I've been looking at the Featured Friday questions, and I wanted to ask this preemptively to avoid lengthy discussions after the fact.
It really depends how you define "controversial", but some things that quickly spring to mind:
- Mild opiates, particularly cannabinoids, are allowed in certain European countries.
- Prostitution is also legal, although highly regulated, in some countries.
- Certain types of gambling (animal fights come to mind) are also not forbidden in a few places, but your local PETA organization will issue a call to arms if they find you participating in one.
So, should such questions be allowed, and if yes, under what circumstances?
For example, a hard-and-fast rule would be that "If activity X is illegal in country Y, such questions are not allowed." Another one would be asking in which countries activity X is allowed -- I don't think we should encourage such questions, if they are indeed allowed to exist on the site.
Another problem altogether is what constitutes "controversial" activity. Should only illegal practices be addressed, or also activities that are likely to displease the local population (for example, certain types of clothing in the Middle East)?
I personally think that we should allow questions of this type, but some clear guidelines are to be drawn to avoid back-and-forth between users and moderators when such questions appear.
I'm interested in hearing what others think about this, and especially what's the official Stack Exchange team stance on this.