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We have recently had several questions of a very specific format:

Q: Are there plans to make next installment of {movie series X}?

A: Yes, the production is confirmed (and optionally, release date is announced) on the definitive reference site for this, IMDB.

Examples: [1], [2] (hat/tip: Keen for noticing the problem).

As noted in meta discussions, these questions are bad for the site in 2 ways:

  • First, they are very time localized. The release date is known, and after the date, the question becomes useless.

  • Second, more importantly, they don't make the internet better in any way. Any answer would just regurgitate official info off IMDB (Amazon for books); and there typically is no opportunity to generate worthwhile-content answer to such a question beyond a link to IMDB. Basically, do what Google already does automatically in a sidebar if you search for the movie's title :)

As such, I would propose that we add an official VTC reason to off-topic list: "Questions asking about release date of a future movie/book that have the release date published on IMDB/Amazon are off-topic".

To clarify - the VTC reason would only apply to questions where the answer is "date is on IMDB", not to general "are they making abc movie", with the answer being "not according to IMDB, but here's evidence from blogs and interviews".


Now, I realize that this may seem very much like "General Reference" VTC that we have just recently successfully killed with fire.

But (as one of the most vocal GR opponents) I would pose that this specific off-topic rule does NOT suffer from GR's main problem - it's NOT in any way subjective. An Amazon/IMDB listing either exists or does not, and either has release date or does not. There's no possible ambiguity over whether a given "are they making X" question is off-topic or not.

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  • As a side note #1: these questions CAN be improved by rewording into very good and interesting "what is/was the history of rumors and disclosures of the production of movie X"? (e.g., see the history of secrecy behind Star Wars films, with nisleading project names, fake sets, etc...). – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 26 '13 at 5:06
  • Side note #2: the main (and hopefully only) weakness of this proposal is the fact that a "not offtopic" question "Is there a plan to make X" that was asked BEFORE official info was available may suddenly become off-topic once the movie's info is added to IMDB. However, since a good answer to such a question would already contain details about rumors and such, the question can easily be edited into the form discussed in note #1 to keep it good and interesting and on-topic AND matching existing asnwer. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 26 '13 at 5:08
  • This is more the old "Too Localized" than "General Reference". I remember concern over removing TL back then for exactly this reason... – Izkata Oct 26 '13 at 5:57
  • @Izkata - These types of question fit BOTH criteria, which makes them even more of a nuicance – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 26 '13 at 10:24
  • Side note 3: I presented both the idea (making such questions closeable) and an implementation (adding as one of "off-topic" reasons). If you agree with the idea but disagree with the implementation, please upvote the "yes" answer but offer commentary on why a different implementation is preferred. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 26 '13 at 10:28
  • Why the DV? (please note that if you think that the answer is "no", you shouldn't downvote the yes/no question, but the "yes" answer – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 26 '13 at 15:37
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No, there shouldn't be a special off-topic reason yet, but yes they should be closed (existing VTC reasons suffice).


A (long-ish) background for the reasoning behind this conclusion was included here, but I've now moved it to a more appropriate place so it doesn't clutter this question too much.

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  • 1
    May be you should cross-post the answer here: meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/3181/…? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 26 '13 at 13:02
  • I see your reasoning for this; I'm thinking that I'll also remove the background for my conclusion from here and let it stand at the other question, where it's more appropriate. – user8719 Oct 26 '13 at 13:08
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NO,

These don't come up often enough to warrant adding them to the pre-set list of off-topic close reasons.

Instead, it's always possible to fill in a custom off-topic close reason, so for these questions, if one person fills in something like:

This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the release date of a future movie/book that already the release date published on IMDB/Amazon. For more explanation, see: Why was this 'is this movie being made' question closed?

Once one person types in a custom close reason, anyone else who votes to close has the option of choosing that reason if they agree with it.

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1

No,

we should NOT add an official VTC reason to off-topic list: "Questions asking about release date of a future movie/book that have the release date published on IMDB/Amazon are off-topic"

NOTE: If you think we shouldn't, please either upvote this answer and comment on it as to why; or post your own "no" answer with reasoning if said reasoning is too big to fit in the margins of this page comments.

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0

Yes,

we should add an official VTC reason to off-topic list: "Questions asking about release date of a future movie/book that have the release date published on IMDB/Amazon are off-topic" due to arguments presented in the question.

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