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The revision history for Synthetic Class in Java shows two edits to the original version of the post:

revision summaries both say "edited tags" but no tags are shown; there aren't even source links present

Both edits have the same summary — "edited tags" — but it doesn't look like anything actually changed, and there isn't even a "source" link on the edits.

Is this what happens when a tag is added, then removed, then burninated? Was there an edit that just changed the order of the tags, and then another that just changed them back? Or something else entirely?

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It appears your guess is correct:

added offtopic tag, but not really

Adding a tag that is later burninated becomes a no-op revision.

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yes, burnination can cause no-op edits if the only thing changed in the edit was adding the burninated tag. – Jeff Atwood Jan 23 '12 at 19:58

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