I would like to suggest a required tag on all new posts to indicate the tradition being asked about, or none/any/whatever wording you like. This would save time on back-and-forth info-gathering for questions, as well as filtering and searching by tradition. For example if I'm a new Buddhist looking for information on the precepts, I'm confronted with 36 pages of results; if I can be sure that filtering by [mahayana] will get me results that make sense given my location/local temple/whatever, that would be helpful. Another example would be questions that mix Pali and Sanskrit, or questions that could be answered by any school, but the asker was really looking for a specific perspective.

I think it would also be useful to set a limit on granularity, unless the Buddhism SE grows significantly. Meaning, maybe only mahayana, theravada, vajrayana, secular-buddhism, and an unknown/any type of tag would be required-tags, not something like thai-forest, chan, gelugpa, etc.

Related questions and answers: dealing with different traditions, specifically the last section of this answer; this one on a possible schism on the site, this one about trying to enforce tag usage, and the fact that this feature apparently exists (I don't know how it works on the moderator side, but the API also lists required tags, and this Meta SE has them, so the feature seems to work).

1 Answer 1


Thanks for caring enough to suggest an improvement.

I found this -- it's old, but so far as I know it is still up-to-date (I asked with no answer to the contrary):

In summary it says that:

  • Yes, it can be configured
  • No, it never is
  • It would have to be the SE team that configures it, not moderators -- and they wouldn't, so don't ask
  • There are reasons why it's not a good idea

So I can't do it, and I don't think they would do it if I asked.

As for whether it's a good idea, I don't know.

  • Some questions may not don't fit neatly
  • Some people asking questions may not know enough or care to specify one tradition

We currently use those as optional tags:

  • If it's specified, the user only wants answers from within that tradition, and other answers to that question would be off-topic (deleted)
  • If it's not specified, then answers from any tradition are welcomed

I think that works quite well, usually, at least for beginners like me.

And if you want to limit the replies when you ask a new question, you can already.

That doesn't solve the problem of filtering or sorting already-posted answers. When I first joined this site I went through all the meta-posts, to re-tag them, make some sense of their tags -- but even then (several years ago) I didn't try to do that to the posts on the main site -- too big a job and not one I think I could do well (i.e. both thoroughly and accurately).

  • Fair enough! I'm not a moderator on any StackExchange so I've never seen the tools page, and didn't realize that change would have to come from the actual SE staff. A default value of "any" would solve the "I don't want to choose a sect" problem, but as far as I can tell that functionality also doesn't exist (even for meta sites). I'll trust your judgement that it's not a great idea to pursue.
    – Zac Anger
    Commented May 13, 2023 at 9:11

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