Sometimes people post "where do I read/watch X" and it isn't phrased as looking for legal shop or streaming site links, so it could have been intended as looking for illegal sites. We seem to have agreed on editing it to be explicitly about legal links only, and then accept that question. In cases where OP is clearly not asking for that, we close it with our custom illegal links reason.

But are we okay with converting possibly bad questions into somewhat less bad ones like that? Do you think they become useful to anyone and worth keeping around? Especially when asking about rather popular or mainstream works.

Some sites have a rule against asking "shopping questions" like "where can I buy " because they're largely useless and it's too easy to find it yourself if you just google "X buy". Do you think we should keep all our questions like that?

Sometimes there are cases I can agree we should keep, like asking where to buy a rare or specific version of a product which was discontinued or isn't sold in OP's region/country. But even so, do you think we should keep searching for people where to buy discs, printed manga books, etc?

  • 1
    I think we already agree to accept these questions meta.anime.stackexchange.com/q/595/2869
    – Darjeeling
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 6:20
  • 2
    I personally do not like these questions at all. I think they are bad, because this site is strictly worse for these questions than Google (and maybe looking the thing up on ANN or similar) in almost all cases. However, I'm not sure that I have a principled argument for why these questions should be closed (aside from, as you mention, occasional cases that are actually interesting and difficult-to-Google questions, which should remain open).
    – senshin
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 6:38
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    While I don't love those questions, I will admit that when I google "where to read X manga?" I generally get a list of sites that are questionably legal at best. You do know the answer and often I don't.
    – kaine
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 20:15

3 Answers 3


All of these questioned should be marked as a duplicate of this question. Ideally the title of that questions should be where can I watch shows online legally. Alternatively, we can have a respectable user post a question and answer at the same time which points the user to "Can I Stream It" and the previously mentioned question.

These questions are only specific questions of that existing one. Just closing the question without providing any support will push away potential new users. Marking as a duplicate will push away a few who think this site is for conversations but still pretty much gives them the help they came here for.

My only issue is I don't know where such policies are listed.

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    My vote would be for migrating that question to the main site, and keeping a very close eye on it for anyone adding illicit sites to it.
    – Makoto
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 23:28
  • @Makoto a mod can put a protect lock to stop new 1-rep users from spamming it with any link they come up with and i would assume people who can make edits without approval wouldn't be adding illicit sites. all that leaves us is those with 10+ rep in which case new answers we review like any other answer
    – Memor-X
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 5:55

I think questions about "where do I read/watch X" are not acceptable in more than 99% of the cases (that's probably worse than identification requests, and we got rid of that one), because think about it, how many of them aren't asking for illegal or copyrighted materials AND which you won't find on a legal distributor/broadcaster/official site? We already have this, this and this, enough info to answer almost everyone's calls, provided your region is not blocked from viewing the contents.

You could potentially ask this question for every tag there is/ever will be and in most cases they wouldn't be of interest to more than a few people. Heck, these kinds of questions don't even enrich our understanding of a series or anime/manga in general. They aren't even fun. Do you believe they have a place here?

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    That's what I'm thinking. We should probably figure out the clear rules for when we do keep them in that 1% of cases.
    – Hakase
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 7:51
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    @Hakase I would say the 1% of cases are things like anime.stackexchange.com/q/23032/7579 where the show is old, hard to find, or has a weird release history. Or questions like e.g. "Where can I see the Streamline dub of Akira?" I think we should accept. Otherwise, no bueno. Anyone who knows how to use Google can find where to get a giant popular series like Hunter x Hunter, legally or otherwise.
    – Torisuda
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 19:43

I have to state that from an ethics perspective giving recommendations where someone can go to possibly commit piracy is not on the right side of things. There are places where you can pay memberships to have access to manga/anime online, but there is no way of telling if these sites are actually legitimate. Crunchyroll has paid licenses with companies in east asia, as well as Funimation, but the majority of other manga sites are hard to get information on.

I always stick to recommending online stores that carry manga, that way I can make a real recommendation, and support an industry that frankly is still niche and needs the support.

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    From an ethics perspective it's unethical to go to a site which specializes on answering questions about anime/manga plot and ask where to buy discs, watch streams or manga books. It's okay to ask in chat, but on the main site, I don't think it's all that reasonable. Not trying to shut you up, but you raised a point based on ethics, and I don't think that's a way to go about this.
    – Hakase
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 3:41
  • +1 You do raise a good point though. With the name being just Anime and Manga, how is one to know that the site is mainly about plot? it's also unethical to ask questions here that could easily be answered with a simple google search....why make people do the work when a search engine can. Now, I do hope no one asks me to explain the plot of Odin: Photon Space Sailer Starlight shudder Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 5:04
  • We already don't permit answers that suggest using unlicensed sites, so that's less of an issue here.
    – Maroon
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 5:24
  • Good to know that there's one rule I won't be accidentally violating there's always at least one. Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 5:27
  • how is one to know that the site is mainly about plot? − from the Tour page and Help Center's "What questions are on topic?" which are visible enough for a new user to find and read.
    – Hakase
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 5:49
  • Most people tend to ignore tour pages and similar threads, simply due to the concept of "my question is important to me, so I will ask it." If a rule were to be put in place against these questions, it needs to be concise, short, to the point. as Gao states "these kinds of questions don't even enrich our understanding of a series or anime/manga in general" Have the reason for not allowing be just that: Does not enrich community understanding of a series or Anime.Manga in general. Won't stop the questions from being asked, but will have a simple way to explain why a question was deleted. Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 13:21

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