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I asked this question: Why is Poland's proposed Holocaust speech law so controversial?

And tagged it "israel" and "poland", because the main controversy is between Poland and Israel.

I even edited my question, to make it clearer, that this was my intention.

The tag Israel kept getting deleted and added. Some even removed my reference to Israel from my question in order to justify deleting my tag.

Why not also delete the Poland tag while we are at it? And how is the "freedom of speech" tag more relevant, than the "israel" tag? I mean its not a big deal, it reached enough people, but I am concerned about this type of behaviour. Why make such a big deal about a tag?

Now the question is locked, after the tag was removed again.

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    Could you please clarify exactly how Israel is involved in this? How is your question specifically about Israel or Israeli politics? Your question originally did not mention Israel at all, and the mentions you inserted later do not seem to serve any other purpose than to justify the tag. Please explain how the tag "describes the topic of the question". – yannis Feb 13 '18 at 10:13
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    As for the tag being deleted "against authors wishes", this site is collaboratively edited. We do try to respect author's intent, but there's no special treatment for authors in regards to edits. And I realize the lock seems harsh, but the edit war for a single tag was beyond silly and had to stop. Hopefully, now that you've brought the issue up on Meta, we can resolve it in a more appropriate manner. – yannis Feb 13 '18 at 10:13
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    @yannis explain how the other tags "poland" and "freedom-of-speech" are more relevant? – user1721135 Feb 13 '18 at 11:20
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    A question being relevant to Israeli politics is not reason enough to add the "israel" tag. The question should specifically be about Israeli politics. The tag "poland" is far more relevant because the question is specifically about a Polish law. I am not sure why there's any confusion about that. – yannis Feb 13 '18 at 11:25
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    The question is not specifically about freedom of speech either, that is just an implication. It is also not specifically about polish politics, but rather international reaction. You just pick and choose which tag to be super technical about, ad absurdum, while ignoring the other tags. – user1721135 Feb 13 '18 at 11:27
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    Ok. If you aren't willing to move an inch on this, I'm perfectly fine with taking the lazy way out and leaving the question locked. Have a nice day! – yannis Feb 13 '18 at 11:31
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    Your title is a bit misleading. You edited the question to justify an unrelated tag, and someone reverted that edit. – tim Feb 14 '18 at 16:29
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    @jwco But the question isn't about a controversy between two nations. It's not asking about Israeli opinion on the Polish law, or Polish-Israeli relations, but general objections to the law. Many people from many different countries objected to the law on various grounds, and painting the issue as just one a specific country has is making this a leading question. If OP were interested in specifically Israeli objections, they should have asked about that (they can still open a new question about Israeli reaction or Polish-Israeli relation, and tag that appropriately with the Israel tag) – tim Feb 14 '18 at 16:32
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    @Carpetsmoker "move an inch" usually means some kind of compromise, not just accepting 100% of the opposing position. – user1721135 Feb 14 '18 at 19:03
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    Tags are used to connect experts to questions. This question demands someone with expertise in Israeli politics to answer, because this law is being negotiated with Israel. Questions do not have to be exclusively about a topic in order to warrant tagging. There are 5 tag slots for a reason. This argument is not correct. This is the docu: "A tag is a word or phrase that describes the topic of the question. Tags are a means of connecting experts with questions they will be able to answer by sorting questions into specific, well-defined categories." – user1721135 Feb 15 '18 at 7:33
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    When will the conclusion of this discussion be implemented? – Sjoerd Feb 16 '18 at 0:50
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    @user1721135 So you say that this whole debate in Meta is pointless, because one mod already decided before the debate began? In my opinion, the positive score of the answer in favor of removing the tag, and the negative score of the answer in favor of keeping the tag is clear by now. So wrap it up, implement the conclusion - removing the tag -, lock the question again and move on. – Sjoerd Feb 16 '18 at 21:33
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    To clarify: I only locked the question because there was an edit war going on. I would prefer it if some of the energy wasted in that edit war and here was spent on updating the question to make it crystal clear exactly how Israel is involved, but at the end of the day, I couldn't care less if the question is tagged "israel" or not. – yannis Feb 20 '18 at 14:51
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    @yannis When will this dispute be resolved? A full week has passed and the last few days not much has happened: The discussion hasn't moved a thing, and the voting imbalance between the two solutions hasn't shifted much either. So it seems about time to publish a decision, implement it, and tag this as 'resolved.' – Sjoerd Feb 20 '18 at 23:11
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    With respect to all parties involved, I find nothing useful in this discussion @Sjoerd. It was a complete waste of time, and the sooner we all move away from it, the better. Disappointing as it may be, that is the only kind of resolution we can expect here. – yannis Feb 24 '18 at 11:00
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I'm agree with the OP of that question. The Israel tag is totally justified. After a quick Google search of "Polish death camp" Every single result on the front page at least mentioned Israel's opinion on the matter.

