Lately I feel that the quality of questions has waned significantly. These most of these tip-of-my-tongue are without audio-visual artifacts, and rely solely on the asker's memories which are more often than not very unreliable.

I would like to ask the community's help on deciding whether we should creating hard guidelines for what these types of questions or eliminate them all together.

I present to you two options:

Option A: Set Guidelines

If we wish to keep that that we MUST implement and enforce some set of criteria to ensure that there is sufficient information to go on to be able to identify a series.

We should clear up any confusion on the subject of what a good should have. This would be added to the help center for visibility and reference. An example of a set of guidelines would be something like this:

An identification request should have as many of the following points as possible:

  • Any description of the leading/recurring character(s) (i.e., physical description, behavioral, etc)
  • Any description of any distinctive features (e.g., girls who a soda cans that do battle) or the setting
  • What the genre or style was (e.g., mecha, sci-fi, fantasy, shonen, shoujo, seinen, etc)
  • What the drawing/animation style is like
  • When and where you saw it (If you saw it when you were a kid don't give you age, give the approximate year, and month if possible)
  • Type of media: TV show, OVA, movie, manga, one-shot, etc
  • Any image(s), audio, or video(s) related to the series

If the question has less than two of the the above mentioned criteria, or if the description given is deemed to be too ambiguous, it will be put on hold as "Unclear what You're Asking." You should edit your question to add more details, before it can be reopen.

Option B: Disallow certain questions without audio-visual artifacts

As for disallowing questions, I don't think we should needlessly disallow ALL such questions. Instead we can limit these questions to only those with some sort of visual-audio artifact component (in addition to images and clips of video and audio, rough sketches/graphics are acceptable).

Option C: Disallow all future questions

This option involves not allowing questions on this site and closing currently unanswered questions.

If you have another idea please feel free to leave a suggestion as answer.

4 Answers 4


Option A: Keep them but QC the questions! (Final guidelines to proposals to be voted on in another meta)


Option A': Implement more stringent quality control on these questions primarily with downvotes, not close votes.

Yes, we need some quality control on this front. However, the intended way to deal with a poor question on SE sites is downvotes. Close votes should be reserved for questions that just won't work in our format, not ones that are probably answerable but low quality. I wrote an expansive answer explaining the difference on a related question and when to do what.

This may seem contradictory to Downvoting new users whose questions don't meet our criteria, but it's really a different issue. That was a case of a decent question that needed to be closed because it's off topic and not something we cover, but didn't need to be heavily downvoted since it wasn't unclear or low-effort and the policy was (at the time) fairly obscure. Bad ID requests are on topic and answerable, but low quality/effort. They should be downvoted but not typically closed unless they fail some other criterion for closing.

For this to work, we actually have to have users willing to downvote stuff. That seems like a limiting factor right now for whatever reason, but I'd encourage everyone to be more liberal with downvotes when you think they're justified (not just in the case of ID requests). I've seen many questions and answers that I considered poor despite many upvotes. Starting now, I intend to downvote these whenever I see them, not just when I consider it to be obviously wrong or problematic.

We also need me (or someone else willing) to write some sort of for new users who want to understand how to ask a good ID request. I've been planning on doing this for a while (as my linked answer above says), but I've lost one nearly complete draft and some other stuff came up that diverted my attention. I will hopefully be able to do it this weekend, but if someone else wants to take it off my hands then feel free to offer.

  • I'll downvote, not like rep matters all that much to me
    – anon
    Feb 19, 2014 at 14:42
  • 1
    While downvoting works for obviously bad questions, I find that I'm hesitant to vote on something that's >a paragraph as I'm not sure if that's enough to identify a series by or not, if I can't Id it myself Feb 19, 2014 at 19:03
  • 1
    @ToshinouKyouko when would you feel it would be more appropriate to downvote a question? Downvoting a questions doesn't subtract from your rep like down voting an answer does. The function is there to weed out bad question and answers. It's sometimes that one sentence that invalidates the question or answer.
    – кяαzєя Mod
    Feb 19, 2014 at 23:01
  • @Krazer some questions obviously scope the problem which is very helpful - anime.stackexchange.com/questions/7517/… - says its from Netflix so it's got a reasonable chance of people knowing what it is. But for anime.stackexchange.com/questions/7320/… on the other hand, I don't know if that description is enough to go on for someone who could research and/or ID it and I'd be inbetween ignoring and downvoting it. (That might just be me though :P ) Feb 19, 2014 at 23:41

Option B: Save the the ones we can see and hear. (Only questions with audio-viusal artifacts will stay and be allowed.)


Option C: Close all questions! They'll be off-limits from now on!

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