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One more time. This question asks if a 4th Transformers film is being made. They heard it was being made, and saw some pictures. But a trailer for it just showed footage from the first 3 films.

Why was this closed as off-topic?

  • Just out of curiosity, why do you want to allow these questions? The fact that TL is no longer a base close reason doesn't mean you should allow catgeories of questions that are utter crap. – Matthew Read Oct 25 '13 at 15:18
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    @MatthewRead The community recently sanctioned questions no matter how trivial. The community needs to either follow through, or explain the minimum acceptable level of triviality. – user1027 Oct 25 '13 at 15:21
  • But we still want to have quality questions right? – Jack B Nimble Oct 25 '13 at 16:04
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    @JackBNimble If it's not a quality question, downvote it. Some questions are on-topic but really poor in quality or clearly not researched - like this one and the Star Wars one. – phantom42 Oct 25 '13 at 16:41
  • FWIW, questions like these are why I disagreed with the removal of "too localized". They're terrible questions, but they skirt the line of on/off-topic now. – phantom42 Oct 25 '13 at 16:56
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    @phantom42 - it's not just about quality questions, it's also about quality answers. It's often the case that a bad question can still attract good answers (despite being bad), but these kind of questions ... it's difficult to see how they can get good answers or be of any value at all to the community. – user8719 Oct 26 '13 at 13:21
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This issue may be in how the question was asked.

Are there any plans to make X?

I see at least two problems with these types of questions.

  1. They are often highly speculative. Are there any plans to make a 9th Harry Potter movie, what about a 10th, or 11th, or 12th? Are there any plans to reboot the Harry Potter movies but to make Harry a female instead of a male?

  2. When not speculative it has a short life cycle of relevance. In a year, when the Transformers 4 movie is released, and the site starts to receive questions about it, way in the back will be the pointless question "Are there any plans to make a Transformers 4." This question will have no value. Particularly since it was asked after the film has already been announced and production has started. Would a question like "Are they planning on making a sequel to Tremors" be a valid question?

Lately with these (what I consider to be) poor Yes/No questions, I'll just give them a yes or a no in the comments. I don't usually vote to close them, but I do sometimes downvote them, out of spite.

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@DVK suggested that I cross-post this here, and I see his reasoning, so here we are:


I do believe that these questions should be closed with extreme prejudice, but as of yet I don't see any kind of epidemic of them. There have been two recently, and that doesn't constitute an epidemic. It's the beginning of a slippery slope towards wanting a specific close reason for every minor thing.

In general there are two possible answers to these questions.

  • "We don't know (for certain) yet"

This can also cover rumours, blog posts, conjecture, etc; anything that's not coming from a reputable primary source. Vote to close as "Primarily opinion based".

  • Yes

It's been definitively confirmed. IMDB and Amazon are not the sole sources here; other references such as press-releases, industry events, a company website, etc are also valid confirmation. Putting the work's name into Google is sufficient to confirm. Vote to close as "other".

I don't see "no" as a possible answer; Lucas insisted that more Star Wars movies would not be made, he denied that there were ever plans to make more, we know there were plans and here we are with Episode 7 being made. Never say never: even the death of an author isn't sufficient to stop a series (Foundation/Dune).

IMO a bigger problem with these questions, and the reason why I say close instead of downvote, is the kind of answers they can attract. With both of the possible answers things will veer away from the stated intent of SE sites.

With the first answer ("we don't know") it's clear: this is going to be a discussion. With the second it's less clear, but you need to ask: what is the motive of someone asking a question that can be answered by a single word ("yes") and where the answer can be found by putting the name of the work into Google? Having thought some about it, I can only see one possible motive: they're not looking for an answer, they're looking for a discussion. They may not have said it, but aside from extreme laziness, why else ask such a question?

Leaving such questions open would need a very strong case made for it, IMO. A downvoted question can still attract answers, and SE sites are just as much about quality of answers as they are about quality of questions; it's difficult to see how such questions can ever possibly attract good answers.

Yes, close them from orbit, but no, they don't need specific close reasons: one is already there ("Primarily opinion based") and the second can be handled by the existing "Other" reason with a comment to JFGI.

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I think questions like these should be:

  1. Downvoted into obvlivion. This is an open and closed case of "no research having been done whatsoever", which is what the down arrow was created for by $deity Joel and Jeff.

  2. In general, should NOT be closed (as off-topic or otherwise).

  3. HOWEVER, specifically for questions that are time-localized due to a known production release date, I would be open to create a special off-topic closing reason "The plans to make X are clearly stated on IMDB/Amazon".

    (note: this comes from one of the harshest opponents of General Reference VTC reason... but this narrow case has all the benefits of GR and none of its problems - mainly, subjectivity).

  • I don't think that "no research having been done" tells the full story behind this kind of question, and that maybe that reason for the down arrow is more appropriate for the initially more tech-oriented SE sites than for "softer" topics; I've included further and fuller reasoning in my own answer here. – user8719 Oct 26 '13 at 13:18

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