Usually a question is voted according to it's content. A well posed or interesting question will receive lots of up-votes to give it some spotlight for possible interested readers to read. Now how should identification requests be voted? I usually upvote the answerer, as id-request usually take some effort to find, but what makes a certain id-request question more valuable then another?

For example if we would look at the top four most voted id-requests the question basically contains nothing more than a picture. Does that mean those are good asked questions? We know they aren't, but they come out on top and set an example of what id-requests should look like. One could argue that picture based questions are valuable as they usually come from a forum and if another person would google that picture they'd come out on our website. But wouldn't we want questions like the fifth top question to come out on top? Questions with a lot of information to go on. Well structured, with some effort put into?

Anyway tl;dr, are there any regulations or guidelines towards voting identification requests or should I just continue to vote based on the feeling I have when reading the question?

Top five questions

  1. What manga is this image with a depressed girl from?
  2. What are the cats watching?
  3. What anime is this winking girl from?
  4. What anime is this blonde girl wearing a purple dress from?
  5. Identify anime with submarine under aerial attack
  • 3
    some of the question were asked more as jokes, people that got it found it amusing and upvoted it.
    – кяαzєя Mod
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 21:47
  • I have no idea why that cat answer got me so many upvotes. Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 16:28

3 Answers 3


I won't say there are any strict guidelines on how you should vote up or down. Merely some suggestions...

If you feel that a particular id-request question is good and well formed (even if you don't know what the series is), feel free to up vote it. But if you that is is not particularly good question (i.e., too vague) you are free to downvote it as such. If you do, try to leave a comment explaining why, it'll help better educate the OP and other users who might have similar questions.

Due to the ambiguous nature of identification question, many users are unsure of the quality. If you're unsure, feel free to ask someone. They'll be more than happy to help. If you're unsure how to gauge the quality of an id-request, use the guidelines as a starting guide. Does it fulfill the minimum criteria? Why or why not? Once you get a good feel for what's good and bad, things should come naturally to you. It's perfectly natural to be confused, because people might life to ride the bandwagon with voting.

When judging the quality of a question, consider the following:

  • Does the title adequately summarize the body? "I need help remembering this anime" doesn't make a good question, you'll need to know more off then bat before you can even start looking. If I were to ask "What is this anime with sky-surfing mech about a boy with messy brown hair that's looking for a girl with blue hair?" you have a better place to start, because right off the bat you can ask yourself, do have I seen or heard of this series?

  • How well does the question fulfill the guidelines? The nature of id-requests rely heavily on a person's memory, which is rarely infallible. We typically then to piece thing together from our everyday, so piece might get jumbled up. You might confuse details from a childhood TV series with one from a book you read recently or as a child. The guidelines are there as a minimum standard to help you get started and organized, whether people choose to follow them or not is up to them.

  • Do you understand what they are trying to ask about If can't understand what the OP is talking about, ask them or try to help them better articulate their question. Given the international notoriety of the media, it's likely that English isn't everyone's primary language.

  • Did the OP attempt to at least try to do some (re)searching themselves? Help vampires have plagued the Stack Exchange family of sites for a long time and are typically unavoidable given the nature of the site and community. We don't have it as bad on our site, but that doesn't mean we should be lax about it. If a question feel like they asking "plx halp me find this anime" and it's obviously that if they made the smallest of efforts they would've found their answer, you can consider down voting it. However before you do, take into consideration a person's technical skill, not everyone is technologically savvy. Fans of anime and manga come not only from different countries, but from different ages and demographics as well. A newcomer might not know what the latest most popular anime in Japan is or what they symbol their friend where when cosplaying as a ninja. If the OP take the time to explain why they are unable to find something or why they're looking for something, try to give then a benefit of the doubt. Nobody likes doing work for someone that didn't bother trying to do it themselves and they shouldn't.

  • "Did you find the question useful?" Sometimes an id-request question might help you find a series that you've never heard of otherwise and would actually like. Feel free to give the OP an upvote in addition to the answerer.

A blatantly incorrect/bad answer stands out as being bad the more down votes it has. A blatantly bad question is made more prominent with down votes. The inverse is true for upvotes. Use your best judgement and vote to help other distinguish the good from the bad.


I vote based on the hover text for the voting buttons:

Up: This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear

Down: This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful

Research effort speaks for itself; clarity and usefulness in ID requests go hand-in-hand, in that anyone else who will find the answer useful needs to be able to find the question via keywords.

For your specific examples (disclaimer: since some questions are older, my voting habits may have changed, and thus what I write here may not reflect whether or not I have voted on said questions):

  1. Would not vote for. While the answer is not easily found by searching, the question has a single useful keyword and the OP does specifically state their research effort. ("I have tried other sites" is internet jargon for "plz help I'm desperate".)
  2. Would not vote for. Again, not so easy to find by searching, and the title keywords are okay, but the OP does specifically state their research effort.
  3. Would vote down. Easily found by reverse image search, no keywords, no research effort stated.
  4. Would vote down. Easily found by reverse image search, no keywords, no research effort stated.
  5. Would absolutely vote up. Not easily found by search, very well keyworded, and though the OP does not state specific sources of research, there is a list of I-thought-it-might-be-this-but-it's-actually-not results.

Keep in mind, voting is a user preference and we cannot enforce rules, nor should we even try. That breaks the entire spirit of voting and its level of anonymity and freedom.

tl;dr There are no regulations. Vote however you want!


ID requests are a whole different type of questions on this site, and still they can be poorly/nicely worded and full/devoid of details that help to answer them. Voting rules should be the same as usual. If the questions is clear and interesting − upvote. If it's unclear and therefore very hard to answer − downvote, with a comment helping OP to improve it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .