Orphan wiki tag posts should indicate their original designation so we can right the wrong of the cutting of the umbilical cord in the harsh sands of loneliness.

Almost everyday a tag wiki post is severed from its house and left flailing in the wind to wind up at the Orphanarium of Tags, Our Bladder Who Art In Bacon.

They're lonely and want a place to stay. They could do with a new home. If only we knew which battered household they came from originally. Were they from Tri Lamb? Did they get kicked out of Wright?

Knowing where the post once belonged will help in the content rescue efforts.

Help: This lists all tag wikis that are orphan. Merging tags may create them.

These abandonments usually results from merges, but some as a result of a better tag overtaking them quietly in the night.

Help make it easier for us to either transplant the brain matter into a deserving shell and kill the blank gangers as we go along.

  • 1
    this would be nice, I have no idea what some of Ux's orphan wikis are from
    – Zelda
    Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 23:40
  • This is the first time that I've seen a Meta Stack Overflow post written in the form of a surrealist poem. :) Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 2:29

2 Answers 2


Yes, please!

I still think tags with wikis should not be pruned, but when a tag wiki is orphaned (for any reason) I don't see why there shouldn't be at least some indication what the tag was actually named. The "Orphan Tags" page is extremely spartan; it really should include at least:

  1. a list of the tag names that the wiki was associated with,
  2. whether the wiki was in the Excerpt or Body section,
  3. when and how the wiki was orphaned,
  4. who edited the wiki last, if not the complete edit history,1 and
  5. some sort of indication that the wiki has been reviewed.

The last point brings up the other problem with orphaned wikis: the are only visible to ♦ moderators. So if someone creates a "new" tag and fills in the wiki, they probably won't know that a serviceable orphan wiki already exists. The ideal thing, it seems to me, would be that if a tag that once had a wiki were recreated, the orphaned wiki would be restored. Even better, if a tag was pruned because it was a singleton there's no reason the tag couldn't be restored to the question it was removed from initially.

Caveat: even though the "Help" lists merging tags as the way that orphaned wikis are created, that does not seem common on Biblical Hermeneutics. I've never merged a tag, so I'm not sure what sort of complications there are in that process. But there seems little reason to not keep a tag wiki's history and give moderators (at least) access to that history.


  1. Turns out the history is available if you follow the "orphan wiki" link. Perhaps the interface should be more clear about that.
  • 4
    Now that you're a CM ... any plans of pushing this forward? (It would be really really helpful if this is implemented) Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 0:20

We could fix this problem as well as seriously help the effort to clean up ambiguous tags, if we stop orphaning any tags!

This might require a small change to the question-edit function, because we still don't want tags with zero questions to show in the drop-down list -- or be usable by low-rep users -- unless they are disambiguation tags.
As a bonus, add an option so that zero-question, non-disambiguation tags do not appear to any higher-rep users who don't wish to see them.

If tags aren't orphaned, then we can leave a zero-question tag with instructions on how to pick the correct, less ambiguous tag. This would be an enormous boon to those of us who currently have to monitor problem tags like , , , etc.

Zero-question tags should have a flag, EG isDisambiguation, that would indicate that it is to be displayed whereas normal zero-question tags would not be.

Note that tags could still be hand-deleted, "burninated", or synonymized-away, as they are in the current, inadequate system.

If the above is shot down, a quick band-aide would be to rename tags rather than orphan them. So "Vague" might become "ORPHAN-DON'T-USE-Vague".

  • Uh? Why would we keep tags around if they aren't used by any question? They'd just clutter the interface. If someone created a tag with a typo and a wiki for it, then the typo is corrected, what we want is to have a way of copying the tag wiki over, not for the wrong tag for stay forever. Commented Apr 7, 2012 at 12:59
  • (1) We do want tags some unused tags to "stay forever", these would be disambiguation tags. (2) Other unused tags could still be deleted or "burninated" as they are now. (3) As per the proposal, zero-question tags would still not appear to low-rep users (or optionally users who set a flag), so there would be no cluttering. Commented Apr 7, 2012 at 21:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .