This question is a follow-up to Is [*-lang] an acceptable tag? And [factor] discussion , which points out that the tag is in practice much more used for the "factor" data type in R than for the Factor language. There isn't a whole lot of discussion there, but the consensus seems to be that and would be reasonable tags for the language and the data type, respectively.

My question, based on being fairly SO-active but not very meta-active: what's the protocol for this kind of (possibly) hostile takeover/usurpation/repurposing of a tag? Does one just ask on Meta and take the consensus answer as being SO policy? Is there a mechanism for asking the original tag proposers/editors if one wants to do it politely? Is there a "bulk retag" option to change most of the tags to (and manually change a few to for the language or for the mathematical operation, removing tags from those that are in none of these three categories) or do the interested parties just have to roll up their sleeves and retag ~150 questions manually?

Of course, we could just retag most of the questions as and leave the tag alone, but a bulk-retag option would still be useful, and I'm still curious about the 'usurpation' issue as a general question about SO ethics.

I have looked for answers on meta , without success (maybe I'm using the wrong search terms) ...

1 Answer 1


From what I've seen, not many tag-related questions get an answer from moderators or devs that could be taken as "official" SO policy.

There are retagging tools available to moderators but I've seen several questions were the has been no bulk-action taken. Sometimes because a clean-up is seen as the first step. Other times because I suppose there are bigger issues than some out-of-place tags.

If there is enough consensus then I would not think twice about taking over and modifying a tag. Only polite consideration I've taken is to not retag too many question manually in a short period of time because that will send them to the homepage and might clutter the regular flow of new questions.

Also, if you're going to edit questions because of their tags, don't miss the opportunity to improve other things and even to vote to close when appropiate.

In the particular case of I'd think there is enough consensus about and somebody already created it. Retagging + questions to is not a trivial work but is not that big.

  • There are only 200 or so questions left to go through. An evening's work when someone gets bored...
    – Charles
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 2:00

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