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I know a lot of users don't like them, but that's quite absurd and disrespectful to the users who do. And it's more absurd to change the rules retrospectively, deleting an entire (helpful) archive of id questions.

Because some say won't delete them, here's what was said in that regard

Closing all existing questions (starting 15 days from now):

We will ask SE for help in automatically closing all existing identification questions and, for the time being, applying a historical lock to them (which makes them unvotable and uneditable by non-moderator users, as well as removing them from normal question lists).

Together with that, we will blacklist the identification tags (again with help from SE), which makes them unusable on any new or existing questions. The tag will remain on existing questions that have it (which will be locked for editing, though), making it useful for finding those questions for any further cleanup.We are discontinuing support for identification questions!

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    I guess we have kept a meta question asking about community's opinion on ID questions featured for one month. We didn't get any answer to that meta post, which was in favor of them and this action was taken after community consensus. – A J Jan 4 '18 at 8:36
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    I didn't see that since I don't check Meta, and id questions have been very active recently and I'd say improved (which should give an idea about the community's opinion) – madmada Jan 4 '18 at 8:52
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    Even if you didn't, it was listed under the section FEATURED ON META in the sidebar on the main site. In case you didn't check, here is that post – A J Jan 4 '18 at 9:00
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    I saw the post today and I completely disagree with the decision. – madmada Jan 4 '18 at 9:06
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    @madmada "improved" , not really, they were getting closed most of the time and site was suffering from long time. – Ankit Sharma Jan 4 '18 at 9:08
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    What's the "site" if it's not its users, and there are a lot of people like them, ask and answer them. I know a lot of people hate them but they must put into account the one who don't. – madmada Jan 4 '18 at 10:12
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    The point is, you (and everyone else) had over a month to make a case in favour of these questions and if you didn't even feel the need to do so in light of the arguments brought up against them, I'm afraid you're more part of the problem than a solution. We did give everyone a voice for their points, why didn't you speak up then? What's the site if not its users, who actively care for it and the problems it is facing? – Napoleon Wilson Jan 4 '18 at 10:26
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    Like I said, I didn't see the post since I don't check Meta. And I had no reason to think something like that is happening. – madmada Jan 4 '18 at 10:29
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    As said, people happily closing their eyes to the problem and not even seeing that it causes any trouble at all was part of the problem. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 4 '18 at 10:32
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    About "changing the rules retrosprectively", that happens all the time. The questions were tried. They were given a ton of chances and years to prove their worth, they failed to do so and the experiment failed. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 4 '18 at 10:34
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    What trouble it cause? if it's a moderation problem, the solution is more mods, not deleting it? As of deleting them, you're deleting an archive, for me it's indefensible to delete years of other users contribution just like that, but if IMDB simply decided to delete its forums and with much much bigger users base and contributions, then it's unlikely for someone to care for a small number of users like here. – madmada Jan 4 '18 at 10:43
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    @madmada The community. Meta is the place where community gathers to discuss how to manage the site. – A J Jan 4 '18 at 11:03
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    The site's very community did, like it normally does, through elaborate meta discussion and based on years of site history. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 4 '18 at 11:03
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    @Memor-X Did 21 people vote to delete old answered questions, some of them with many votes up? (just curious). – userLTK Jan 4 '18 at 12:33
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    @userLTK First of all noone said anything about deleting all the questions ever. Second, cleaning up is a natural consequence of this rather big change in site development and a necessary step in the process of trying to recover this site's image. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 4 '18 at 12:37
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I didn't see that since I don't check Meta

Sorry if this is harsh to hear but that's your fault.

