There are quite a few links to list questions that redirect to the error page. I am guessing that initially they were allowed albeit with some heavy restrictions. These are the discussions I found about list questions, but they are really old and not updated: Link1 Link2 Link3 Link4

I just wanted to know what was the rationale(consensus) that led to list-questions becoming off-topic?

  • 1
    I don't think 'list' questions are off-topic, it does however depend on what you wish to be listed, and within which scope it should be listed. Anime recommendations, or genre listings are not accepted. However, take this for example accepted list question is on topic
    – Dimitri mx Mod
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


Lists are not off-topic. Unreasonable and overly board list questions are. Stack Exchange has a problem where users of their community ask for a lot all at once and give little context on what they actually need. Sometimes these questions are answered, most of the time its not due to the effort involved in covering all the important and relevant points. This puts the majority of the burden on those answering or attempting to answer these types of questions.

When you ask for a list of thing. There are reasonable requests and unreasonable requests based on scope. Much of the time ppl, not being knowledgeable on the scope or depth, ask for unreasonable things. The guideline are there to ensure those asking keep their questions within reasonable bounds in terms of length, complexity, and coverage.

If I asked you to name all the {insert flavor} things you've ever eaten, plus where and when you had them. Would that be reasonable?

  • No that would not be reasonable :). Yours is a very articulate response. Note that there are no particular tags containing the keyword 'lists' or 'list'. I understand now that 'mainstream lists' like recommendations and such are not acceptable. But the links I have added in my question contain discussions of the time when they were acceptable(it looks like that). Although it seems that the discussions abruptly ended. I am guessing it must be SE policy that such questions are opinion-based/subjective which was implemented in all sites including anime.se, and no further discussion was needed?
    – peerless
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 15:18
  • The meta discussions you have linked are more or less elaborations on policies to fit specific needs. We have general policy for list questions, but we do not want to cross every "t" and dot every "i" as we lack the foresight and resources to cover all possible scenarios. We have a broad policy on these questions that give both moderator and users an idea of how to handle these situations as they come up. As noted but LoganM's tl;dr. We prefer to give you suggestions on how to handle situations, rather than tell you what you must do explicitly.
    – кяαzєя Mod
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 19:36
  • We're not a big community compared to other recreation SEs. There are something we can handle and some things we can't. Support from the community is key. Instead of set rules and regulation we try to be more reasonable with it comes to policy as we understand that different people have different strokes and we can't alway get along in the same matter. We keep policies open ended as we realize not all things are perfect, despite best efforts. If you don't agree with something you're free to let us know what's on your mind. If it's reasonable and has enough support, we'll give it a try.
    – кяαzєя Mod
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 19:41
  • I couldn't have hoped for a better explanation. It is very clear to me how things are working around here(nice work BTW). However, I believe that anime.se lacks a certain charm for new users(and people recently hooked to anime) because of the lack of lists and list-questions. Moreover, such lists are most sought after in case of anime rather than any other topics or in other SE sites. But again, that is just my opinion.
    – peerless
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 5:17
  • I do agree the community lacks charm, but we are and have been a very bootstrapped community. If you feel unsatisfied, feel free to leave your feedback in our meta along with any suggestions you may have for discussion. We'll do what we can to try meeting expectations if it's reasonable.
    – кяαzєя Mod
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 20:30

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