First of all, I and the rest of the moderation team want to apologize that the following took a little while and maybe longer than it should have. We discussed this issue early on and were largely in line with the community consensus. But it was a bit of a busy time and the issue landed somewhat in a kind of "responsibility limbo" where we continuously said "it has to be done" but noone really took the time to do it, coupled with insecurity if we should possibly wait for after Winter Bash or not. This put the community in a somewhat insecure position and we're sorry for that.
Anyway, what's this all about now? For a long time this site had a close-vote for questions about "banal trivia", originally intended to protect the site from useless "what brand is this car?" questions and the like. However, this has commonly been a point of confusion and discussion, what actually is "trivia" as this is a somewhat subjective concept. I personally do maintain that the original intention of the close-vote was necessary to guard us against menial reference questions that are of no relevance to anyone and distract from the meat of this site, ultimately coming down to the quip about "adding to the appreciation of movies and TV" that is this site's mantra.
However, I too have seen that close-vote increasingly abused by parts of the community, which isn't entirely to blame on the close-voters but the unclarity of the close-reason that failed to communicate its original intent. Often questions got closed rather quickly although at their core they pointed at an engaging question. I often tried to see it as motivation to flesh out the question further for why anyone should care about a seemingly banal detail. Sometimes this helped to improve questions and sometimes it also helped filter out actually irrelevant content. But more often than not in practice the close-reason has been used rather injudiciously, and increasingly often so. Together with a recent meta discussion on the issue, it became apparent that the "trivia" close-reason has seen its best years and needs to be done away with. Thereby,
The "trivia" close-reason is going to be retired for now.
Now this isn't just as easy as removing a close-reason and being done with it. There are two major points for it that I would like everyone to take to their hearts together with this.
This does not mean that we want to become a site full of irrelevant questions for identifying random crap from films. That is not what this site is for and there are various alternatives for such questions. It needs to be seen how we proceed with the really egregious cases of this kind now that there is no plain and easy-to-use close-vote for it and how this develops. If you see this become a problem, let us know. But also, don't panic now that the close-vote is gone, because
This also comes with a plea for more sympathy towards questions. Please try to give questions a chance for inciting some relevance and engagement even if their exact wording is maybe not all too good at expressing it. Try not to just replace the lacking close-vote with downvotes. Rather try to see the light in questions and maybe help the questions bring that light to surface. This will not be possible with every question, some questions are simply crap and unsalvageable. But often there is a spark of light to be found in seemingly irrelevant questions.
I know it's hard to balance between these two points, especially since that balance was what the supposedly failed "trivia" close-vote hinged upon. But with the hard close-vote gone, let's see how this plays out in a softer way if we all invest a bit more time in possibly improving questions that ultimately need to "stick around" now.