  • the Meta Question "Check in on Identification questions" was posted Nov 27 '17 at 16:57
    • the first answer was posted Nov 28 '17 at 15:26 by iandotkelly ♦
    • the last answer was posted answered Nov 29 '17 at 15:11 by Paulie_D.
    • None of the posted answers were for keeping Identification Requests
    • the question's score was +17/-3 having a total score of +14
  • the highest scoring answer was posted answered Nov 28 '17 at 22:20 by Napoleon Wilson ♦

    • this was the longest post
    • it's score was +19/-2 having a total score of +17
  • "We are discontinuing support for identification questions!" was posted asked Jan 03 '18 at 16:56 by Napoleon Wilson ♦

    • in 17 hours it has score +17/-3 having a total score of +14
    • this was quicker than the original question

With that information down, it wasn't that the Meta Question was hidden from users. First of all, it was featured in the "Featured on Meta" section on the main site inside that yellow-ish box on the right.

site screenshot

Also in the chat room it was posted by the Meta Question Feed Bot and I even predicted this question that I am currently answering coming on the 3rd of December, almost a month before this.

the Meta Question was up for [INSERT TIME] and that entire time the question was displayed to on the main site as such it was visible to anyone on the site, including "regular" users. if you wanted to keep id requests why didn't you post an answer? you as just as capable as anyone else to

You only need 5 rep to post on Meta and 125 rep to vote down (15 to vote up) as such just as my premonition on chat says, you could have posted an answer for keeping them and giving your opinion why they should be kept. People could have voted for this. This happened in 2016 when Ankit Sharma posted for not banning them and they were kept


Meta is where the community comes together to discuss how to manage the main site from how to deal with tags, how to improve questions/answer or how one moderates and what is on and off topic.

Now I may sound harsh in saying this and I am not just saying this to you Madmada, but to the other users who have the same or similar thoughts in their minds that they didn't get a say in this but didn't even vote on any of the answers, but to put it bluntly

Meta is there to help build the site and improve it's moderation by the community. you don't get a say if you don't participate, just like you don't get a say in an country's election if you don't vote (No Vote != A Protest Vote)

The question was open for over a month, it's not like you didn't have time.

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    There were a lot of discussion over the years. Are we suppose to track every conversation about it, because this was a conversation, not a vote on id questions. If you were really sincere about that, you'd put something clear and set a time frame and take an actual voting. And I hope for the sake of the world that's not how elections will be, people talking and upvoting each others, then decide that this was the election. – madmada Jan 4 '18 at 11:14
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    @madmada We gathered the inputs from community and the ones we got were against these questions. – A J Jan 4 '18 at 11:23
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    @madmada not all of them. just the ones you want a say in. as for a time frame on 18th of December, Napoleon commented "Thanks to everyone for all the input. We're assessing the situation and will likely come up with progress on this at the start of the new year". maybe a bit obscure for some but for about 2-3 the time frame was known. – Memor-X Jan 4 '18 at 11:30
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    (Cont.) as for elections, in most democratic counties i know (which might not actually be alot) the leader/winning party is decided by majority vote and you can see it in the way of your party that a vote for them are upvotes and votes for other parties are down votes against them. but the point i wanted to make was that being silent is not a vote as if everyone didn't like the party leader for their party and didn't vote out of protest allowing a racist/xenophobic party no one likes to win, it's kinda pointless to complain about the result when you didn't participate in making any decision. – Memor-X Jan 4 '18 at 11:30
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    Again, I didn't know about this and it's not realistic to keep track of every conversation. And "Check in on Identification questions" isn't the same as "Voting on banning and deleting id questions" – madmada Jan 4 '18 at 11:38
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    @madmada Because that's not what it was. Noone was voting on anything. We were gathering input and discussion from the community about an ongoing problem. However, that discussion turned out very one-sided and together with the current situation and existing history of the site, the stand the community had to make was obvious and clear. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 4 '18 at 12:16
  • What I responded to mentioned election, and no vote and and a count for the upvotes and down votes. Also this discussion wasn't a big enough scale to be considered the reference. The previous one gathered 3 time ~ the views, and upvotes for both the question and top answer, and with the site (probably) got bigger, it seems a stretch to consider this one as such. – madmada Jan 4 '18 at 12:32
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    @madmada as i pointed out in the answer, there is a box that shows featured Meta Questions and it's there on almost every page of the site you would use except for text searches and asking a question. this includes a question page where you would be upvoting and answering. the Meta Question was there so. to be blunt if people are choosing to ignore this there's nothing more mods and high rep users can do to make it more visible – Memor-X Jan 4 '18 at 12:47
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    @Memor-X And as I pointed "Check in on Identification questions" is a vague term and it's not the same as "Voting on banning and deleting id questions", Also sorry but it's really something to say "I should've said something but can't now" – madmada Jan 4 '18 at 12:53
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    @madmada Which is not what it was for anyway. Noone was voting for anything, it was an open discussion to gather community feedback. However, the discussion turned out entirely one-sided and together with the current situation and the history of the site, the stand the community had to make was clear and obvious. If you didn't regard the topic even remotely important enough for a minor glimpse at the discussion at least, I'm afraid that's part of the problem. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 4 '18 at 12:57
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    @madmada Which...is telling...and part of the problem. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 4 '18 at 12:59
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    @Napoleon Wilson ♦ Again, a one sided discussion most user wasn't aware of it. And I for example didn't found out about it until I opened an id question a few hours ago. If there are a real desire to listen to the community, then do listen when the users actually know about it and give some feedback. – madmada Jan 4 '18 at 13:03
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    They did, and they did. Sorry you weren't part of them, though. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 4 '18 at 13:06
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    @madmada how are you gadgeing activity? i would think AJ is active as i see that name show up editing ID Requests alot of the time and trying to keep the expected quality and i am quite sure i've seen Napoleon's name show up asking for more details to stop them getting closed – Memor-X Jan 4 '18 at 13:06
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    @madmada "My point don't attribute id activity to those users" but why not? if they are editing and commenting trying to improve a question's viability on the site and they are doing it regularly enough they are just as active as a user who answers every id request. you don't have to ask/answer questions on the site to be active. you can be active by editing posts to be more readable, fixing tags and question titles for SEO, requesting clarification in posts. and for high rep uses they don't get anything for their work (as rep form editing is capped and comment upvotes don't give rep) – Memor-X Jan 4 '18 at 13:28
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I was reading up on this topic and also asked an Id question myself. I contribute to several groups. My intention is not stride but an objective view.

