The high flux of low quality questions has put the community under stress and that can lead to loss of active users which is of course very badwhich is of course very bad, while the value added to the site by "what kind is my specific rock" questions with answers of the form "it is X" is almost zero.
If the Q rate were low and the community willing (an example of that kind of thing here) and the OPs quickly responded to requests for more information, that would be nice, but the reality is exactly opposite.
For the sake of community morale and answer pool value, maybe "what kind is my specific rock" questions per se should be strictly off-topic and/or banned as was done in Movies SE.
Users serious about getting Earth Science answers about a specimen beyond its name will find a way to edit their question and save it from closing or re-open it. If the off topic-ness blurb in the help center includes wording that questions that include specimens but are about something germane to Earth Science are still on-topic, then it can be pointed to in helpful comments or the close reason itself, stated in a radio button option in the close menu.
But please don't deleteIt seems this is called a "custom close reason" and it worked quite well in Space Exploration SE:
- Should we have a canonical response for folks intent on blowing themselves up?
- Why can't I ask my question about amateur space projects and development?
The mere presence and visibility of a custom close reason has a big side benefit, it educates and reminds the community of the specific nature of the policy. Anyone reaching for the vtc buttons will see it and be reminded that "what kind is my rockspecific rock" questions per se are explicitly off-idtopic and see the "please edit your question to..." recommendation to add some Earth science.
But please don't delete my rock-id question just yet, to which (it seems that) the lead author of the paper in Science chose to join in order to post an answer! What kind of rock is this being eaten by a rock-eating worm?
By the new guidelines it would be put on hold with some advice that it needs to be about Earth science. As an engaged user, I would quickly modify the question to ask more about the specific nature of the rock that allows it to be edible by worms, which it seems is a geological process. As a byproduct we'd also find out what kind of rock it was, but a lot more would be learned and the value to the site would be improved.