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We do have fairly used tags for and but these are somewhat loaded terms (especially the former). I'm not sure these tags are enough to cover all aspects of political communication. There's no tag for political adverts that I can find, for example (perhaps the tag was deemed to cover those, although its description says nothing about adverts).

So, should we have a more generic tag like "communication", borrowed from the academic discipline? Or can someone suggest a better generic term, if one is indeed needed?

  • I'd argue that "rhetoric" is pretty generic – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Nov 2 at 22:44
  • @sam that's funny. Of course, it depends on whether "rhetoric" is a noun or an adjective. – grovkin Nov 3 at 15:18
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I think a tag for would be useful, since that's an important aspect of politics that doesn't seem to be sufficiently covered by either of the other tags.

A generic tag, though, seems too generic and redundant with . While "propaganda" is definitely a value judgement, I don't really see "rhetoric" as a loaded term. If you disagree, we could make the main tag and a synonym, but I don't think there's a need for both tags.

Some additional related tag merging: (2 questions) should be a synonym of (105 questions)

  • I would upvote for making all of them synonyms of one tag. [communication] or [rhetoric] seem good candidates. I wouldn't add words like political into a tag, the site is about politics so it's implied that the tag is meant in the context of politics. – JJ for Transparency and Monica Nov 1 at 20:40
  • I used [political-ads] since I thought otherwise people might include questions about the politics of advertising – for example, regulations about advertising. – divibisan Nov 1 at 20:46
  • @JJJ Are you saying there's no need for an [ads] tag, and that is fully covered by communication or rhetoric (whichever one is the main tag)? – divibisan Nov 1 at 20:47
  • Okay that makes sense. As for ads, you're probably getting some overlap with rhetoric (e.g. a video in which a leader talks about a slogan could be both). But you're right, maybe ads can have their own tag (and then adding the adjective might be useful, probably less so for communication). – JJ for Transparency and Monica Nov 1 at 20:50
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No. Propaganda implies an attempt to misinform. It's simply not informative to tag something "communication" when an essential component of a question is a misinformation campaign.

If a question is wrong in characterizing something as misinformation, then this should be addressed in the answers.

But tags are there to quickly inform a user what the question is about. Removing the characterization of something as misinformation removes that information about the question.

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    I don't think Fizz is proposing we get rid of [propoganda], just asking if we should add a new tag that can be used when the question is not about propoganda or misinformation. Or do you think [rhetoric] is generic enough for that? – divibisan Nov 1 at 19:58
  • @divibisan maybe. But then I don't understand why he mentioned that "propaganda" is a "loaded" term. Seems like a suggestion to reduce its use. – grovkin Nov 1 at 20:02
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    I think they were saying that we have a tag for [propoganda] and we have a tag for [rhetoric] but nothing more general when you want to talk about political communication without making a value judgement. – divibisan Nov 1 at 20:06
  • @divibisan they said that, too. They can be saying more than one thing. – grovkin Nov 1 at 20:07
  • lol for everyone who downvotes clearly identifying propaganda – grovkin Nov 1 at 20:40
  • What if users disagree whether something is propaganda or rhetoric? Who gets to decide? Wouldn't a neutral term solve that? – JJ for Transparency and Monica Nov 1 at 20:55
  • @JJJ the answer to the question should address that. But if the the content of the question is "is this government spreading lies about X?" It merits propaganda tag even if the answer to the question is a "no." Tags are not answers to the questions. They are short-form ways to hint what the question is about. – grovkin Nov 1 at 20:57
  • That doesn't make sense, the answerer can't decide what the tags should be. For one there may not be an answerer for a long time after the question is asked. There could even be conflicting answers or the question could be related to something what some consider propaganda and others consider rhetoric. Hence the need for a neutral term, I think. – JJ for Transparency and Monica Nov 1 at 21:00
  • @JJJ i didn't say the answer should decide what the tags should be. I said the answer should decide if something is, in fact, propaganda. The tags should identify if the question is asking about propaganda (even if it turns out that it's not because of an answer). Tags should NOT be a partial answer. They should only hint about the question. It's patently Orwellian to tag a question "is this government X spreading lies when it says Y" as "communication". – grovkin Nov 1 at 21:03
  • @grovkin so why not take a more neutral term? Tags are about findability, so it seems better to have them in one place considering there are 26 questions with the [propaganda] tag and only 6 with the [rhetoric] tag. – JJ for Transparency and Monica Nov 1 at 21:07
  • @JJJ tags are there to make it easier to find and identify questions. Making tags more generic makes them stand apart from the other questions less. Which makes them harder to find. Tags are not supposed to categorize the questions. The fact that they can be used to categorize questions is supposed to be a happy accident of the wisdom of the crowds. – grovkin Nov 1 at 21:09

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