Officially, "trivia" is off-topic. But it's a poorly-defined category that we should be able to replace with more specific reasons. Can't we do better?

I'm not the first person to be unsure of what "trivia" means.

  • This question asks for a better definition of "trivia", but never got an accepted answer. The top answer starts with "I'd rather trivia of all sorts be allowed". As adminstrators, we should either (a) post a better answer, or (b) accept the suggestion and allow trivia.

  • This question also gets close, asking "where do we draw the line?", but the accepted answer is way too short to answer such a complex question. There are a couple of trivia "examples" but no explanation as to why they don't belong on the site.

Part of the problem is that "trivia" is a subjective term. We use it as a blanket to disqualify questions we don't like, without specifying the true reason that the question should be closed.

Could we replace "trivia" with some more specific "close reasons"?

For example, we could explicitly exclude questions that "already have an answer on IMDB". Excluding them as "trivia" just hides the true reason we're excluding the question.

  • 3
    I agree that the topic is hard to define and controversial. However, it's also not that there's no reason altogether. The close-reason goes a little further than just a single word, it even mentions the IMDb aspect. But it's not the existence of an answer there that's problematic, it's the importance of any possible one. And that is admittedly hard to put into a clear and strict mathematical rule. But brushing it off as just "disqualifying what we don't like" is doing injustice to the very existent reasons why we don't like them, as explained in the various meta threads you link to.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Jun 30, 2019 at 15:38
  • No question - defining it is tricky. But leaving it as "trivia" seems like giving up. Could we start with a few specific types of "trivia" that we won't want, and build from there?
    – LevenTrek
    Jun 30, 2019 at 15:45
  • 1
    Putting examples into a close-reason isn't particularly more easy either, though. Often you don't get too far with just a close-reason and the accompanying meta discussions ought to be consulted for more depth on the issue. Though, the IMDb-part specifically is there for giving a bit of a general example for what's discouraged, as explained in this related discussion. Which...uh...wait, was even asked by you.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Jun 30, 2019 at 15:48
  • 1
    I have hung around for a while (and been lurking for a long time) but I just didn't get the impression the close reason is being misused, certainly not "as a blanket to disqualify questions we don't like". I'm not saying what you describe never happens (See this), but the trivia reason hasn't been used this way frequently.
    – M.A.R.
    Jun 30, 2019 at 16:02
  • 1
    That said, close voting is subjective; that's why it requires human intervention. If we could write algorithms for all the cases that we want closed, then hours of reviewer time wouldn't have been needed. Instead of trying to do so, it's much more useful (and efficient) if you challenge a closure decision on meta, or cast a reopen vote with a comment why it should be reopened. Also, we'll end up with a huge mess with different but very close close reasons, regardless of the fact that three slots are only available as close reasons for site moderators and the rest are unanimous throughout SE.
    – M.A.R.
    Jun 30, 2019 at 16:06
  • 1
    Yeah, there's a big difference between "questions are wrongly being closed as trivia" and "the trivia close-reason is being abused to close questions we don't like". I agree, it's definitely a very vague line. My understanding is that trivia is "something that's only useful to the OP, and not useful to most other people", but how are we to know what "most other people" do and don't care about? I don't care about the minutiae of the Disney Princesses' names and genealogies, but a certain other individual cares very deeply about them.
    – F1Krazy
    Jun 30, 2019 at 16:32
  • 1
    The trivia close reason doesn’t make sense to me. Why do we use the trivia close reason on questions that can’t be answered by IMDb or anywhere else? Am I required to edit questions I answer to prove that they’re not “too banal” to be on the site and how do I do this without putting my own words in someone’s mouth? How do I do this when my answer was deleted with the question for this reason?
    – Laurel
    Jun 30, 2019 at 20:11
  • The current close reason for trivia is somewhat clear. Trivia question that doesn't add to the understanding of the movie/tv should be closed. However, as I mentioned some time back in another trivia related meta question, I want the term banal to be removed from the close reason. Banality is highly subjective Jul 1, 2019 at 8:02
  • 1
    I just came here because my close review queue was full of questions with close votes for “trivia” and I honestly can’t figure out which way to vote on any of them. ‘The understanding of movies and/or TV...” isn’t helping at all because what level of understanding isn’t clear. I mean, my highest voted answer on this site could be considered trivial, but I think it’s a great Q&A. May 2, 2021 at 13:30


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