This was brought up in the comments on this question*. There was another question regarding the legality of camping that did not elicit such a response (though it was brought up in a question about geographic scope). What should we do about questions on the legality of various actions or items?

I'm generally in favor of inclusion, so I'll suggest we keep them, but make it clear and explicit in some manner that we are not lawyers (and those here that are are not your lawyer) and this is not legal advice, etc.

I think the resolution to this question should be similar to that of the dangerous questions debate.

*: The question has now been reworded in a way I think is unambiguously acceptable, but I think it is still necessary for us to discuss this.

3 Answers 3


I would certainly allow them, tag them appropriately and put a disclaimer into the tag wiki. It would be perfect if we could have these tags (like legality and dangerous) styled differently so that they stay visible. That’s a solution that uses the built-in tools and still should make the information reasonably clear and accessible.

  • I like the idea of putting the disclaimer in the tag-wiki. It would certainly be the easiest solution.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 16:34
  • Because it's the one solution so far we can do without intervention by the SE devs, I'm going to accept this until/unless they implement one of the the other options.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 21:14

I belive that they should, but users should be made aware, that we are not legaly responsible for our advice. One should give the advice with the best of intentions, but this is internet.

A similiar discussion took place on the Fitness SE.

In short:

For the last question, my own suggestion is that:

  • All questions come with a medical disclaimer that is automatically appended.

  • Users of the site can then vote to remove the disclaimer much in the same way that they vote to close a question.

  • By default all questions include disclaimers, unless later removed - better to err on the side of caution

I do believe, that a disclaimer could be the answer to this problem. But I do not think, that it should be put after every question on this site, since knowing what to do when a raft capsises wouldn't neccesseraly include any sort of legal problem. What it would require tough is either

  1. Change in the SE engine, that would add the disclaimer on a specific tag, and it would be upon the community, to make sure this tag is added to the relevent questions
  2. Add a new flag option, so that users may flag just such questions
  3. Let mods take care of it.

I believe, that we should put it on a tag. Easy(ish), makes the community do its part, does what needs to be done.


I'm also for inclusion, as long as they're relevant - I think the legality tag should probably be treated similar to the proposals for the safety tag in the meta question you link to (disclaimer that information may not be correct, laws change etc.) Other than that and a disclaimer that we're not lawyers, I don't think it needs a huge amount of special attention. Although obviously getting in trouble with the law is not a good thing, at least we're not quite talking about life or death here like we would be with avalanche advice!

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