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In retrospect of this massive cleanup operation, I would like to ask the community how they feel about a warning or confirmation (or just special highlighting) on new tag creation.

Everybody hates stock "are you sure?" confirmation, but a lot of tags get created by mistake (and then used ad nauseam).

For example, I think I might have created the c#-4 tag by accident. Assuming the right tag was c#-4.0, there would be two tags for c# 4.0, until they are made synonyms. With a warning, some accidental tags could be prevented.

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Also, we need a tags police as zealous as the "dupe police" currently is. An easy-to-access list of newly created tags, with the power to undo them before it's too late, for mods to use. –  MPelletier Aug 28 '10 at 1:19
The 10k tool "stats" page current shows new tags... –  dmckee Aug 28 '10 at 17:10
@dmckee: Great, but that does not help prevent the creation of erroneous tags. –  MPelletier Aug 29 '10 at 14:26
I'm still trying to understand this issue. In what sort of situations would it be possible to create an incorrect tag? –  todofixthis Aug 15 '11 at 16:48
@Phoenix: typos or creating a different spelling for a tag (e.g. msword vs. ms-word) –  MPelletier Aug 15 '11 at 17:32
+1 this. I assumed that pressing Enter when there was only one tag left in the tag suggestion window would accept that suggestion. Instead it created the partial tag I'd typed, which will now clutter up everyone else's suggestion boxes until it dies from inactivity after 6 months. It's probably an error one makes only once or twice, but that will still leave a lot of avoidable debris if every user who reaches 1500 rep has to discover it for himself. –  Henning Makholm Aug 22 '11 at 17:45
@Jeff This is [status-completed] now, right? I'm almost certain I've seen such dialogs recently. –  Jason Plank Dec 4 '11 at 7:32
If this is status-completed, you could have fooled me. I've edited out three or four typos of "javascript" over the past week alone. –  Charles Jan 18 '12 at 23:15
@JasonPlank Perhaps you have seen dialog mentioned here. It appears only when there is a tag very similar to an already existing one; in which case the tag cannot be created. The feature request is about creating any new tag. –  Martin Oct 2 '13 at 9:41
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3 Answers

Possible solution:

Only new tags should be confirmed by a mouse click on the one added to the preview box.

enter image description here

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I've created a couple tags accidentally, just typing them in thinking I remembered them. I only noticed when someone else came along and retagged to use the correct ones. I can't be the only one.

Since adding the tags is usually the last thing done before posting, it's easy to miss if one is wrong. A dialog might be a little annoying, but just changing the text of the "Post Your Question" button to "Create tags and Post Question" when new tags are entered would give users a heads-up.

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why is this necessary? It takes 1,500 rep to even create a tag on SO, which is many times more than on other sites. –  Jeff Atwood Jun 23 '11 at 4:15
@jeff - I think it's because it's very easy for those of us that can to do it to do so without meaning to, and then everyone's able to use the accidental tag which just creates a lot of clean-up work –  Brad Mace Jun 23 '11 at 4:18
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This would be massively intrusive early in a site's life cycle---which suggested leaving it off of Stack Exchange for now, and eventually making it switchable---but is reasonable for mature sites.

My only concern: will users who just hammer in tags without looking at the matching options actually take the hint? Or will the just blithely continue (maybe hoping for a taxidermist badge)?

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Agreed that site maturity (such as SO, SU, SF, MSO) is required. Erratic user behaviour being what it is, no system will be foolproof, but maybe we can aim at a 80% reduction in erroneous tag creation? That would already be a nice improvement. –  MPelletier Aug 28 '10 at 1:14
Taxidermist? Are we doing hunters.se.com already? –  Jeff Atwood Jun 18 '11 at 20:25
I think he meant taxonomist, but I like the idea of a taxidermist badge. :) Oh, if there was a hunders.se site, I once knew that site's potential Jon Skeet... –  MPelletier Jun 20 '11 at 14:54
I would like a warning for new-tag creation on new sites too. (Not forbidding to create them, of course.) –  Paŭlo Ebermann Aug 15 '11 at 20:43
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