On Arqade, there's a policy that game identification questions without some sort of media from the game are off-topic, and with the number of questions affected, getting that policy settled was a huge pain in the neck for everyone involved.

I'm wondering whether Aviation should consider questions like these: Identify this aircraft: large, swept-wing configuration, eight jet engines, canards and twin tails which don't have photos, screenshots, etc, on- or off-topic.

Right now the volume of questions fitting this criteria is extremely low, so it might not even be worth having the discussion at this time. However, if there's a strong consensus against, it seems better to have it decided before precedent builds up.

  • $\begingroup$ Just a thought - the boundary may not be as easy as that. If the description is good enough, will that count as an artifact? That uncertainty is what might make putting in a specific rule a challenge... $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Oct 23 '18 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ @RoryAlsop - I agree. For example, "What type of plane was Amelia Earhart flying when she disappeared?" is entirely specific, answerable, and I think, on-topic, even without a screenshot. $\endgroup$ – Steve V. Oct 23 '18 at 20:46

I don't see any reason to special-case these types of questions. It all comes down to whether the question is definitively answerable or not. It's no different, in my opinion, from questions that ask about in-progress accident investigations. Sometimes the question is specific enough that it is answerable. Other times, any answer would be very speculative, or would have to include a long list of possible causes.

Usually a description of an airplane is not enough information to precisely identify it, so that means there's not enough information to answer the question. In that case, it should probably be closed as "unclear what you're asking" or perhaps "too broad".


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