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Can we prevent titles with an unnecessary tag in them?

At present, there are a number of reasons why a question title may not be accepted. For example, when it contains the word "question", the post may not be submitted.

I propose adding the following validation rule to this facility:


...where X is any of the tags.

Or something like this.

It would hopefully stop people from repeatedly spamming us with redundant, unindexed, inconsistently-formatted pseudo-"tags" in titles. (And in case there's still any doubt about this subject, take a look at how SO renders HTML page titles according to tags, to see how it's designed to be used!)

Apparently it was sort of done before, but the solutions don't seem to have worked properly, or they weren't broad enough in scope.

  • You can still delete the question now and possibly add your regex as an answer/comment there if you feel necessary... the answer below has not been upvoted, so deletion is possible. – Lorem Ipsum Nov 21 '11 at 2:24

The trouble with this sort of thing is that there are questions where it is legitimate to have the tag in the title, like when the question is about the language itself (or is language specific). For the bracketed tags example (which was my question), it was easy enough to create a reliable filter because language specific questions shouldn't really have the tag inside square brackets.

I have done many question edits, probably 3/4 of them are to remove tags from the title. It would be very hard to write a filter that operates with the same accuracy as a human. We also have a little incentive for humans which is the Strunk & White and the Copy Editor. Something to note though is that at the time of writing, only 1667 people of the Strunk & White, which I find surprising, I thought there would be way more. Maybe the solution is to start promoting that badge a bit more, then there will be lots of people cleaning up titles as a way of achieving it?

  • I've never seen a legitimately "tagged" question title. Ever. And my regex pretty much precisely mirrors my "shall I edit this?" decision-making process, which seems accurate enough. – Lightness Races BY-SA 3.0 Nov 21 '11 at 9:49
  • @Tomalek, when I talk about legitimate tags, I mean questions with the language or technology in the title, like this: How does C# eventhandler work internally? – slugster Nov 21 '11 at 10:05
  • I see; I don't! If you look at my regex you'll see that the tags have to be trailing or leading with a separator to be considered "tags". (Otherwise they're just a word in a sentence) – Lightness Races BY-SA 3.0 Nov 21 '11 at 10:53
  • Which means if we change the title of the previously mentioned question to How does an eventhandler work internally in C# (note the lack of question mark, which is very common) then your filter will clean it up. You might be a very smart person who is very good at writing regexes, but regexes are not intelligent and cannot distinguish context. – slugster Nov 21 '11 at 10:59
  • No, it won't. Please read a book on regular expressions, then read mine again. :) – Lightness Races BY-SA 3.0 Nov 21 '11 at 11:01

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