First: Meta stands for objectiveness looking from a different angle. In the answer above one states that it’s about voting. But it is not it is merely a method of allowing people to speak their mind.

Second. I am new to this group. And yes I am a movie enthusiast. What I see is a relatively high frequency of down voting —- like every 3rd 4th post. I’ve not come across this before. Maybe these questions are real and wanted by the enthusiasts?

I hope it helps

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    Forgive me, but I'm not sure I understand. You've seen that ID questions frequently get downvoted, but you believe this is an indication that these questions are "wanted"? Could you elaborate on your reasoning a bit? – F1Krazy Aug 4 at 18:45
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    It’s much simpler. If people ask these questions then maybe this is why they are interested in this group — for example I read some examples where users said this is why! they joined .... – snh_nl Aug 4 at 18:46
  • Ah, I understand now. I think the issue is that older users simply got tired of trying to answer low-quality ID questions and decided to just ban them, but newer users still want to ask them. (For the record, my first question here was an ID question too.) – F1Krazy Aug 4 at 18:54
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    Ok. It just feels normal to ask these questions. I mean movies music and theatre are about feelings and interpretation ... you always remember parts — and sometimes pieces come back after years or some incident. – snh_nl Aug 4 at 19:00
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    For example from a meta perspective on I’d-Ing how are movies different from music? musicfans.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/identify-this-song – snh_nl Aug 4 at 19:02
  • And SciFi.SE still accept movie ID questions as well, just to muddy the waters even further. SciFi are more laid-back compared to other stacks, though. – F1Krazy Aug 4 at 19:24
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    Of course people want to ask them. There is absolutely no doubt they do and the questions haven't been retired because we thought noone would want to ask them. But the fact that people want to ask them says nothing about them being appropriate or not. There are various places where they can be asked instead and we don't have to provide that service just because there is demand for it. I would like a place to debate recommendations for my favourite films, too. But I realize this site isn't that place. – Napoleon Wilson Aug 5 at 14:57
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    Bringing up Music Fans is a little ironic, too. You might not realize that, but that site is basically drowning under these questions, to worse degrees than this site was. The site really has to struggle with these questions and with community participation and question/answer quality since many people seem to have just given up on it. – Napoleon Wilson Aug 5 at 14:59

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