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While there is no need to include tags in the question title (see Should questions include "tags" in their titles? on the main Meta site), I couldn't find any discussion on including tags in the question body. So I'm asking here now:

Should a question body itself contain all relevant information or can it rely on tags for clarity?

An example would be a question, which requires a country or jurisdiction. In this case, is it enough to include the relevant tag (e.g. ), or should the question body explicitly mention the country?

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A question should stand alone-- its meaning should be clear without checking the tags. One reason for this is that tags tend to be added by other ASE users, much more often than content tends to be added to the body or title of the question by other ASE users. If the relevant content is not included in the question itself, it's difficult to be confident that a tag reflects the actual intent of the original asker, unless the reader checks the edit history to see who added the tag. Yes, the same could arguably be said of any edit, but in practice it seems much more likely to be a problem in relation to tag edits.

(For added context-- this question has arisen in response to this ASE post-- would the question be ok without the "For the United States" preface?)

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  • $\begingroup$ It used to be a much livelier place, with many participating users making their point. Until it was agressively made clear that their interpretation does not matter. Yeah, it’s been silent since. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Jan 3 at 1:00
  • $\begingroup$ A problem (with all SE sites) is that many tags don't have definitions and so their meanings might be ambiguous or change with time. Putting the context explicitly into the question makes it obvious what the OP really means and avoids this problem. $\endgroup$ Jan 3 at 15:35
  • $\begingroup$ I just said "with all SE sites". But it looks like the tags on the Aviation site really are maintained well. So consider that comment to be for SE in general, and my suggestion as a general guide line for SE in general. $\endgroup$ Jan 3 at 15:40
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Personally, I think there is no need to copy information from the tags into the body. The tags are a part of the question. It should be clear for anyone writing an answer what the question is about by reading the tags.

Of course, such information can be included in the body, but I don't think it must be included.

It was noted in a comment here that

tags can be (and often are) added by anyone, so there is no guarantee that they reflect the intentions of the original poster.

However, the same is true for the question body itself. An edit by another user should never change the intentions of the question, regardless of what part of the question is being edited.

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    $\begingroup$ IMO the Help Center also supports this: Additionally, tags appear on the question page, so other people will take them into account when answering your question. I don't see any valid reason or proof thereof to deviate. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Jan 1 at 19:37

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