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As part of no longer supporting identification questions, we're starting the next phase of cleaning up the existing baggage. After closing and locking all existing questions, we now have to prune the majority of questions that are of no future use to anyone and keep the ones that the community fit into shape and answered satisfactorily as reference for both their history on the site and their off-topicness now, as explained here. Thus we will be deleting all existing identification questions unless they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They have a score of +5 or more.
  • They have at least one answer with a score of +3 or more.

UPDATE: This process was completed on 2018-02-07.


With this step completed, we are done with the technical side of this issue for now. But of course this won't magically make all new identification questions stop getting asked, neither does it suddenly make this site a perfect place without any problems. The community will have to actively engage in closing and delete-voting these questions as they appear and at the same time keep up its efforts of making this site a great place for engaging questions with interesting answers. However, over time the site's image will be able to recover and we can hopefully look forward into a brighter future.

To those who appreciated identification questions and are sorry to see them go, we know you exist and we are sorry that this site didn't turn out to share your interest. Hopefully you still find this a worthwhile place and are willing to keep contributing to its content. We want your content and we know your film expertise goes beyond just recognizing a movie's story. Maybe you can also share some of your expertise on this meta question.

To the rest of the community, please try not to be too harsh with your judgment of new users, including those who do end up here asking an identification question. We long tolerated these questions and some people might still think they are appropriate here. And while we ought to close and delete them as fast as possible, we don't have to approach the issue with resentment. Part of the problem those questions caused was the divide between the community, especially the new users who might not be up to par with all the rules and quality considerations yet and the experienced users who grew weary of the steady income of maintenance issues. Let's all work on this less technical issue, too and recover some of the community atmosphere that might have been lost on the way.

And to everyone, keep up the good work and the efforts of making this site the great place it is!

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    It is really painful to know some answers will be deleted despite the effort it took writing them :/ – Arsak Feb 3 '18 at 22:48
  • Looks like two of my questions are set to get deleted, but one had been correctly answered and I have somewhere else that I can re-ask the other. Haven't checked how many of my answers will get deleted but probably a few. Not too bothered myself, but hopefully we don't get streams of people asking "WHY DID YOU DELETE MY THREE-YEAR-OLD QUESTION" – F1Krazy Feb 5 '18 at 10:27
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    @F1Krazy Don't worry, that's what this question is for. Serves as easily as a duplicate target as it does as an announcement. – Napoleon Wilson Feb 5 '18 at 13:39
  • What do you mean by "closing and delete-voting these questions"? Should we flag ID questions like movies.stackexchange.com/questions/85446/… for moderator attention? – BCdotWEB Feb 7 '18 at 16:02
  • @BCdotWEB Flagging is a little overkill. There's usually no need to explicitly involve a moderator in this. However, sufficiently high-rep users should be able to cast delete votes on closed questions. Though, in most cases they will get picked up for auto-deletion after 9 days anyway. – Napoleon Wilson Feb 7 '18 at 16:05
  • @BCdotWEB >20k users can vote to delete a question right after it is closed and has a score >=-3. It'd require three votes from normal users. – A J Feb 9 '18 at 10:41
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    So basically: <20k users should downvote (helps remove these questions from the homepage) and vote to close them; >20k users can do the same plus do additional clean-up by voting to delete such questions. – BCdotWEB Feb 9 '18 at 10:59
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Ok, this is done!

I've deleted a grand total of 3,726 questions. The list is here — if you see something that was deleted but shouldn't have been, or something that wasn't but should have been, lemme know. As with before, these show up as having been deleted by me.

What remains is what you can find here, and all of those are closed and locked as per the previous step in this process.

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