In fact, 2 of them mentioned Israel in their title, and one of them included a whole subsection dedicated to the Israeli response, and one of them was from the Times of Israel, so I can conclude that Israel is more than slightly related to the topic of why the Poland law is controversial.

In fact, I am a bit ashamed by the fact that some are asking "Why is israel related" when they can check so simply

  • I have the impression some of your googling results included in the question would also improve it significantly. My quick googling for Polish death camps mostly brought results from recent US and Israel news and others sources. – Trilarion Feb 13 '18 at 17:31
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    Note that this moderator (!) went ahead without awaiting the result of this discussion, and edited the version he supported back in (revision 14), even though it has less votes at the moment I write this (0 vs 5 for the 'leave out'). – Sjoerd Feb 13 '18 at 23:05
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    @Sjoerd That was an act of defiance. The other mods were being a little too dismissive over the issue, so I decided to break the image of a united front. – Sam I am Feb 13 '18 at 23:52
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    @SamIam But how do you think the StackExchange communities decide in case of a controversial issue? By going ahead and doing the job yourself or by reaching some kind of community consensus? Wouldn't what you did just result in endless edit wars? What would be the point of that? Proving that you have more stamina than others? Did you really think this through? I imagine it's less like a united front and more like team playing. Funny enough, the question is locked, so I cannot remove the Israel tag. That's unfair! – Trilarion Feb 14 '18 at 8:20
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    Regarding the appropriateness of the Israel tag: Funny enough the highest voted answer doesn't (need to) mention Israel at all. If the question is supposed to be about politics in Israel, shouldn't the answers also deal with it? Maybe Israel is not so relevant for it. It's certainly kind of disputable. – Trilarion Feb 14 '18 at 8:23
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    I can sort of see this point, but the OP didn't help by bothering to do even a mininmal amount of work of briefly explaining why Israel would be meaningful to the question (or, for that matter, asked why Israel is different in views on the topic- of course, had they done TAHT, the answer is so obvious as to make the question worthless). – user4012 Feb 14 '18 at 8:41
  • @Trilarion I thought I should say that in an edit war that occurred prior to Sam I am's involvement, I flagged a comment to ask for moderator help. Regarding your 2nd comment here, the question asker hasn't approved the most upvoted answer--maybe the question asker doesn't believe the most upvoted one answers the question they asked, or were trying to ask? – Jesse W. Collins Feb 14 '18 at 13:33
  • @jwco That is certainly possible. Maybe the question asker really wanted to know how controversial the law has been received in Israel? – Trilarion Feb 14 '18 at 13:57
  • @user4012 two wrongs don't make a right. If you're participating in a content dispute, and you haven't at least tried to understand why the others side wants what they does, then you're doing it wrong. – Sam I am Feb 14 '18 at 15:51
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    @SamIam - which is why I didn't hare off and delete the tag again :) – user4012 Feb 14 '18 at 16:18
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    -1 Many articles on the topic may mention Israel (which has the largest Jewish population in the world and is thus invested in issues about the Holocaust), but that doesn't mean that the question is about Israel in any way. I really don't see the relevance here. The question isn't asking what Israeli opinion of the law is, or how the law will affect relations between Poland and Israel, or anything like that. Most articles about the issue also mention Germany or the US, but the question isn't tagged with either (Germany might make sense; the US wouldn't, for the same reason that Israel doesn't) – tim Feb 14 '18 at 16:20
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    In order of relevance, I would tag the question Poland, Law, and Holocaust. I can see OPs objection to freedom-of-speech, but that + Germany and/or war-crime might also make sense. But Israel would not even be on my list of possible tags, because the question isn't about Israel in the slightest. – tim Feb 14 '18 at 16:21
  • @user4012 I wasn't talking about you – Sam I am Feb 14 '18 at 19:36
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    @Trilarion I don't want to speak for the user that asked the question, and I don't know if they can accept an answer at this point, but I think it's clear that the controversy is mostly between the two nations, and people who (think they) speak on the behalf of those people and nations. Have you looked into the edit history? My opinion is that normally people would offer suggestions calmly (as you have) on how the question could have been edited, and awaited the original asker's changes. In this case, I feel users overreacted and altered the asker's question and tags instead. – Jesse W. Collins Feb 15 '18 at 2:57
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    @grovkin You claim that the one moderator on your side is the only neutral one?! I'm curious how the other moderators will react to that news... – Sjoerd Feb 19 '18 at 20:41
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To give an answer: The tag usage is in principal detailed in How do I correctly tag my questions? and What are tags, and how should I use them?. It boils down to choose tags that significantly describe the content of the question.

