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In regards to http://stackoverflow.com/q/21650114/1348195

I left a comment suggesting that the author should re-tag his question after he went into a 'tag war' with another high-rep user on the site. (I've corrected it once only to notice the ongoing tag-war later).

After the user responded (misunderstanding the issue), we exchanged a few more messages where I politely (in retrospect it was kind of snarky) tried to explain that the tag is completely inappropriate for that question and he will get a lot less likely relevant traffic and more irrelevant traffic.

Eventually, I invited him into a chat room offering to explain how he could use the system better (he didn't join) and flagged the post for a mod to take care of the tagging issue.

The user is insisting to tag his question incorrectly. Me and another user who are more familiar with this website have removed the tag and explained the problem but the user did not consider reading the tagging recommendations or accepting the re-tag

My flag was marked "Helpful" however the moderator did not re-tag the question. They deleted all the comments (which I get, they were meta comments) but did not change the tag.

I wanted to ask why the tag was not changed? Was I wrong in flagging the mod?


By the way - I can totally see the rationale from a moderation stand point to not engage with the user and re-tag their question which might come off as hostility. I wanted to know if an action was taken or if the user was asked to reconsider. Mainly because I want to know what to do in such future cases.

I'm also aware of and read Why does flag marking as helpful/declined not always correlate with moderator action? . This question is about specifically re-tagging and what mods can and/or should do in this case.


(By the way, since I invited him to chat a room was created - here is a partial segment of the exchange it is not the whole exchange but it should get the point across).

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The rationale for retags is the same as that of any other moderator action. –  Robert Harvey Feb 11 at 0:04
    
@RobertHarvey I linked to that question already in this one :) Please see the second section of this question. I'm asking what I should do in the future and what mods can/should do in the specific case of a "tag war" (or to a greater extent an "edit war") so I can act more correctly in the future. –  Benjamin Gruenbaum Feb 11 at 0:07
    
We don't treat those flags any differently. Your flag may still be deemed to have merit, even if we don't take any action. Do you want an answer to your question that focuses on how we deal with retagging, divorced of the valid/invalid dynamic? –  Robert Harvey Feb 11 at 0:08
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@RobertHarvey Honestly? I mainly want to do what the correct course of action should be in the future. Other than that I'm interested in why it's still wrongly tagged. –  Benjamin Gruenbaum Feb 11 at 0:09
    
Well, I looked at the comments on the original question. Big waste of time. If the guy says it's about MVC, then it's probably an MVC project, no matter how irrelevant you think the tag is. At least he didn't tag it [potatoes] because that's what he was eating when he posted the question. –  Robert Harvey Feb 11 at 0:14
    
FWIW, moderators generally favor the OP in disputes like this if the tag (or other disputed material) isn't actively harmful to the site, which it doesn't appear to be here. –  Robert Harvey Feb 11 at 0:17
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That question quite obviously has nothing at all to do with MVC. –  Lightness Races in Orbit Feb 11 at 0:19
    
@RobertHarvey I don't understand the point you were trying to make in third to last comment (is it that OP decides on relevance of tags over users?), would you mind elaborating on that? I admit that I'm sleep deprived at this point though so that might be the reason, thanks for sticking around and explaining the rationale :) –  Benjamin Gruenbaum Feb 11 at 0:19
    
Um and now it's just been outright deleted. Why? –  Lightness Races in Orbit Feb 11 at 0:20
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@LightnessRacesinOrbit: I solved the problem. –  Robert Harvey Feb 11 at 0:20
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@RobertHarvey: By removing content created and submitted by three dedicated SO users. That seems somewhat unfair and not the proper way to resolve a question tagging dispute. My 2p. Further, this question has not been answered by this act! :) –  Lightness Races in Orbit Feb 11 at 0:22
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In my opinion, what OP thinks is not really relevant. Otherwise, those election candidates talking about cleaning up the xcode tag would be wrong too. If OP is programming in xcode, and insists that their question has something to do with xcode, then they should be right to tag it like that, right? — But no, that’s not what should happen. Tags are used to categorize questions into meaningful categories useful to organize SO. And that does not necessarily means to agree with OP. –  poke Feb 11 at 0:26
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That being said, I think the retagging war went far too far already. On wikis, you usually have a 1-revert policy telling you to revert just once. If you then can’t fix the issue by discussing it, get a mod to help you. And that mod should decide for the greater good of the site, which in this case would be clearly to choose the proper tags, disagreeing with OP. –  poke Feb 11 at 0:27
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Great. 12,000 questions with that tag. See why I don't get involved in tag disputes? –  Robert Harvey Feb 11 at 0:32
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@RobertHarvey the ball here isn't the mvc tag, or the xcode tag - it's the policy I (and other users) should take in this case. Was I wrong to flag and what were the reasons the flag was deemed helpful but the post was not locked and no comment was left? That's what I'm asking here . meta.stackexchange.com/questions/220388/… –  Benjamin Gruenbaum Feb 11 at 0:33

2 Answers 2

(Converting my comments into an answer)

In my opinion, what OP thinks a question should be tagged with is not really relevant. Sure, they are asking the question, so they can (and should) already set up a good selection of tags to make sure their question is categorized properly and gets the correct attention. But in general, we can’t expect posters to know what the correct tag usage is.

If we instead would just agree with what OP thinks, then those election candidates talking about cleaning up would be just wrong too. If OP is programming in xcode, and insists that their question has something to do with xcode, then they should be right to tag it like that, right?

