I would like to suggest a clearer notification if a Tag is used that doesnt belong on a particular site. For example, on Stack Overflow the tag states:

"questions about using the FFmpeg command line tool should be asked on Super User."

An orange pop up box alerting anyone who adds the tag, suggesting to the user to move their question to Super User, would help to reduce the number of off topic questions on Stack Exchange.

Just an idea.

  • 2
    And a damned fine one.
    – user1228
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 17:47
  • As long as the suggestion in the off topic tag is correct of course.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 17:56
  • 5
    One issue with this is that it's perfectly fine on SO to ask programming-related questions that involve the FFmpeg libraries, so you can't automatically assume everything using that tag is off-topic. For example, this is a legitimate programming question about FFmpeg: stackoverflow.com/questions/14044335/… , as is this: stackoverflow.com/questions/13937628/… Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 18:01
  • how about adding a ffmpeg-command-line tag? or something similar - and then have the off topic notice only on that tag?
    – Jimmery
    Commented Jan 12, 2013 at 14:24
  • @Jimmery - Good luck trying to educate all new incoming users to use a non-obvious tag for their questions. Trust me, people will use whatever tags are the first things that pop into their mind, and [ffmpeg] is going to be what almost everyone will use when referring to this topic. Commented Jan 12, 2013 at 22:14

3 Answers 3


One possible solution to this would be to make use of so-called . Community Managers can apply them after consensus is reached on a site's Meta; a request to give ♦ moderators to apply them has been declined. They used to be visible under the tags field but have now been placed in the second step of asking a question, in a sidebar widget:

enter image description here

To take it one step further, it's possible to completely block a tag if it should never be used again. The procedure for these requests is similar.

  • Interesting, I did not know such a feature exists. Can you elaborate how this warning presents itself? The above picture does not look like being different from what I see when I use a tag without a tag-warning (and trying to add the "german-to-english" tag to a new question on GermanLanguage.SE did not show anyl kind of pop-up message).
    – Doc Brown
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 11:39
  • @DocBrown I'm not sure when you see those messages exactly. Maybe you have to type something in the title/body as well, and perhaps above a certain amount of reputation you don't see them anymore.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 13:42
  • Maybe "german-to-english" does not have this tag-warning on german.stackexchange.com - I wrote a draft for a question, added the tag, and did not get any warning (and my rep on that site is below 200).
    – Doc Brown
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 15:33
  • @DocBrown it's still active (I just tested it with a sockpuppet account). I'll update the screenshot.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 17:26
  • @DocBrown it only showed for me after I clicked to review my "question" (I didn't fill out anything other than the tags so it wouldn't accidentally post).
    – Laurel
    Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 18:38
  • Ok, I got this "Step 2: review message". I wasn't immediately noticing that it is tailored to the tag used, But that seems to be a problem here: the message is so unobtrusive that I think it fails its purpose for tags indicating off-topic questions. Askers are likely to overlook any warning against asking this kind of question.
    – Doc Brown
    Commented Jun 13, 2021 at 10:40
  • 1
    @DocBrown I agree it's not an improvement. The closer those warnings are to the 'Submit question' button, the better.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jun 13, 2021 at 16:48

Something you (the general "you", users with the necessary reputation "you") can do right now is to vote to close any of these questions (if they truly are off topic of course) that are still open and, more importantly, vote to delete any closed questions.

Any questions that are on topic but just mis-tagged should be edited to remove the bad tag (plus any other edits needed to clean up the question).

Then once all the questions have either been edited or deleted the tag will disappear from the database never to be suggested again (until someone with sufficient reputation mistakenly recreates it of course).

If it does get re-created then it could be added to the tag blacklist and will then never be suggested again.

All this assumes that the tag is completely off topic of course. As Brad points out in his comment this particular tag can be applied to on topic questions.

  • 1
    instead of reducing the tags to just the on topic ones, perhaps expand your collection of tags to include off topic tags - and then have these tags guide users to where those questions would be relevant - this could be very useful for new comers.
    – Jimmery
    Commented Jan 12, 2013 at 14:28

I was going to suggest something similar today, until I found this question, already asked eight years ago.

My suggestion would be to have such a notification feature not only for tags which are clearly debunking a question as off-topic, but where usage indicates there is a certain risk for the question to be be off-topic. Candidates for this tag feature could be, for example, the licensing tag or the open-source tag on Stackoverflow or Softwareengineering.

Though both of this tags have well-written recommendations to ask licensing questions not on the former sites, but either on Law.SE or OpenSource.SE, new askers seem to overlook those hints regularly.

On the other hand, there are still certain on-topic questions on Stackoverflow or Softwareengineering where the former tags can be applied, which makes @ChrisF's idea for trying to remove the tags completely not really suitable for them.

For implementing such a feature, the question to be answerered here is: for which tags should this notification be activated, and who can decide about it? I can think of some alternatives here:

  • Only users of a certain reputation should be able to activate or deactivate it (ar least 10K), or maybe only site mods

  • Tags where the closage (including migration) percentage from the past was higher than, lets say, 75% should get this kind of notification.

One has to take into account that once this feature is available, it could influence the closage percentage, so maybe the feature should be activated automatically when the closage percentage goes beyond a threshold, and deactivated when only manually by a diamond mod.

You must log in to answer this question.

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