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Related: Acceptability of reading/viewing order questions

The reason I ask is, I don't see how these questions rise above the level beyond 'primarily opinion based'.

The linked question makes the same point, giving the example of multiple answers of which there's no basis to pick the best. But this dates back to 2011, and I know the positions on these kinds of things have evolved.

Also note that @phanton42 gave this answer in 2013, yet it was voted into the negative.

Is it time to revisit and/or reaffirm the position on this?

  • Why do we have to "justify" them? Has anybody ever given a good justification for the ban on opinion-based questions? "Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art." – user14111 Oct 14 '15 at 22:26
  • What's the rationale for the downvotes? Anyone? – ThePopMachine Oct 15 '15 at 5:48
  • Given no rationale, I'm editing the title to remove the word 'justify' which may be perceived as loaded. – ThePopMachine Oct 16 '15 at 3:21
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    I would imagine that the downvotes just mean "I disagree that suggested-order questions should be off-topic." There's (usually) nothing sinister about downvotes on meta – Jason Baker Oct 16 '15 at 3:34
  • @JasonBaker, it could be, but the question is neutral, or was trying to be. "Time to revisit or reaffirm"? That's not a yes/no, so it's not clear what up or down means. – ThePopMachine Oct 16 '15 at 3:40
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We shouldn't exclude the entire category of questions; although they sometimes lean on the edge of being opinion-based, they don't have to be bad.

Some of them are good

I would say that Suggested order to watch entire Dr. Who? is an example of a good question1. The OP defines very clearly what they want out of an answer (emphasis mine):

  • what is the best approach to continuity (an episode E1 that helps understand something in episode E2 should be watched in E1=>E2 order)

  • the least amount of spoilers (ala "I don't want to find out Vader is Luke's father before watching the prequels")

  • extra weight given to the order recommended specifically by creative team(s) associated with the show.

With the possible exception of the first one (though I think it could be worded differently to make it objective), all of these criteria have objective answers. The fact that my answer focuses on general concepts rather than a specific list of episodes should be taken as a testament to the scale of Doctor Who, not a commentary on the question.

Some of them are not

In contrast, What episodes of Doctor Who should I watch first? is not a good question; the OP specifically says what they're looking for:

Where would you recommend starting and what are the definitive episodes/seasons I should watch?

Which is practically the definition of "Primarily Opinion-Based"; that this question has 15 answers (5 visible only to 10k+ users), many of which include some variation on the phrase "I think", demonstrates the problem

General guideline

To paraphrase a much better writer than I: objective and subjective have not changed since yesterday, nor are they one thing among and another among other tags.

If a question is asking for some objective criteria, as in my first example, then that sounds like a fine question to me; if they aren't, then they should be closed as appropriate.


1 Disclaimer: I have the top-voted, accepted (also, only) answer on this question

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    in your doctor who example, the first two criteria are still subjective IMO. the only "suggested" orders that are not, are 100% objective ones - "what order does the creator suggest?" "what is the official viewing order?" – phantom42 Oct 14 '15 at 15:23

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