I earlier improved this career advice question, which initially had an entirely inappropriate tag attached to it. So, I replaced it with "career-development", even though I was aware that the tag is deprecated. I noted this dilemma in my edit comments.

The question is obviously off-topic, but whilst it is shown on the site, my view is that it is better to tag it with a deprecated tag than an irrelevant one. I don't think a suitable non-deprecated tag exists for this case. What should the rule be here when editing?

Status update: the above link is now dead, having been either mod-deleted or attracting enough deletion votes to make it disappear. I learn from Bill's answer below that the OP will no longer be able to see their question in their profile - only if they visit the question URL directly. Thus, the OP may not see the reason for deletion, and attempts to get that feature added have been declined.

  • As long as those tags are still around, it makes sense to tag the question with them. At least then we'll be able to find it later when we clean up.
    – hammar
    May 21, 2013 at 17:14
  • 1
    Heh, that's what I get for not checking the revision history on the question. In that case, I agree with Bill, I think retagging was the right approach. Still, it's a funny scenario, and one I've not seen before. May 21, 2013 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


I think retagging it was the right decision. There's no reason to leave a completely off-topic question in the tag if that tag doesn't apply. The purpose of deprecating tags isn't just so people stop using the tag, but also so people stop asking questions that are not constructive or off-topic. Correctly tagging the question will help people recognize that the question doesn't belong on Stack Overflow, so it should, in theory, be closed and deleted more quickly. (Conversely, if the deprecated tag hadn't applied perfectly to that question, then it would have been a sign that the question might have been salvageable.)

  • Alrighty, thanks Bill.
    – halfer
    May 21, 2013 at 17:49
  • out of interest: I notice that the question I referred to is now deleted. Can the OP still see that (and its close notice), so they can get an understanding of why it was deleted? Or does it appear, for them, just as if they had never asked it? I'd hate for struggling new users to be left entirely without an explanation as to why their question has "disappeared" :).
    – halfer
    May 22, 2013 at 19:56
  • @halfer They can only see the question if they have a link to it. May 22, 2013 at 20:03
  • 2
    Oh dear, that's not good. Thanks for the info, though.
    – halfer
    May 22, 2013 at 20:31

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