Your question is about a newly introduced law in Poland. Therefore the Poland tag is absolutely justified. As far as I know it is controversially discussed in different parts of the World, among them Israel. However, this law does not seem to affect politics in Israel nearly as strong as the politics in Poland. Therefore, not using the Israel tag seems to be also justified.

Please note that the StackExchange sites are collaboratively edited, so the question creator's wishes do not carry any special power for the process of tagging a question.

I admit that the border between a significant description of the content and a rather insignificant description by a tag is somewhat fuzzy. In other circumstances it might be necessary to add tags of several countries.

Also this decision is somewhat subjective and the community may have a split opinion. In that case going to meta and discuss the topic there is the right decision. Asking here was the right thing to do.

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    I read the question as being about a controversy (mostly outside of Poland) moreso than about the law itself. I wanted to upvote your comment to include the hyperlink to more info on the law. But I don't understand your claim that "this law does not seem to affect politics in Israel nearly as strong as the politics in Poland". The laws appears to have affected relations with Israel. I actually don't see how it has affected politics in Poland. – Jesse W. Collins Feb 13 '18 at 15:36
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    @jwco A law in Poland should affect the country most. The controversy around it may affect it less but will still affect it. I mean you cannot argue with Poland about their law if nobody listens there. My guess is that the international attention Poland is getting is well recognized within Poland. It affects politics in Poland. Now how much it affects politics in Israel that is a good question. I think not enough to warrant adding Israel as a tag. In other words: you could as well add Germany or the US as tag because the law in question is discussed there as well. Would you like that? – Trilarion Feb 13 '18 at 16:09
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    I've linked to a source to support my claim that the law has affected Israel's relations. You and I haven't found a source to prove that the law has affected politics in what we call "Poland." We both understand that the law applies to speech within Poland. But that doesn't prove that the law has affected anything in Poland, or ever will. Maybe we could look for quotes by people within Poland claiming that the Polish nation was responsible for the Holocaust. If historically people in Poland have not made these claims, then how will the law affect politics there? – Jesse W. Collins Feb 13 '18 at 17:20
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    @jwco "We both understand that the law applies to speech within Poland. But that doesn't prove that the law has affected anything in Poland, or ever will." Sorry, I'm totally baffled and don't know what to answer to that. A law in Poland should actually affect people in Poland, especially and only in Poland. Somehow I held this to be fairly self-evident but maybe I'm missing something important here. – Trilarion Feb 13 '18 at 17:24
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    Thanks for continuing this dialogue. I have an honest question. Do you think anyone in Poland has "in public and against the facts, ascribed to the Polish Nation or to the Polish State, responsibility or co-responsibility for Nazi crimes committed by the Third Reich"? I'm quoting from the translation of the law you linked to in a comment on the original post. Thank you for linking to it. – Jesse W. Collins Feb 14 '18 at 3:23
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    @jwco You're welcome. I don't know really. I could imagine that with millions of Poles living in Poland this situation is not too unlikely and could have occurred already but it's not sure. However the discussion becomes a bit offtopic at this point. Maybe we should continue it some other time, in chat or somewhere else (didn't use the StackExchange chats so far). – Trilarion Feb 14 '18 at 8:27
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    I sent you a chat message, but regarding this Amendment, I still haven't seen an example of controversy in Poland. I haven't seen an example of anyone in Poland ever violating the law prior to or since it's signing (I don't think Obama was on Polish soil when he uttered the phrase). I've seen an example of controversy and political ramifications in Israel (cited above). In my view, if I had to choose one tag, I'm not sure it would be "Poland". I think it would be "Israel". – Jesse W. Collins Feb 15 '18 at 3:47
  • This topic is a good example of "Streisand's nose effect". Most people were probably not aware that concentration camps existed outside Germany, and not aware of local complicity in their operation. Now they are. This law is an own goal. – RedSonja Feb 15 '18 at 13:30
  • @jwco Do you think anyone in Poland has "in public and against the facts ... - if you ask this a common event, then the answer is negative. Especially when you stress out against the facts and next paragraph explicitly excluding scientific work. So while some topics might be controversial, the practical applications of this law are negligible. I tried to point it out in my answer – user19142 Feb 15 '18 at 17:36
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    @user19142 Thanks for your comment and for your answer, which I learned a lot from. I learned a lot from the very upvoted answer and comments on that too, though they are very different responses. I might comment more on your answer there, but here I want to add to Trilarion's answer above and your comment that IMHO the law could help prevent people from blaming the Polish Nation "against the facts" in the future, even if it is never actually applied. I would also suggest that the Amendment has already had a practical effect without being applied: all this discussion we're having. – Jesse W. Collins Feb 16 '18 at 2:15
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    @jwco It's nice to see someone with such a positive attitude toward understanding and learning. I'd like to contribute more to the discussion but I don't have the time. Sorry. – Trilarion Feb 16 '18 at 8:08
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Politics is a hot topic which means that it is likely to elicit emotional responses. Emotional responses makes it hard to separate beliefs from facts. Therefore one has to accept that the site politics.stackexchange.org needs much stricter moderation than, for example, math.stackexchange.org. In particular, questions will be reworded, closed and tags removed. One has to accept that and that it is upon us users to try and be as non-partisan and objective as we can while discussing an inherently partisan subject.

