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Based on a conversation that occurred in the comments of this question:

If you were to ever tattoo yourself with a piece of code, what would it be

Would it make sense to purge tags such as that are no longer on-topic? These tags exist from the early days of SO before these type of questions were considered off-topic.

Alternatively, is it possible to 'lock' a tag, so as to disallow new posts using that tag, but keep it around retroactively?

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Why bother, the fun is already gone. –  Mark Ransom Jul 11 '11 at 19:16
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@Jeff, my comment was inspired by one topic that didn't make the cut. See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/73219/… –  Mark Ransom Jul 11 '11 at 20:48
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@Mark - I think Jeff's comment from another issue explains it nicely: "we do listen to feedback, but we cannot convert a car into a truck. "This car would be so much better if only it had a big open area in the back for me to haul stuff!" At some point you have to point people towards the truck dealership." There are already plenty of places to discuss silly, pointless, or totally subjective things. That's just not what these sites are trying to be. –  Brad Mace Jul 12 '11 at 6:11

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, those tags probably should be removed, but I'm reluctant to just have the tags themselves burninated without going through and removing most of the posts themselves. Just removing the tags feels like treating the symptom without curing the disease.

Alternatively, is it possible to 'lock' a tag, so as to disallow new posts using that tag, but keep it around retroactively?

I don't think so. I think we need to remove the tags before unsuspecting new users will be unable to create posts with those meta-tags. (And hopefully more experienced users won't be tempted to recreate them despite knowing better.)

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The [play] tag appears to be mostly questions about audio playback (and should perhaps be changed to [playback] to discourage misuse), the others have little of any value. –  Brad Mace Jul 12 '11 at 6:14
    
@bemace: Thanks. I'll take a look at those to see if any questions need removed before doing a mass retag. Edit: The [play] tag is now gone. –  Bill the Lizard Jul 12 '11 at 11:20

I agree with @Bill: I think at least and should be removed as well as their corresponding questions. Their continued existence is in conflict with Stack Overflow's stated don't ask policy. It would improve the quality of the the site.

It is possible for tags to be blacklisted -- essentially locking users out of posting with them. However, this is something that's a very sensitive issue and is performed very much in the server backend: See here

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