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I have been sifting through the tags looking for ones that seem problematic and one problem that I am finding are tags that are about the work or the scene of the work, but not actually about the question. One example of this is country tags, such as or . In the case, both uses of the tag are categorizing the work and not the question. In the case of , one usage relates to Japanese and Manga, but not Japan at all, and the other is about the exploration of Japanese culture in the United States. I personally find the usages categorizing the works as opposed to the question problematic, but I have two questions for meta:

  • Should we have country name tags?
  • If so, how should we use country tags if we keep them?
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  • @Mithrandir No, this is just about the country tags, separate from nation-literature tags.
    – Benjamin
    Feb 10 '17 at 12:57
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My answer is "it doesn't matter at this point, in the context of larger issue of whether we have nation/country/culture/language based tags in the first place".

A bigger, strategic question is, Do we want to have a concept of tags that allow broad categorization of questions based on geographic/linguistic/national groupings.

If someone is interested in and specializes in "Russian literature" (however you define that, it's a legit specialization), will we as a community/site provide a way for that specialist to be able to easily find most "russian" - however you define that - questions, without having to subscribe to 50-100-500 individual tags for "russian" authors, which is what that person would have to do as of now (or simply be forced to scan 100% of site questions, which may be too much given the site size).

Please note that specifics of such tags (should they be based on geography? language? country? both?) is irrelevant to that large philosophical and strategic question of whether such tags as a concept have a place on the site. Yes, those specifics and differences change the exact set of questions for such tags by, say, 5% (Do Russian language works published in Israel count? Are USSR and Russian pre-USSR works same tag?). We can hash out and work through that 5% later, at our leisure, after we figure out whether we want to solve the first 95% of the problem first.

Please note that the above is 100% distinct from "country as a subject of work" discussion, which I will cover in a separate answer saying "no".

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Tags for "country as a subject of work" is probably an idea we should REJECT.

  1. They don't help a specialist with finding interesting questions to answer.

    In the realm of literature, there are experts on, say, French literature.

    There are, however, unlikely to be experts on "literature about France" (in any language by any authors).

  2. They don't much help anyone to decide what the question is about, in the context of literature analysis.

  3. If we do not want to have country-specific tags at all (see my other answer), they violate that approach. If we do want such tags, they would conflict with tags based on geography/country/language/culture; and confuse people (What's up with vs. ?)

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