I'm starting to see more and more abuse of the tagging system. Not always intentional, but prevalent none-the-less. I think this started when people began adding the not-programming-related tag, which is odd...if it's not programming related (a condition for closing), then close it.

Today I am seeing tags like belongs-on-serverfault or do-my-homework-for-me. The first should be replaced with voting to migrate, or asking that others vote to migrate, and the second should just be discouraged altogether. If you feel somebody is asking a homework question, comment.

That being said, what is the appropriate action to take when we come across things like this?

  • 1
    Chuck Norris – Troggy Jul 30 '09 at 16:50
  • Chuck Norris is always the appropriate action. – mmyers Jul 30 '09 at 17:02
  • 1
    Chuck Norris doesn't need a tag as all tags invariably lead to Chuck Norris (on their way to Jon Skeet of course) – Rob Allen Jul 30 '09 at 17:11
  • Tag abuse for demonstration purposes only – TheTXI Jul 30 '09 at 17:12
  • Tag un-abuse for demonstration purposes only. – mmyers Jul 30 '09 at 17:17
  • 6
    INITIATE ROLLBACK WAR – TheTXI Jul 30 '09 at 17:18
  • No fair! I can't rollback yet! – mmyers Jul 30 '09 at 17:18
  • 1
    mmm-bacon is always relevant – Troggy Jul 30 '09 at 17:25
  • yeah... I went there. – Rob Allen Jul 30 '09 at 17:34
  • Can't you greasemonkey something up for us? – Jeff Yates Jul 30 '09 at 18:16
  • 2
    Well, actually, not-programming-related serves a purpose... Not everyone has permission to close questions. – Brian Knoblauch Jul 30 '09 at 18:16
  • What kind of Script were you thinking of Yates? – Tyler Carter Jul 30 '09 at 18:21
  • @Brian - Not having permission to close is not a ticket to abuse the tagging system. You DO have the rep to comment and ask others to close. – Sampson Jul 30 '09 at 19:28
  • Who makes these tags? – The Web Developer Blog Apr 28 '20 at 4:04

If you have enough rep, you can always retag it.


Personally, I remove the tags, leaving the edit comment that I'm removing abusive tags. If I see a single user doing it a lot, I'll report him with the flag button. I haven't actually seen a user doing it constantly enough to report yet.

That's for tags like do-my-homework-for-me and plz-send-me-the-codez. For the tags that mirror close votes, those aren't so bad, as long as the taggers don't have 3000 arbitrary points yet. They're doing what's in their power to draw the questions to our attention, and I see that as a good thing.


As Welbog said, retag them. I'm not sure what else you really can do. Maybe consider leaving a comment explaining that X isn't an appropriate tag? If you see a lot of it from a particular user, notify the mods.

  • Now I'm getting an urge to link to your answer. Somebody stop me! – mmyers Jul 30 '09 at 17:03

I would simply remove tags that are really just there to make some sort of "political statement."

When it becomes egregious, I would also leave a comment that the tag was removed (and why) to leave a bit of a nudge that lets people know not to do it in the future.


Retagging is the appropriate way because this is a "community" edited website. This is why people with enough reputation can edit tags, to help clean up the community.


The 'belongs' tags are good to let the asker and others know where it belongs, before it get's closed and moved.


Web forums are the dominion of passive aggressive behaviours like this. I doubt there is much that can be done without exacerbating the situation other than to edit the redundant or ridiculous tags out of the question (if you have sufficient privileges to do so) and to create clearer, more intuitive ways to achieve whatever it was the mistagger was trying to achieve, whether that is comments, voting to close, or some other system that has not been implemented yet.

Whatever system we have, there will always be bouts of passive aggression and that's why we will always need a wall nearby for intimate, forced meetings of brick and head.

As for what to do, edit seems the logical immediate response. If this fails, flag for moderation.


I would tag things "not-programming-related" when I had enough rep to tag, but not enough to vote to close.

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