The answers to travel questions often depend on the traveler's (or proposed traveler's) citizenship and itinerary. Frequently this information is not disclosed in the question, or is obscured in confusing ways. We ask for clarification a lot.

I suppose this could be because the asker is anxious or afraid that the asker's identity might be revealed, and used (by the asker's country's security services, say) to prevent or interfere with the travel, or otherwise harm the asker. It's also possible that the average asker knows less about travel than we do or doesn't think about what information is needed, and thus doesn't include it.

Am I missing something? Are there other reasons people don't present this information?


2 Answers 2


I think you've already nailed the most important reasons why people don't always disclose their citizenship, but here are a few others that I've personally encountered:

  • The user simply rushes to ask the question and forgets to provide any details. Then the question becomes no longer relevant, and they give up on it entirely.
  • The user doesn't know of the existence of country-specific tags. As far as I'm aware there's no way for a newcomer to learn about the country tag system without going through a bunch of questions beforehand, something that few people new to the website would actually do.
  • The user silently assumes that most other posters come from the same country as their own, so it does not necessitate stating explicitly. From my experience, US-based users tend to do that the most. (After all, StackExchange is a US-based company!)
  • The user is afraid of cyberbullying and downvotes because of their country of residence. While this community has always been extremely inclusive regardless of one's nationality and ethnicity, the user's former experience on some other Internet websites may have taught them otherwise. I think it's especially frequent with young and emotionally vulnerable people coming from countries such as Iran, Russia, Turkey etc. that are frequently and harshly condemned by some of the popular Western media. Some of those people may feel overly anxious of posting on an English speaking forum to the point of using a fake name and hiding or incorrectly stating their country of residence.
  • 1
    Thanks. All the points you make are sensible, and I appreciate your response. Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 4:02
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    To be fair, probably the vast majority of SE users use a handle that isn't their actual name, not just those from Iran, Russia, Turkey, etc..
    – Vikki
    Commented Oct 12, 2019 at 21:20
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    @Sean Absolutely, but it is a relatively trendy thing among the urban teen and young adult demographic here in Russia to use English names as online handles.
    – undercat
    Commented Oct 13, 2019 at 20:39

In the case of Joining a family member from an EU country?, not explicitly naming the country and instead only specifying the category into which it falls regarding Schengen visa requirements ("Visa required to enter the Schengen state") generalizes the question.

This has the advantage that the answer is valid for a larger set of possible questions without needing the extra knowledge that such a generalization can be done.

  • Yes, that’s true as well. Thanks. Commented Oct 13, 2019 at 1:18

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