While most of this will be based upon a lot of Gaming's arguments, I believe they're example is the best due to the success of their site and their lengthy discussion on the matter (almost 2+ years discussing).
identify-this-x is crap. It is as simple as that. With the stats linked above, and always looking around at the site on my off time, I always see either 1-liners that make absolutely no sense or a wall-o-text with no formatting that is just a person's ramblings.
How do people's ramblings help anyone else on the internet?
If there is a minor detail that gives a clue, it is usually buried somewhere in what they try to express that results, in most cases, in an easily Google'd answer.
The purpose of the Stack Exchange sites is for free higher quality Q&A; it is the result of less structured sites like Yahoo Answers or ones that require money like Expert's Exchange. I feel allowing Identify only reduces that claim for making the internet a better place; especially without any type of rules set forth at the very least on the subject matter.
The biggest linchpin of the whole argument is that most are from users that don't even bother to check back. While there are 66 with accepted answers, there are another 55 with no accepted answer and a majority of which are from users that are unregistered and inactive. Which only furthers my thoughts on them being useless to anyone else that stick around. Should we really allow these to blemish our site like this from people who won't pay it forward and have no interest on at least accepting which answer is right?
Another argument against them is the fact that they do not help anyone else but the asker making them too localized to begin with. The argument can be made that it is possible but it is also *possible for a meteor to strike you right now, or to be hit by a car while you're in your office. The possibility is there, yes, but does that mean you're overtly concerned about it?
The argument of helping other people on the internet with these types of questions just makes no sense to me. This is because I have a bit of a problem when talking to someone about something I can't really explain well. I may be able to picture exactly in my mind what it is, but that does no one else any good because they cannot read my mind and interpret what only I understand. The same goes with identify, how do we know the description is accurate, or even our guesses are what the asker is looking for?
The argument that they can bring in some users is great, but the quality of these questions at the very least has to be there, otherwise, I see them driving away more users than they bring in.
I completely disagree that this will cut off the head of the beta like @Ankit says. There are tons of quality questions found on this site and our quality has only improved over the last few months, and will improve even further with the summer releases coming out this year. Avengers alone spiked the traffic and that only makes me more hopeful for the other big hit titles coming out.
Let me make this part clear about my interest in this.
Yes I disapprove of identify
However, this does not mean I, or any other mod is making the final decision in this.
This is a community decision.
The purpose of this question is to let arguments be made, and let both sides of the coin be known. We plan on pushing this to a final vote after some time that will be open for a significant amount of time (my thoughts are 2-4 weeks of voting) to ensure that as many people as possible lets their voice be heard by voting on this issue.
Keep an eye on the community bulletin. With this tool, we will be furthering the discussion and announce when the final vote will occur.