7

The deadline for the proposal to limit id has passed and it seems the community wants a stricter ban all policy which will start as of today. This is a general huge lift and as such it will take time to fully clean up. Here is an outline of when will start to happen.

Starting Today:

  • Update tags to reflect the tag usage is off-topic (Done)
  • Add close reason for this specific case (Done)
  • Close any newly asked questions with the tag and link to previous metas about this discussion

January 2022:

  • Start to close any questions with the now off-topic identify-this-* tag (In progress)

June 2022:

  • Start to delete any questions with the now off-topic identify-this-* tag
13
  • Please let me know if/how I can help.
    – Aaron
    Dec 16, 2021 at 16:53
  • 4
    @Aaron you can start by keeping an eye out and closing new questions. We're going to wait until the new year until the closing en mass starts. The new close reason should be active in a day or two
    – Dom Mod
    Dec 16, 2021 at 16:55
  • So why was my question deleted 6 months ahead of schedule, while 100+ others are neither deleted nor closed?
    – MWB
    Jan 4 at 3:26
  • @MWB see chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/60026778#60026778. The closing needs to be manual due to some being mistagged. All will be closed by the end of the month. There's a movement to keep some questions, but high scoring questions and answers only. There's a lot being deleted and closed manually.
    – Dom Mod
    Jan 4 at 3:40
  • 3
    @Dom So it was deleted because it had a negative score? But the above "policy" doesn't state that. Furthermore, you are the one who made it negative on the day it was deleted. My question was 0-score. Sounds very Kafkaesque.
    – MWB
    Jan 4 at 3:46
  • 1
    @MWB these questions have been a problem on the site since they started with many, many quality problems leading to this all out ban. A sentence and a link on a question that's not very useful to future users fits the down vote criteria of the tool tip and like I said all questions will be closed in that category soon enough. Questions like this sat and rotted on the site and drove away active participation. The mods as a whole are trying to clean up respark participation.
    – Dom Mod
    Jan 4 at 3:57
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    As someone who legally posted an ID question, then forgot about it as the sing continued to be incognito, this was a punch in the stomach: to get closed as off-topic when I had used the existing tag to mark the question. Just kind of a “remember that long lost idea you had? Well, now it’s ILLEGAL TO EVEN TRY!” I don’t know what else you could’ve done when I look at it intellectually, but it did really hurt. Especially the “other users have commented why” assumption in the email: that wasn’t true.
    – TheLabCat
    Jan 5 at 3:54
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    @TheLabCat I'm sorry and we don't control the emails that go out. Like it says in our close reason, you can still post and ask in our chat, just the questions won't be allow on the main site.
    – Dom Mod
    Jan 5 at 4:11
  • @Dom Thanks. Sorry I got so emotional there. How do I get to chat (I’m using the app)?
    – TheLabCat
    Jan 5 at 4:21
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    @TheLabCat here is the link for it: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/21415/off-the-record. I'm not sure how well the chat works on mobile, but it's worth a shot.
    – Dom Mod
    Jan 5 at 4:23
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    FYI: Typo in the close reason text: "Identification question" should be "Identification questions" (plural).
    – Aaron
    Jan 9 at 20:43
  • @Aaron I see that now, I may need a CM to help with that so it may be a bit.
    – Dom Mod
    Jan 10 at 5:58
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    @TheLabCat: Note that the official Stack Exchange mobile app was discontinued a while back. Also, you can find a link to chat from any SE network site within the menu at the right end of the top bar.
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Jan 10 at 21:42

2 Answers 2

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Apologies, late to this party... been around SE for quite a few years but only just picked this up. I know things have now moved on and "identify" questions have now been made off-topic; I think the conversation needs to continue though, as this is still a young site with not much meta engagement yet from the community and such questions are clearly so very popular!

If these questions are off-topic on a site called Music Fans, where are they on-topic?

As evidenced by the existence of pop quizzes and suchlike, people love to think back on earlier music and try to recollect details about it. It's all part of the way music fits into life alongside human emotions, nostalgia and everything else.

If questions are low-quality, let's address that in its own right, not use it as a reason to deprecate one category of question or another.

On the stats Aaron provided, with the greatest respect to Aaron I think we must be careful about the conclusions we draw. For example, the significance of having only one answer. Unlike, say, many Stack Overflow questions, which are likely to generate a range of good and bad and misleading and mediocre and brilliant answers, an identify question has only one right answer. I don't think we should see this as being somehow of lower value than having multiple answers. And does the ratio of identify/not questions really mean the not questions are somehow being forced out? It's not like the "question bucket" is too full of identify questions, leaving no room for anything else. Will people not always simply ask the questions they want to ask? Doesn't the prevalence of identify questions merely show that that's what most people actually want to ask about?

Disincentivization has been cited, but that works both ways: I personally really enjoy "identify" questions. I haven't asked one here myself (yet) but I was delighted to find them here when I discovered Music Fans recently. I now actively search for them and enjoy pondering over what the piece in question might be. I am mortified by the off-topic decision and for me personally, it's a very strong disincentive to Music Fans because all my other musical interests are met by SE Music Theory & Practice. More than that, it's a great loss to the community because what other site exists to meet the obvious need for identify questions, which so many music fans love to ask?

Cue a new SE site, "Music Fans Identify"....?

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  • 1
    These questions have been pointed out as a problem since the site's early days and this isn't out of nowhere. They generate low quality flags, user most of the time don't come back to confirm, they offer little future use outside the OP. We've tried to clean up quality on them, but nothing seemed to work and no one seems to even want to try and take care of them. I'm sorry that this may seem out of nowhere to you, but I think it also helps show the problem. The core problem being while there's a lot of these questions, they don't attract people who stay and participate on the site.
    – Dom Mod
    Dec 24, 2021 at 16:50
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    I appreciate the critique of my earlier post on the subject. You make some good points.
    – Aaron
    Dec 25, 2021 at 4:41
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    Well, since the policy started, I have lost 44 reputation due to deleted questions. It'll be interesting to see how low it goes, and whether I feel it is worth staying.
    – Angst
    Jan 19 at 19:28
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It took me a little time to go through all the relevant meta posts. Now that I have, I'm confused about how the "proposal to limit id questions" turned into a complete ban-and-purge.

I'm in favor of the original, less draconian effort to police ID questions more strictly. I think the current, "nuke them from orbit" approach is overkill and will negatively impact the site.

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    See the answer on the proposal and the comments on aaron's original proposal. The momentum until after the ban was going for the banning them outright. The downvotes and support for the id questions only came after the deadline. This is a similar problem to any time we tried any quality improvement or moderation on id questions. The 13th hour support for them demonstrates that while some people do want them, they are not taking care or even paying attention to the site itself. Aarron's proposal sat around featured for the better part of last year with no pushback until now.
    – Dom Mod
    Dec 28, 2021 at 21:03
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    @Dom that's because meta users are not in fact representative of the user community. Users who like identify-this questions had no way of knowing that this was under discussion until the policy was already changed, which was necessarily after the deadline. Just because some people can't be bothered to spend much time on meta doesn't mean that they aren't valuable users and, more importantly, that they won't be driven away by seemingly heavy-handed limitations on how the site can be used.
    – phoog
    Aug 18 at 21:44
  • @phoog this proposal was on the sitebar of the site for a year before this proposal was made. This question was featured when it was made. Claiming people don't use the meta, but want a say in the site undermines the point of the meta. This was not a snap decision and based on years of pain and questions not being taken care of.
    – Dom Mod
    Aug 18 at 23:43

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