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Since the tag is deprecated, why are users still able to tag questions with it? I'm guessing that you haven't blacklisted the tag which means users can still use/recreate it. In that case my follow-up question is: Why not blacklist the tag?

It seems as if this just increases the workload for the moderating users of SO. Am I missing something?

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Yep, there is. I was going to lampshade on the MSO [homework] tag in a comment, but I figured it wouldn't fly like this one did. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Oct 19 '12 at 11:40
    
@BoltClock'saUnicorn That was a good one :p –  keyser Oct 19 '12 at 11:46
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kill it before it lay eggs –  ajax333221 Oct 19 '12 at 14:53
    
I actually recently saw a suggested edit that did nothing but try and add the [Homework] tag... –  Jack Oct 19 '12 at 15:25
    
@ajax333221 Exactly :) –  keyser Oct 19 '12 at 21:00

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Being "deprecated" isn't a feature on the site. Rather, it means that we've made the case to remove its existence on the site and we are actively working to remove that tag.

That said, there's currently no way to mark a tag as "don't use this" and have the system enforce it.

The only way to truly deprecate the tag is to remove it from all the questions that it's on, and then the reputation requirements for creating a new tag will kick in, which should stem the creation of the new tag, or at least slow down how often it comes in.

If it proves to be a persistent issue, then it could be blacklisted, meaning it will never be able to get used. In this case, given how many questions with this tag that exist and the effort it will take to clean them up, I'd assume (and argue for) it would be blacklisted. It should never come back once it's gone.

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Let's wait and see then. I suspect it'll be an issue for at least a few years (perhaps not a big one though) –  keyser Oct 19 '12 at 15:26
    
@Keyser The main point here is that there are still thousands of questions tagged with homework. They need to be cleaned up, and have the tag removed before the tag could be blacklisted. –  Servy Oct 19 '12 at 15:28
    
@Servy The emphasis on "cleaned up" meaning the questions are checked for close/delete bait and handled appropriately (flagged for moderator attention to make sure they are closed, etc). –  casperOne Oct 19 '12 at 15:29
    
@Servy But why not prevent new questions from being tagged with homework? –  keyser Oct 19 '12 at 15:30
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@Keyser That's my point. The way the system currently exists, you cannot blacklist a tag while it currently exists, and it shouldn't be deleted until all of the questions currently tagged with it are cleaned up properly. That's the reason it can't be blacklisted yet. Once all of the questions currently tagged with it are cleaned up I'm sure we'll see this tag blacklisted very quickly due to how often people are still trying to add it. –  Servy Oct 19 '12 at 15:33
    
@Servy I get what you're trying to say now :) It makes a lot of sense. Though maybe they should be able to blacklist it while it exists :p –  keyser Oct 19 '12 at 15:35
    
@Keyser That's specifically why casperOne started out by saying, "being deprecated isn't a feature on this site". It's been suggested before, but it's never been implemented. –  Servy Oct 19 '12 at 15:36
    
Yeah I get that. And it was indeed the answer to my question. Now I'm just promoting that feature :p –  keyser Oct 19 '12 at 15:37

In that case I guess my question becomes "Why not blacklist the homework tag?"

A tag is not blacklisted, if there are questions using it. It should be burninated (a.k.a. removed from the question's history), but that is not done because there are some questions tagged that would need to be closed, or edited. If you remove the tag, you would not be able to easily find those questions using .

The plan is to first check every question using that tag, and take any required action (which could also be removing the tag from a perfectly acceptable question that doesn't need to be closed), then avoid the users can use that tag again, if there are many users who keep using it, and you find again too much questions tagged .

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Not everyone is following MSO closely and thus aware about the new consensus on the tag.

Just remove the tag from the question again and use @nickname comment-reply on the question on the exact name of the person who added the tag to explain on a kind and elaborate way (link to meta, etc) that the homework tag is been deprecated and that it should not be used anymore. That'll refreain them (and all other readers) from adding them again and again. Comment-replies work as good on editors of the post, even though they did not leave a comment.

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This seems to be the way to do it. –  keyser Oct 19 '12 at 15:42
    
I've been using a stock comment with the help of the autoreviewcomments script (plus a manually-added @<editor>) and have yet to get negative feedback about it. –  Gilles Oct 19 '12 at 16:15

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