But no, that’s absolutely not what should happen. Tags are used to categorize questions into meaningful categories with the primary purpose to organize SO. And that does not necessarily means to agree with OP, especially since OP’s main concern is probably to get their question answered but not to make sure that the question will be valuable forever.

That being said, I think the retagging war went far too far already. On wikis, you usually have a “1-revert policy” (or similar) telling you to revert just once. If you then can’t solve the issue by discussing it with the involved users, get a mod to help you. And that mod should decide for the greater good of the site, which in this case would be clearly to choose the proper tags, ultimately disagreeing with OP.

And yes, I believe that this situation is just the same as the xcode tag situation. It’s just the same principle. It just happens to be the case that the it has been a problem for the xcode tag for far longer and as a result is a lot more messy than the MVC tag or others. But that does not mean that we should allow using incorrect tags just because the tags themselves are less used so misuse is less of a problem. Otherwise, those tags will just become the new xcode tags in the future, and that solves really nothing.

Oh, and btw. comparing it with a is a ridiculous comparison given that it’s not an existing tag and is absolutely off-topic. though is—just like —in general on-topic for SO, and also likely not too far off for most questions. But that does not mean that they are still appropriate tags for every question.


12,000 questions tagged MVC? Game over. Robert Harvey♦

So just because a tag is terribly over- and misused, that gives everyone the right to just use it incorrectly everywhere? You won’t be able to reduce that number if you don’t start somewhere and try to trim it down. I have to say, that such comments are rather disappointing to hear from moderators of this community. With that opinion, no wonder why the close queue isn’t going down either (but that’s a different topic).

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I agree with most of this. But I don't agree that "correctness is self-evident." It's not. In fact, tag scope is a hotly (and daily) debated topic on Meta, so you can't say with any certainty that any given tag usage is "obviously" correct. –  Robert Harvey Feb 11 at 0:41
    
Oh, and I think you missed the point about "potato." Mods take action on things they need to take action on, and "potato" is clearly one of those things. –  Robert Harvey Feb 11 at 0:42
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FWIW I think potato is exactly as relevant to that question as mvc. An architectural pattern is relevant to debugging a part in an (unrelated) API of a language as much as a vegetable. I do agree with Robert that mods can't be expected to know about all tag correctness issues - but then again the mod retagging the question didn't need or have to be the first action at all. –  Benjamin Gruenbaum Feb 11 at 0:42
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I don't think it is easy to determine if a tag usage is "obviously correct", but it is clear to see when they are not. –  rlemon Feb 11 at 0:42
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I don’t expect mods to be able to say if a tag is not correct. But when they are asked to review a dispute between users, I would assume that they should at least evaluate the situation. And from the history of the question, there were two established users independently agreeing with that the mvc tag was not appropriate. So that would be just some sign to me… –  poke Feb 11 at 0:47

One of the foundational principles of moderation is that you shouldn't need detailed knowledge of the subject matter in order to successfully moderate.

By asking a diamond moderator to evaluate a tag to see if it matches a question, you're asking for someone to make a determination based on domain knowledge. Diamond mods don't do that; in general, we don't moderate content at all unless it is off-topic or abusive.

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Thanks for adding an answer. To clarify - I did not expect (by any means) the flag to cause moderation of content. I flagged it because of the tag war and not because I wanted a mod to take 'my side' (even if I was correct technically) . I expected the flag to 1) clear the comments [it did, good!] 2) leave a comment on that question (or another form of guidance) on how to proceed. This is because while the tag itself wasn't an issue of moderation - the conduct in that tag war was. –  Benjamin Gruenbaum Feb 11 at 0:50
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I would probably have left a comment to the OP. I doubt it would have changed his mind, though, and the only remaining option for a mod is to lock the question, which is a pretty blunt instrument. –  Robert Harvey Feb 11 at 0:51
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isn't deleting it equally as blunt? –  rlemon Feb 11 at 0:52
    
Ok, let's say OP disagrees. What would you do next? (and how would one get that question not to contain incorrect and misleading information implying OP was doing mvc if the answer to that is 'not intervene') –  Benjamin Gruenbaum Feb 11 at 0:53
    
@BenjaminGruenbaum: I told you already; locking the question is the next step. –  Robert Harvey Feb 11 at 0:53
    
@rlemon: I don't know if you've read the question yet, but it was basically "How do I troubleshoot this code?" At the very least, it's too broad. It might have stayed open, had the OP not attracted attention with the rollbacks, but it did close, and it already had 4 downvotes and a delete vote on it when I got here. In short, nobody's going to miss it. Deletion has the virtue of me (and everyone else) never having to look at it again. –  Robert Harvey Feb 11 at 0:54
    
@RobertHarvey ok, so back to my original question :) Let's say I'm in this situation again and my flag gets marked as helpful but OP still doesn't change the tag (and reverts it when a user with a high tag score re-tags it). What's my next step? –  Benjamin Gruenbaum Feb 11 at 0:56
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Nothing. Move on. –  Robert Harvey Feb 11 at 0:57
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@RobertHarvey I did read it. I agree the tag was invalid and I agree something should have been done.. however I just think that if you believe locking it was any less blunt than deleting it that the OP might feel different (I know I would). –  rlemon Feb 11 at 0:58
    
I get the feeling that I'm being roped into a circular argument about semantics, so I'm going to bow out now. If anyone (with 10K reputation) cares to take an objective look at the original question, I think you'll find that it's currently in a perfectly reasonable state. –  Robert Harvey Feb 11 at 1:01
    
There is no circular argument about semantics (at least from me). I was merely mentioning (how I feel) that the question being deleted was pretty harsh and that locking it would have sent a better message. –  rlemon Feb 11 at 1:03

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