As a result of https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/128315/the-great-stack-overflow-tag-question-cleanup-of-2012, a number of ambiguous tags are in the process of being cleaned up.

However, as they get cleaned up, and reputation requirements (currently 1500 on Stack Overflow) for new tags are put back into place, I've noticed that there are still people that will use those tags and resurrect them (I go over the eliminated list regularly).

That said, the feature request is require that if tag has been created before, but then removed from all questions, then the amount of reputation required to bring the tag back should be raised (or perhaps only allow moderators to do so). By how much is left to you, but it should be very high, IMO.

Also, the following conditions should be satisfied:

  • The tag is of a certain age. This will prevent someone who creates a new tag on a question and then removes it shortly after from triggering this restriction
  • The tag has been applied to a certain number of questions at one point. This also helps with the situation above, as well as for tags applied to a smaller amount of questions.

The main goal here is to help massive retagging efforts to tags which don't have synonyms applied (because there it's not a synonym but just vague) from going to waste; there's no point if the tags have been removed if they're just going to sprout up again in places we don't see/know about.

  • The nerve of them! May 6, 2012 at 16:26
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn It's frustrating. When you get through the css and coding-style cleanup and see it pop up again, you'll know what I mean.
    – casperOne
    May 6, 2012 at 16:32
  • Oh crap, I completely forgot about that. May 6, 2012 at 16:32
  • 1
    I agree; and to the idea of the very high requirement for reputation to do so, I recommend 15k or 20k. May 6, 2012 at 16:44
  • @MrLister No, if a tag goes down to 0 questions, then a user with 1500 rep can bring the tag back. The only tag that's been specifically blacklisted is discussion. I am going to propose blacklisting hidden-features and tips-and-tricks as well.
    – casperOne
    May 6, 2012 at 16:46
  • 1

1 Answer 1


You're too nice casperOne! Have a tag bonfire and blacklist the lot...

burning stuff
(source: wikimedia.org)

If the community at large has decided that a tag is so bad / useless that every question has been removed from it what reason is there for it to still exist?

That way the tag doesn't just re-appear when you least expect it and there's no need for a .

If, at some point in the future, a language is created called ( far fetched I know but meh ) then a request to create this can be bought up on meta and the tag given some cream for all the burns. By controlling how it appears it's also possible to ensure that a wiki and excerpt are created immediately so there's less room for ambiguity in what the tag is for.

Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting automatically blacklisting just a more proactive and brutal method of doing so, i.e. rather than just blacklisting , should also be blacklisted. If this requires that some sort of feature should be put in place so that moderators can blacklist tags then I think that'd be a good thing.

  • I don't disagree, but usually, if I come off the bat and say "auto-blacklist" that will set some people off and make this more contentious than it has to be. If the community agrees that it should be auto-blacklisted, then I'm all for that. However, there needs to be an ability to undo the blacklist easily. In other words, we need to make it not a dev ability but something that moderators or very highly trusted users can do.
    – casperOne
    May 6, 2012 at 17:01
  • Ah, I didn't know it was devs only. If it could be done by a moderator once a request had been made on meta then I do think it's a lot better than having thousands of people with the ability to re-create a crap tag. May 6, 2012 at 17:05
  • Yeah, we pretty much have to take it directly to a Stack Exchange employee and say "hey, would you blacklist this for us?"
    – casperOne
    May 6, 2012 at 17:05
  • 1
    Auto-blacklist is a bad idea. Any person can just go retag the 100 questions and they'd blacklist a perfectly legitimate tag.
    – animuson StaffMod
    May 6, 2012 at 17:26
  • I wasn't suggesting an automatic blacklist. Just those that were being removed by the clean-up. May 6, 2012 at 17:29
  • @Ben It's hard to distinguish in that case automatically.
    – casperOne
    May 6, 2012 at 17:42
  • @casperOne, is it? If it's been bought up on meta and voted (positively) on then get rid of it. I wouldn't be in favour of a automated blacklister as it's too open to abuse as animuson said. May 6, 2012 at 17:45
  • @Ben I know what you're saying, but I don't see an easy way to automate the process of finding the meta post and determining it's for that specific tag. We'd need a way of making that very specific request.
    – casperOne
    May 6, 2012 at 17:54
  • @casperOne there's a meta tag :-) + everything in the clean-up post? May 6, 2012 at 17:56
  • @Ben That's not the tag I was referring to. Are you saying any tag found in the question? You'd have to do a lexical analysis of the question to determine which tag on SO. Also, it introduces a very strong coupling between a meta site and the main site which hasn't existed before.
    – casperOne
    May 6, 2012 at 17:57
  • Nah, I'll go through it and do it manually if you want. Shouldn't take that long with copy, paste and emacs (sorry vim people). I don't see where the coupling comes in I'm afraid. If there is a meta-post requesting a tag blacklist and there is general agreement then a moderator blacklists it. In the case of the clean-up I realise this is slightly more difficult but it shouldn't take that long to go through and come up with a plain text list of tags. May 6, 2012 at 18:01
  • Blacklisting should be done with extreme care, and I don't see a reason to blacklist the overwhelming majority of those tags. May 7, 2012 at 8:59

You must log in to answer this question.

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