Users frequently add irrelevant tags to questions, obviously just for farming reputation points.


An OP asks a question which is related to a network issue in iOS which she tagged correctly with + for example.

Now a smart-pant will add the tag - which shall be used for language related questions, or which is related to the IDE used for iOS development.

It's obvious that these edits are solely for farming reputation points.

Since a reviewer often doesn't know the subtle differences between these tags, and frequently tries to avoid significant effort to figure this out, he just approves the edit, which is bad enough.

And it's annoying since the "category" of the questions becomes less precise. For example, if someone wants to search for language related issues in Objective-C, she gets a lot hits with unrelated questions. Thus, the tagging becomes useless.

How should I deal with this, when spotting such a user?

  • 9
    I doubt users are doing it out of sheer greed. More likely they honestly believe the tag is relevant. If you know for sure it's not, @-reply to that user in a comment on one of the posts where his edit was approved and explain to him his mistake. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Nov 19 '13 at 10:04
  • Yeah, perhaps this is also the reason. But it doesn't look like in this special case. – CouchDeveloper Nov 19 '13 at 10:06
  • There are several motivations for adding tags carelessly - rep farming, editing badges, tag badges. – S.L. Barth Nov 19 '13 at 10:09
  • 1
    It could also be for "farming" close votes. It can take a while to close some questions in low traffic tags. – Joshua Taylor Nov 19 '13 at 12:15
  • @gnat no, that's a very far fetched dupe candidate. This question is discussing different way to stop those things, that other question ask for a very specific way. Voting to leave open. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Nov 19 '13 at 13:23
  • @ShaWizDowArd note asker mentions "Since a reviewer oftentimes doesn't know about the subtle differences of these tags, and frequently tries to avoid significant effort to figure this out, he just approves the edit, which is bad enough." – gnat Nov 19 '13 at 13:27
  • @gnat still, don't think it's a dupe. Not going to fight this, if 3 more agree with you, you win. :) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Nov 19 '13 at 13:31
  • 64208 questions are tagged both objective-c and ios. Few / none of those can be specific to language-related issues, right? If so, many / most people probably don't agree that it's only for that. Adding xcode seems like a bad edit, at least from what you've said. But, either way, ios is probably popular enough to make just adding objective-c too minor for an edit. – Bernhard Barker Nov 22 '13 at 17:01
  • @Dukeling Yes, probably a diminutive percent is actually an iOS AND Objective-C problem. It's probably safe to say, that if this is actually a language related question, an OP wouldn't set iOS (or OSX) tag as well, since this would obviously misclassify the question. It may be that many people just adding it, like when an OP asking a "spring" related problem adding java, or when an OP asking a "Rails" problem adding "Ruby", etc. – CouchDeveloper Nov 22 '13 at 18:22

Firstly, not all reviewers will approve such an edit. There may be chances that a few edits being reviewed by robo-reviewers gets approved, but mostly, the 2k+ user will filter such edits out by marking them as too-minor.

Next, in case you happen to see a lot of edits from a particular user, which are very minor, like just editing the tags, you could custom flag that post or any post of that particular user and mention very specifically as to what is going on, and why you need a moderator intervention in this case. A moderator will look into this and do the needful.

But as Sha Wiz Dow Ard commented, if you're not sure, its better to first let that user know that what the user is doing is not right and that there might be a edit ban placed on them, in case a lot of their edits are rejected. If the user continues it, despite that, then you can go ahead and raise a custom flag.

Note: There is already a system, which will edit ban users if a a certain threshold of edits of a particular user are rejected.

  • Actually, I've reviewed a few of this edits and became aware of this user ;) I've flagged a question now as you suggested. – CouchDeveloper Nov 19 '13 at 10:04
  • 1
    If you really feel that the user is doing is out of greed, then you've done the right thing. Let a mod handle it! :) – RainMaker Nov 19 '13 at 10:08
  • @CouchDeveloper any updates on your flag? :) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Nov 19 '13 at 13:25
  • @ShaWizDowArd No actions from modes yet due to flagging. However, I also added a comment to one of the questions where he/she added the tag (referencing him/her). I got no reply, yet. Nonetheless, since then he/she continued to edit further posts with just adding an irrelevant tag objective-c. ALL his/her edits are just of this type. – CouchDeveloper Nov 19 '13 at 13:35
  • Come on guys. Give the mods atleast 24hrs. :-) Poor souls, they have so much on their plate already. I'm sure by tomorrow we will have that flag attended to. :-) – RainMaker Nov 19 '13 at 13:50

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