This question already has an answer here:
- Discussion on identification questions 5 answers
Some 4 months ago we had this discussion on identification questions whether these questions should be on-topic here. My answer was essentially: what's all the fuzz about? What's the difference with other questions? As this answer was among more pro-identify answers it was decided that the tag be continued.
I hate to admit, but in the mean time my opinion has changed and I've come to feel more sympathy for this opinion, albeit without the somewhat offensive edges. I wouldn't say identify questions are crap, nor that they're just people's rambling, but I've come too a point where I seriously question their significance to the site's quality. It's probably because I've read so many of them now and I also have the impression that the relative number of them is only increasing (is there a way to confirm that?).
The main goal of StackExchange sites is building knowledge bases on various topics.
My question is: do identify questions build up the movies knowledge base?
My opinion is: no.
An identify question in its final state is a very fragmentary and warped description of a movie or a tv show, followed by one or more candidates that to some degree fit the bill, one of which turns out to be the accepted answer (IT questions without an accepted answer are removed in due time). Someone looking for what movie X is about will probably not be helped by an IT question. At best, such a question develops into a compilation of movies/show on a certain topic (like my question, now removed, turned into a list of movies featuring some kind of time loop) which may have some knowledge base value. But then, lists are not considered to be on topic here.
The correctness of the answer can not be falsified, while knowledge base content can and must be open to falsification and improvement.
By the way, recurrent discussions on IT questions is normal. At Arcade after much discussion, IT questions were banned, but the discussion opened again. Seeing that, I think there should never be a grey area where such questions are permitted. Either they are, or they are not. The (really) crappy ones will be filtered out by normal voting and flagging.
One more thing: I feel kind of obliged to start this discussion again as by the number of upvotes 4 mo. ago I sense that my answer was at least a bit influential.