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Wow that was fast...

There was a question tagged the following: , , which are obviously hardware tags, and the question was something like this:

How can i remove permanent marker from my laptop display?

it was instantly downvoted and flagged as OT, which is very good. But i felt pity to the newbie User asking this question, because he instantly got killed off. As OP was a new user, he was of course not able to create these tags, which are obviously almost only hardware tags, and who each have <50 Questions to them.

Please remove these Tags, that encourage asking OT-Questions, or tell me why they are not removed

marked as duplicate by CRABOLO, Braiam, gnat, ben is uǝq backwards, Martijn Pieters support Jan 2 '15 at 0:51

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    "he instantly got killed off" No, he didn't. An off-topic question was placed on hold. Big difference. – Cody Gray Aug 21 '13 at 10:52
  • Also, how do you know the tags encourage OT questions? Did the user browse the list of tags available before asking the question, or (as I assume) did they just ask the question and then choose some tags to associate with it. Not sure the tags themself are to blame for the bad questions. – JonW Aug 21 '13 at 10:54
  • @JonW but what if he had not found these tags? as there is one tag required, how would he have tagged? Wouldn't he maybe have seen some dialogue with the words: This Tag does not exist! you need 250 rep to create a new tag – Vogel612's Shadow Aug 21 '13 at 10:56
  • @CodyGray well you can see it that way, as you are an experienced SO user, but our OP the newbie "just got downvoted, what a sh*t community" – Vogel612's Shadow Aug 21 '13 at 10:56
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    @Vogel612: My point is more that we don't know it was those tags at fault. They still picked 'repair' and that doesn't relate to the question they asked - they may well have just picked other tags if the ones they chose didn't exist. The real issue is around making it clearer to them that the question they wanted to ask isn't suitable. We should find better ways of getting that message across. Don't just assume it was the tags that were the problem. – JonW Aug 21 '13 at 11:00
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    Roll back to the time before I was "an experienced SO user". I still remember it. Had I showed up like Big Bird and asked an off-topic question, I wouldn't blame the community. I might feel like a moron. I might try to wipe the egg off my face. But I wouldn't blame other people for my mistakes. No one left this guy any dirty comments. I don't see the problem. I don't like that kind of logic anyway. Why is that somehow more reasonable than me thinking: "off-topic question, what a sh*t user"? Both are equally invalid. – Cody Gray Aug 21 '13 at 11:03

The tag is a meta tag. It cannot stand alone as a question's only tag and serves no useful purpose for categorizing questions. It should be burninated. Perhaps even blacklisted. There's little reason to look through all of the questions with this tag first, none of them need to have it.

I'm not so sure about and . A cursory glance at the list of questions with those tags does make my trigger finger itchy for the close button. But they are not all inappropriate. And I'm not convinced this is truly the fault of the tag. I can imagine on topic questions for which either or both of those tags would be appropriate.

There is a definite argument for looking through these two tags to find low-quality questions to retag and/or close. But I'm not convinced either of these tags should be burninated outright, much less blacklisted.

More generally, I simply don't buy the argument that having "off topic" tags "encourages" people to ask off topic questions. First of all, I don't think people look through the list of tags first before they ask their question. I don't think seeing tags like these gives them the impression that their question is on topic. If they were going to try and investigate the topicality of their question, they would logically start with the About page or the Help Center. Either or both of those would quickly dispel any confusion. Second, we have lots of tags that could theoretically justify off topic questions. For example, we have an tag. And a tag. So do lots of questions on Super User. But those tags are completely reasonable for a programming site, too. You can think of them as having an implicit "-programming" at the end: is, in fact, a synonym of .


I don't think removing the tags will discourage the guy from asking questions.

Not a lot of people in the world understand that there are different types of computer functions that require completely different skillsets. My aunt once asked me to repair her laptop because I was a software engineer. Her logic must have gone something like this: Software runs on laptop, you make software, you must make laptops too. And then, you are my nephew, nephews are relatives hence you must work for free. I might have given it a hand if it were a desktop and charged here a fortune for repairs, but laptops are kind of hard to put back together.

Anyways, so as I was saying: people in general don't understand that programming is a different skilset than hardware repair.

When they see a forum for computer related questions (of any sort), they post their question not understanding whether it is offtopic or not. Tags has nothing to do with it really. You mostly tag the question after you are done describing it

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