So, one of the things people bring up to us sometimes is that our country list -- used, for example, for setting your Location on the Edit Profile page -- is out of date. Which is absolutely true, and we admit it freely: the list is, more-or-less, the initial list of countries from 1998 when [ profile] brad was creating LiveJournal, tweaked only slightly. There have been times in the intervening 15 years (oh God, it has been 15 years) whenever people reported countries having been created, renamed, or merged with others, but the updates were haphazard. Adding to the problem is the fact that national and geopolitical identity is often contentious, and is extremely personal. We don't want to step on anyone's toes.

It's well past time we figure something out, though, and right now, the best solution (though still far from being perfect) we can come up with is to use the list of United Nations member states plus permanent UN observers as the most definitive source. We thought we'd kick that out to y'all and see if anybody would be negatively effected by doing it that way, though.

(Not that I think I need to say this since y'all are generally awesome, but: when weighing in on this discussion, please be respectful of other commenters; national and geopolitical identity is, as I said, an often-contentious and extremely personal topic.)