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We no longer support ID questions. This is mentioned in Help - What topics can I ask about here?, but I don't think it's broad enough.

In comments under a recently closed question asking to identify songs from a movie, the OP directly asked the question "Where in Help does it say this is off-topic?"

It doesn't, really. Perhaps it should.

Please note that the following subjects are considered off-topic here:

  • Identifying a movie or TV series

It's left to the user to further interpret this to cover songs in a movie or identification of other elements. We could close as trivia, but perhaps it would be simpler in the long run to expand this first rule to cover additional elements.

Maybe…

  • Identifying a movie or TV series, including additional elements - songs or music from a soundtrack, or images in-picture, which do not contribute directly to understanding of the movie.

There's still some leeway for interpretation; by including 'contribute to understanding' we can allow the occasional outlier if it's deemed by the community to be relevant.

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"Trivia" questions are not off-topic, and only questions that ask to identify movies and TV shows (and episodes) are considered off-topic.

For example: questions like “I remember [insert description here] about a movie/TV show; what movie/TV show was this?” are closed as off-topic here. As far as I know, there is NO community consensus to ban ALL questions that involve identifying something about a movie.

In comments under a recently closed question asking to identify songs from a movie, the OP directly asked the question "Where in Help does it say this is off-topic?"

Based on the description of the question, I'm assuming you're referring to this currently closed and deleted question: Songs sung in Beetlejuice (1988) (screenshot of question), which asked to identify both songs and artist. The question was closed as both identification and trivia.

I've actually started a meta discussion post about identifying songs/music in movies back in 2012: Should questions about which artist sang or played a song or music in a movie be allowed? (If I'm not mistaken, this was the first meta discussion post here about identifying movie songs/music.) Two of the three answers to my meta post stated that identifying songs/music in movies is considered "trivia" and thus off-topic, while the current top-voted answer stated that it is acceptable and not "trivia."

However, regardless of whether it’s considered trivia or not, a recent meta post from Oct. 2022 shows that the community no longer considers trivia questions off-topic. See the relevant meta posts: Which trivia questions are on-topic and which are off-topic? and We're retiring the "trivia" close-reason. The mods have not updated the “What topics can I ask about here?” help center article and the site tour to reflect the community consensus yet.

We could close as trivia, but perhaps it would be simpler in the long run to expand this first rule to cover additional elements.

To conclude, we should not expand the list of off-topic identification questions in the help center to also include song/music identification due to a lack of community consensus on the matter and because "trivia" questions are no longer considered off-topic by the community. Identifying songs/music in movies might actually contribute further to the appreciation of a movie.


Addendum to address comments:

(Update: Note that on 2023-01-05, after the comments below were posted, the "trivia" close reason had been removed.)

Ok I'm confused. You're saying that even though there's still a "trivia" close reason, trivia is no longer off-topic?

The current community consensus is that trivia is NOT off-topic, as I've explained above. However, it is still stated in our current close reasons that trivia is off-topic, which does not reflect community consensus.

So... no one has taken the time to update the close reasons? Or am I missing something.

Yes. The reason for the contradiction is that mods have yet to update the close reasons to reflect community consensus. Only mods have the ability to update the close reasons, which are based on community consensus.

ID questions are off-topic, simple as that. They're bad, we don't want them.

Only questions that ask to identify movies and TV shows (and episodes) from a description are considered off-topic here. For example, questions like “I remember [something] about a movie/TV show; what movie/TV show was this?” are closed as off-topic here. As far as I know, there is no community consensus to ban all questions that involve identifying something about a movie, such as the question I linked to above.

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    I wasn't going to mention the specific question, as in fact not only would I consider it trivia, but it's also directly answerable by IMDB, or by pointing your phone at the telly. Song IDs are already off-topic for Music Practice & Music Fans, so it's not like we're going out on a limb here.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 3, 2023 at 15:00
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    I have zero clue about what is considered trivia and what is not on this site anymore. Some questions get slammed with snarky comments, down votes and close votes while other trivia questions are left alone with tons of upvotes. The mods have been saying that they are going to update this for I don't know how long. Not sure when that will happen. Jan 3, 2023 at 17:58
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    Ok I'm confused. You're saying that even though there's still a "trivia" close reason, trivia is no longer off-topic? So... no one has taken the time to update the close reasons? Or am I missing something. Jan 4, 2023 at 19:56
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    @ToddWilcox You're not the only one who is confused. movies.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4874/… Jan 4, 2023 at 23:52
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    @ToddWilcox Yes, to both questions. The current community consensus is that trivia is NOT off-topic, as I've explained above. However, it is still stated in our current close reasons that trivia is off-topic, which does not reflect community consensus. The reason for the contradiction is that mods have yet to update the close reasons to reflect community consensus. Only mods have the ability to update the close reasons, which are based on community consensus. Jan 5, 2023 at 2:15
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    ID questions are off-topic, simple as that. They're bad, we don't want them.
    – BCdotWEB
    Jan 5, 2023 at 10:00
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    @BCdotWEB I believe only identifying movies and TV shows (and episodes) from memory, is off-topic. "I remember [something] about a movie/TV show; what movie/TV show was this?" is, for example, off-topic here. Whether considered trivial or not, non-memory-based identification, such as this question, is on-topic. Jan 5, 2023 at 10:21
  • "Only questions that ask to identify movies and TV shows (and episodes) are considered off-topic". All these years I though the "ID questions are off-topic" rule was just a vague rule that prohibited any type of identification question from being asked. Where exactly did you find this specification? (Or is this based on conflation with the Arqade rules, mayhap?)
    – Joachim
    Nov 27, 2023 at 14:38
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    @Joachim It was based on the posts that were closed after the announcement post that banned ID questions. Also, it was based on the fact that if all questions that involve identifying something from a movie or TV show are off-topic, then that would mean that any “Who is” or “What is” questions are also off-topic, which doesn’t make sense. There are many on-topic questions in M&TV SE that ask to identify a character, an object, a genre, a trope, a technique, etc. that are not about finding a specific movie or TV show. Nov 28, 2023 at 1:49

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