Recently, was added for two questions:

  1. Why is China primarily targeting the Uyghurs with their internment camps?

  2. Could China's actions in Xinjiang be classified as genocide?

and three additional question without .

For question 2, I rejected the edit.

This edit introduces tags that do not help to define the topic of the question. Tags should help to describe what the question is about, not just what it contains.

The question is about alleged genocide in China and contains a reference to the "Uyghur people" as possible victims; but the question is not about the "Uyghur people".

Yet, there is:

In When should I create a new tag? How do I request a new tag if I don't have enough rep?:

When should a tag be created?

Tags should only be created if there is a clear need for them, such as if it represents a new concept that has not been asked on the site before, but is still on-topic for the site.

Questions about the "Uyghur people" are not on-topic for Politics SE, though actions against them, similarly for Kurds, Rohingya, etc., may be.

Question: Should be removed from all questions?


Not everybody consumes Stack Exchange content the same way.

Some people may want to subscribe to tag and be notified by email whenever a new question on the topic is posted. Sure, searching for uyghurs is:question on Politics SE would accomplish the same. However, if one is interested in, say, 100 topics, who has the time to perform such searches 100 times per day? Roughly speaking, searching does consume time and energy, whereas subscription (say, by email) does not.

If there are only, say, 5 questions on Ruritanians, it is very natural to jump to the conclusion that the tag is not needed. However, from the point of view of the tag-subscriber, this conclusion is completely wrong. The more specialized the tag, the more useful it becomes to the (very, very focused) tag-subscriber.

For example, suppose that something "interesting" happens in Ruritania. Mildly interesting. Not as interesting as, say, a coup. Someone who had never been interested in Ruritania may suddenly develop an interest on the topic and post a question with the tag . Someone with some expertise on Ruritania, say, a graduate student writing a thesis on the topic, would receive an email notification and perhaps write a high-quality answer while Ruritania is still fresh in his mind. Sure, the grad student in question could search for ruritania is:question on Politics SE once per year and answer all questions on the topic that have not been satisfactorily answered yet. However, perhaps the ones who posted such questions have not logged in on Stack Exchange in months. Perhaps they will never log in again. The value added by the answer is thus reduced. The experts answering questions do not see their high-quality answers being approved and assume that no one cares about their field and abstain from sharing their expertise. Once the graduate student graduates and gets a "real job", gets married and has children, free time becomes very scarce and his knowledge of Ruritania becomes very stale. With some exaggeration, one could argue that knowledge that is not shared is indistinguishable from knowledge that never existed.

  • 1. E-mail notification is a feature for necessary tags, not a criterion for adding tags. The uyghurs tag does not identify a political body. In this same sense, there are no republicans, democrats, libertarians, greens, etc. tags, because they do not identify political bodies.
    – Rick Smith
    Jul 21 '20 at 13:42
  • 2. It may be reasonable to add an east-turkestan tag to refer to the area occupied by the Uyghurs. This designation is used by the World Uyghur Congress. This is similar to the use of the [kurdistan](https://politics.stackexchange.com/tags/kurdistan/info) tag, to identify " the historical region where the Kurdish people used to live in a prominent majority".
    – Rick Smith
    Jul 21 '20 at 13:43
  • 3. Though it may be contentious, the indigenous-people tag might have used, because "the World Uyghur Congress claimed a 4,000-year history in East Turkestan while others claim as much as 9000 years of habitation.
    – Rick Smith
    Jul 21 '20 at 13:43
  • 4. Before adding a tag, a question posted on this meta may be used to make certain that a tag is both necessary and appropriately named.
    – Rick Smith
    Jul 21 '20 at 13:43
  • "E-mail notification is a feature for necessary tags, not a criterion for adding tags" — According to whose Bible? Stack Exchange introduces features. If people start using such features in ways not originally envisioned by Stack Exchange, so be it. Since the Uyghurs are being targeted for political reasons, one could argue that they are a political body. Please provide a definition of "political body" on which we can agree, otherwise this discussion is pointless. Jul 21 '20 at 13:49

No - This tag does not currently add value

First off, why do we have tags? The Help page lists two uses:

Tags are a means of connecting experts with questions they will be able to answer by sorting questions into specific, well-defined categories.

Tags can also be used to help you identify questions that are interesting or relevant to you.

Although I think this tag accomplishes both goals (experts on Uyghur politics could use the tag to find questions within their expertise and can help people interested in Uyghur politics find topics they are interested in), there isn't a sufficient critical mass of questions to make this tag useful.

Tags add value when they refer to categories. If I'm an expert on international law, then I would like to see questions related to my expertise that I can answer. I can't merely search the site for "international politics" or some variation, because many questions will never use that term. Rather, questions about different treaties, international organizations, conflict processes, etc. should all be tagged as 'international relations' so I can find them.

The 'Uyghur' tag doesn't do this. You can just search the site for 'Uyghur' and find anything related to Uyghurs. There is no abstraction happening.

Maybe if there were a lot more questions about Uyghurs someone could argue that the folksonomy should include such a prominent concept. But we aren't there.

A minority politics tag may be useful

Some political scientists focus on minority group politics. As it turns out, many political processes and behaviors are common across religious, gender, ethnic, and other minority categories. Perhaps a tag related to in general would be appropriate for their knowledge.

We sometimes have geographic tags (such as ). Perhaps a tag covering central Asia or pacific Asia would be helpful also.

  • 4
    Not everybody consumes SE content the same way you do. Some people may want to subscribe to tag uyghurs and be notified by email whenever a new question on the topic is posted. Sure, searching for uyghurs is:question would accomplish the same. However, if one is interested in 100 topics, who has the time to perform such searches 100 times per day? Searching consumes time and energy. Subscription does not. Jul 18 '20 at 22:59
  • @RodrigodeAzevedo That sounds like a fair answer. I usually treat Meta as an authoritative expectation of how to handle things on the site, but I would enjoy an answer from that perspective as well. Jul 18 '20 at 23:00
  • Just to clarify. Are you suggesting that I post my comment as an answer? Jul 18 '20 at 23:34
  • @RodrigodeAzevedo Absolutely! Jul 18 '20 at 23:35
  • What is Uyghur politics? The Uyghurs apparently have no government, nor legislature; two of the key points for asking questions on Politics SE. Absent a government with policies and laws, can there be experts on Uyghur politics?
    – Rick Smith
    Jul 19 '20 at 0:11
  • 1
    @RickSmith "Uyghur politics" does not imply the existence of a "Uyghur government". That would be silly. Of course we can talk about Asian American politics, even though there is no explicitly Asian American government! "Uyghur politics" could mean the political behavior of Uyghur people, political psychology of Uyghur identity, the political history of the Uyghur people (including their historical governments), laws and legislation of particular import ... and the list goes on. Jul 19 '20 at 0:19
  • @indigochild Posted my answer. Jul 19 '20 at 0:36
  • @Rodrigo Upvoted. It's a solid answer. Jul 20 '20 at 17:29

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