Ever since suggested edits were rolled out, the Retag privilege has been a bit... Weird. You can retag questions at any rep-level, even with no rep (or account) at all - you just need a few people to approve your changes. Then suddenly, you don't - but any other changes you make to a post still goes into a queue for approval.
We recently made this a little bit less weird by rolling it into the same UI as other edits - but this just leaves the question of whether or not this is really needed at all.
This has confused users for too long. The only reason it existed was because users couldn't suggest edits once upon a time, and retagging was a legitimate privilege that let them edit the tags only. Now that users can suggest edits and access the edit screen, having separate functions seems incredibly pointless, and as stated, the system knows when a tag-only edit is made. It's time to say goodbye.
Reasons to remove it
- It's unnecessary
- It can be confusing
- There are a handful of outstanding bugs that should probably be fixed if it is to remain.
Reasons to keep it
- It can motivate users without the reputation to perform full edits to perform more retags
- It can reduce the load on suggested edit reviewers somewhat
- It's still somewhat useful on sites (child metas) where suggested edits aren't enabled
Bullet #1 needs some evidence. Here's a graph of retags by reputation level (in 100-rep increments) over the past 90 days on Stack Overflow, and here's a graph of all edits excluding retags by rep level.
It's not huge (and it doesn't last) but there is a noticeable bump in activity from folks who've just gained the privilege. However, it's worth noting that this bump is far less pronounced since we merged retag and edit (graph) - indeed, by simplifying the interface, we may well have removed the thing that motivated people to use it in the first place.
So, is this worth the added complexity?