Rather than attempt a roundabout way to tackle this problem that will make our rules more complex and that we will inevitably come back to re-assess, I think the source of the problem with these questions is clear:
Questions with only one image are not good questions.
Regardless of information of whether the user reverse-searched it, where they found it, etc - it still boils down to one piece of information that an answer has to work off of.
That is why I would like to limit these questions to a specific subset. (Feel free to suggest additions in the comments):
- Cosplay from a convention you attended
My rationale for these exemptions is that they provide more information for our answerers - With merchandise, the user can provide any angles requested, any markings on the items, place of purchase, etc. Cosplay can also aid identification through offical convention media such as facebook groups, titled photo galleries & cosplayers often advertise their personal pages. Note that this does not include random cosplays from the internet (although perhaps this rule could be relaxed based on feedback from the rest of the users here).
I think I share the same sentiment as many other users in that it feels like we are treated as an alternative reverse search engine. And new users will treat us as such when they see these types of question on the homepage, usually a high percentage of it - If you watch Joel's talk on Cultural Anthropology , you'll see that these questions signal to our users what we are about and if they want to join our community. So it's no real surprise that we're being treated as a community for identifying random anime-looking pictures on the internet if the front page is filled with questions that are single images with "what is this anime".
This will also solve another issue which I think is silly: The reverse-search duplicate closure reason. These questions are most definitely under-specified so they should have been closed as "too little detail" anyway. The introduction of the closure means that all reviewers have to check if they can find the image on reverse search engines wasting 4 people's time.
We are not a search engine. Let's stop accepting those particular questions and focus on more interesting and relevant ones.
Even if you don't read the rest of the question - just ask yourself why we should accept this terrible standard:
Sure, some of them have nice pictures, but we can just get that from our lovely bot in chat - or, you know, Tumblr.