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Summary: The behavior for "ignored tags" seems to be: if any tag for a question is in the "ignore" list then don't display the question. I think it would be an improvement to reverse that logic: if a favorite tag is attached to a question then display it, irregardless of the presence of any additional "ignored" tags. This might be too subtle for a discreet user option therefore I think this behavior should be the default. The rationale is that a user is more interested in seeing their favorite topics than they are in excluding the topics they have chosen to ignore.

Details: For a long time I have seen the following behavior and thought it was a bug of some kind:

Click a topic tag in the sidebar "favorite topics" section. The page loads and shows a range of questions, then immediately reloads and shows a different set of questions.

I thought it might be a browser setting (Firefox) so I opened a different browser (Chrome) and loaded the same page. The questions displayed are different but I then realized that it wasn't a browser issue at all and was due to the fact that I was logged in in Firefox and not in Chrome, and that the rules for excluding tags were being applied after the page loads.

I have hundreds of tags set to be ignored in my preferences. It focuses my main SO page on the topics which are relevant to my practice. The behavior for "ignored tags" seems to be that if any tag for a question is in the "ignore" list then don't display the question. I think it would be an improvement to reverse that logic: if a favorite tag is attached to a question then display it, regardless of the presence of any "ignored" tags.

The rationale is that a user is more interested in their favorite topics than they are in ignoring the topics they not interested in. Of course there might be many instances where this is not the case but the current SO behavior defaults to inclusive: including all topics unless specifically excluded so changing the behavior of excluding tags would be consistent with that.

marked as duplicate by Martijn Pieters, hims056, ProgramFOX, 3ventic, Toon Krijthe Mar 30 '14 at 1:10

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  • You can set ignored tags to be dimmed instead of removed from the page, instead. – Martijn Pieters Mar 29 '14 at 15:17
  • @MartijnPieters - dimmed still means endless scrolling/paging through questions of no interest. – No Grabbing Mar 29 '14 at 15:31
  • Why not use a tag-search instead then? [fav-tag1] [or] [fav-tag2] [or] [fav-tag3] in the search box gives you a question page listing only questions that have one of those tags. Do set ignored tags to 'dimmed' instead of 'removed'. – Martijn Pieters Mar 29 '14 at 15:34
  • Even better, on Stack Overflow the live-refresh feature only is available on tag pages (including on such tag searches), not the homepages, giving you live updates on new questions with those tags only. – Martijn Pieters Mar 29 '14 at 15:35
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The usual reason for including something in the ignore list is because you look like you'd be interested but actually you are not; e.g. a Java developer who doesn't care for Android. Because of their favourite tag [java] they keep getting [android] questions so they put android in their ignore list and the problem goes away.

There is no point having things in your ignore list that you don't look like you're interested in; I don't have C in my ignore list because it never comes up anyway. The ignore list is for the exceptions; to remove things you're (suprisingly) not interested in so putting it in my ignore list would serve no purpose.

For these reasons I think the existing behaviour is more useful

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