Currently some tags are marked obsolete by editing the wiki to include the text "don't use this".

I didn't hover on the tag long enough to see the wiki, so I created a question with it because I didn't know it was obsolete.

Can we have a better way to mark a tag as obsolete? Something that will actually prevent people from adding new questions with this tag?

  • Can you retag your question anyway so that there's one less question with the offending tag.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:19
  • Well, although we immensely dislike the [career] tag, it's not obsolete, as there are many existing questions we haven't cleaned up yet. You can join the effort, details here. When the tag is used no more, it will be (possibly) blacklisted and unusable. Although I understand that this one tag is highly problematic, and your feature would be very helpful in this instance, the Programmers FAQ clearly states: "and it is not about … career advice, including general workplace issues"
    – yannis
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:21
  • @ChrisF - well, it's closed and getting upvotes, so it doesn't really matter. Should I just delete it? I don't know what else to tag it?
    – ripper234
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:23
  • 1
    Yes it does matter. Deleting it might be the best option. However, I do agree with your question - we do need a better way of indicating obsolete tags.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:24
  • Oops, I meant downvotes, not upvotes. I'll just go ahead and delete that anyway. And @ChrisF - I notice that you haven't found a better tag ... perhaps this is a signal that a question should be deleted.
    – ripper234
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:33
  • I didn't look for a better tag :)
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:34
  • Well, I can't delete it in the next 48 hours.
    – ripper234
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:34
  • Hmmm... The way that could work would be if moderators had a way of suspending a tag. And while suspended, it would be unusable in new questions + no migrations of existing ones would be possible.
    – yannis
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:35
  • @ripper234 Don't worry about the tag, already gone... And if you really want it deleted now flag for mod attention. Or delete yourself in a couple of days, no big deal.
    – yannis
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:36
  • FTR I've been lately annoyed with the language-agnostic meta-tag (per my answer here). Was wondering how the heck to deprecate it.
    – djechlin
    Commented Mar 31, 2013 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


You don't need to manually hover over a tag: when you edited the tags on a question and started typing "ca...", the giant tag dialog box appears immediately:


I don't want to go on a rant here, but this has been an ongoing issue on Programmers (and presumably other sites), and it's a symptom of a larger, systemic problem with tags:

  1. Nobody reads tag wiki excerpts, even when they're automatically displayed right in front of them.
  2. It's impossible to guide the usage of a tag through UI cues or social engineering.

sucks. It's a meaningless tag and is used by people to justify asking weak, off-topic, not constructive questions and not bother tagging such questions with anything useful. By June of last year, Programmers had 1,400 questions tagged with it. It's taken us close to 6 months to retag/delete 700 questions in the tag, and we're nowhere close to being finished.

In the meantime, we've been trying to get crappy tags like blacklisted so people can't use them no matter what they do and allow us to cap the number of questions we have to sort out, but we've gotten pushback from Stack Exchange about doing so until the tags are manually cleared first.

The common sense solution is to read before you use a tag: it's right there in front of you. I don't know how much clearer it can be made save for it blinking at you and an audible alert saying "HEY DON'T USE THIS TAG!"

The realistic solution is for SE to be far more liberal with blacklisting tags, particularly when it's been demonstrably shown a tag is detrimental to the site and people aren't paying attention to the plethora of warnings that they shouldn't be using the tag.

  • 3
    Amen, brother.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:54
  • What @Anna said too.
    – Kev
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 15:43

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