One fruitful method when discussing political topics is called minimization. So instead of discussing something very general one focuses on something very specific on which it is easier to agree on the facts. For example, you can't get people to agree on whether Capitalism or Communism is the best, but you can get people to agree on that the GDP growth of South Korea has been much stronger than that of North Korea.

What does that have to do with the tagging of your question? Well, the fewer the tags the less there is to argue about. We can agree that the tags poland, law and freedom-of-speech belongs to the question. We apparently can't agree that the tag israel does, so the proper course of action is to leave that tag out. Minimization!

It is also very hard for me to understand why you demand that the tag should be present. After all, the purpose of this site is to ask and answer questions.

And tagged it "israel" and "poland", because the main controversy is between Poland and Israel.

It seems like you are mistaken here. The law was criticized by several governments around the world, along with representatives for various human rights groups. From what I can tell, the law is the most controverisal within Poland itself. Right-wing parties endorse it while left-wing parties condemn it. I suspect this was why the tag kept being deleted -- people thought that you were endorsing a specific and non-factual point of view by readding the israel tag.

I suggest that if you are not happy with people dabbling with your tags, you delete the question and create a new one in which it is crystal clear why the israel tag is warranted. For example you could ask "Why is Poland's Holocaust speech law controversial in Israel?"

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    Tags are a way to get questions in front of relevant topic experts. There is a very strong reaction in Israel to the law and a lot of controversy. Also the law is being negotiated with Israel at the moment. If I was an expert on Armenian politics I would appreciate to see questions about laws regarding the Armenian genocide and being negotiated with the Armenian government. Doesn't this sound logical to you? – user1721135 Feb 16 '18 at 21:06
  • I don't think tags should be used to advertise questions. The main purpose of the tag system is classification. I also think that the overarching goal of the site is to keep it as objective and neutral as possible. I think that goal is best reached by removing or correcting contentious content. I.e take a step back, chill and see if those you disagree with might have a point. – Björn Lindqvist Feb 17 '18 at 21:02
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    Tags literally are meant to be used to advertise questions (connect exprerts to questions) or not? – user1721135 Feb 17 '18 at 23:25

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