This site has got a lot of history of discussion of 'identify-this-thing' questions on meta. Here are some that I found with a quick search;
- Should 'Identify This Movie' answers have more than just a link?
- Should we allow ID questions that boil down to just an image?
- Identification questions revisited
- Discussion on identification questions
Ultimately, this all boils down to a blog post by Jeff Atwood from 2012: Let's Play The Guessing Game. I highly recommend reading this post if you haven't before, as it explains in greater detail with more generic cases what the problems are with using a Q&A site to do guesswork.
I'm aware that some of the above questions are regarding specific types of identify-this-thing questions, most recently, about questions that just post an image. I personally am for identify-this-thing questions under a particular set of circumstances, and this community seems to have a strange split view on which questions are acceptable and which questions are not.
These questions are just bad. Not only do they potentially have nothing in them that have a basis in reality, but they're based off memories, and are only ever going to be useful for the specific person that asked the question. This in itself automatically falls under Too Localised. These questions boil down to a guessing game, based off the distant memories of the person who asked the question - before even getting to what is bad about identify-this questions within a Q&A format consider this: Most of the people asking these questions actually have no clue about what they're asking about.
Personally, these are the type of identify-this questions that I find acceptable - they're based on something physical - you can view the image, you can view the movie, you have something to work off that is not as vague as a memory. While I find these types of questions acceptable, there have recently been a number of questions asked that are just bad questions, boiling down to nothing other than an image. The worst example of this that springs to mind was a question that is now deleted which essentially was a question where the asker only knew the screenshot was from a movie, because of a competition he was taking part in asked which movie it was from:
Further to this, there was another question raised shortly after asking about this screenshot:
The former was deleted in short order, and the latter has a boilerplate response on it basically stating "go to google image search". This is not a good answer - it's bouncing a user who asked a question here to another resource without providing them an answer to the question that they have asked. This appears to be the way that the community wants to go with these.
Closing a question as a duplicate of another question which provides an answer amounting to "LOL USE GOOGLE SEARCH" is not high quality content.
so what are we going to do about it?
If we're going to allow vague subjective questions amounting to identify-this-memory, then banning questions where actual physical evidence is provided on account of being able to use that information to find the answer is the wrong way of doing things.
identify-this-image and identify-this-clip questions give you something finite and conclusive to work from. These questions are answerable not just by the person asking the question, but by the entire community. They present none of the fundamental issues that are present in identify-this-memory style questions and they certainly add more value to the site than identify-this-memory questions (albeit, still not enough to make them high quality content).
The community should decide whether we're keeping all identify-this questions or whether all identify-this questions are off topic. Splitting them into two groups and then deciding to keep the worst kind of questions is not the right way to move forward. Answering questions with "LOL USE GOOGLE SEARCH" is not the right way to move forward, and comes across as unfriendly.
I am of the opinion that if we keep identify-this-memory, then identify-this-clip/image are also on topic. If we make identify-this-clip/image off topic, then all identify-this questions are off topic.
If we choose to keep them, then the quality of the questions needs to increase to the point where they're no longer 'guesses'. Provide an image, provide details of who was in the show, provide plot points, describe in detail scenes that you remember. A couple of lines is insufficient to make it anything other than a guessing game. Guessing games do not work well within a Q&A format.