(I've elsewhere expressed my disagreement with the decision to get rid of identify-this-song / identify-this-artist questions. This question, however, takes for granted that decision.)

I would argue that "Identify this Genre" questions shouldn't be lumped in with other identify questions when it comes to the big site purge --or at least not automatically. Yes, some such questions are just link-only questions, but quite a lot of them go into substantial discussion about genre elements not tied to any specific song.

Can we consider questions tagged "identify-this-genre" independently, and not lump them all together with the other identify questions?

2 Answers 2


This is somewhat of a Catch-22 issue. It is entirely believable that someone other than the OP might find an answer to an "Identify This Genre" question useful. I can see where people may google that. However, inevitably the answer will be subjective. Is Pink Floyd really Prog Rock, if it doesn't contain any elements of Classical or Jazz? It sounds great when you're high, and everyone always calls them Prog, but they're really more Blues based than Yes, Genesis, ELP, King Crimson and other Prog giants. This is where the issue lies. According to the StackOverflow Meta, SO is a website where direct questions have direct answers. It's not a discussion board to banter about the merits of what makes Pink Floyd a Prog band, it's a place to ask questions like, "When did Pink Floyd release Wish You Were here?" "What is the song 'Have A Cigar' about?" And we provide verifiable answers, backed with links to trustworthy information or interviews. Definitive question, definitive answer. It's in SO's charter, it's what we need to do to right this ship.


Yes, some such questions are just link-only questions, but quite a lot of them go into substantial discussion about genre elements not tied to any specific song.

This is exactly why they are lumped in with all the others. No one was trying to fix the quality of the questions/answers and now we have to take a bit more extreme of an action. Even if some answers were general, people searching for them would not be likely to find them unless they were asking about the same song/artist. It does not make sense to allow them over the other questions when they have the exact same problems.

They even have a unique problem to them which is most genres especially niche sub genres don't have very good definitions nor does every artist/song fit cleanly into a single category. Because of this identification itself can be more loaded and subjective than just answering what typically makes up a genre.

There's a really simple solution here that instead of allowing questions that ask us to identify the genres of a song/artis, we instead focus on questions that go into detail about what goes into defining that genre.

  1. It is more searchable in the long run as people are less likely to search for the genre of a specific song
  2. Even if there is a debate about specifics of a genre, it would benefit in the Q&A format to have the competing views of the genre

Doing this should be the best of both worlds where we eliminate the low quality, hard to search, link only questions and focus more on the content we can provide that makes sense for the OP and future users of the site.

  • 1
    I would argue that some of the questions labeled as "identify-this-genre" are really more along the lines of what you're describing. Dec 29, 2021 at 4:46
  • @ChrisSunamisupportsMonica then let's focus those specific questions instead of trying to keep "What genre is song X?" which is what that tag implies. Again, if they are not identification questions I'm fine with them.
    – Dom Mod
    Dec 29, 2021 at 4:50
  • @ChrisSunamisupportsMonica Like to me what you are describing is no a question that should have been tagged with "identify-this-genre". If you find any questions like that you are free to retag them, but I don't think the argument that we can have on topic questions that describe a genre means this tag should stay.
    – Dom Mod
    Dec 29, 2021 at 4:54

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