impact as much as possible, implementing rules over rules and special features over special features, but ultimately just beating around the bush of not wanting them, we would make a stand and clearly say that we just don't do these questions here.
Of course this won't magically make all the new questions disappear, but it gives a clear statement to visitors that those questions are just not welcome here and over time we can work on restoring the image of this site back to its place for engaging film and TV questions with interesting answers which will ultimately also work on throttling down the ID questions asked in the first place.
At the end of the day we just have to face the truth that many a site before us has already faced and dealt with and many a site after us will likely realize and deal with, and that's been harrowing over our heads for quite a long time now:
Those questions have been tried and they failed. They won't improve nor will they stop dragging the site down. They just don't work on this site and we don't want them here.