I know that zombie tags (tags with no Questions on them) get deleted once a day according to this Q&A, which seems very reasonable to me to keep the available tags clean.

Sometimes I scan the most recent created tags for misspelled, new created tags for already existing commonly used tags (other spelling, other abreviation) or meta tags (which aren't allowed). If I find one, which has most likely only one new question on it, I retag the question with the right tag to get rid of this tag in the next 24 hours.

My question is, if I did so, should I leave a hint as wiki excerpt on this wrong tag? Something like

use instead, if you mean the static site generator

which is an actual example for the tag, to prevent it's use until it gets burried within 24 hours? Or should I just don't care about it and hope that no one uses the new created (wrong) tag untill it gets deleted automatically by the system? Or is it even counterproductive, since tags with no questions but a wiki excerpt didn't get burried automatically (check this Q&A for that, the recent created tag history seems to prove that)?

I ask because while edits of wiki excerpts for misspelled tags with such a hint get approved usually, this is another deal for uncommon or new meta tags, which often gets rejected due to reasons like

This edit does not follow any of our tag wiki guidelines and is unlikely to help instruct future visitors in the appropriate use of the tag.


This edit is incorrect or an attempt to reply to or comment on the existing post.

  • 9
    Anyone who would actually end up using a misspelled tag wouldn't read the excerpt anyways. It's pretty useless information to add.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Apr 9, 2014 at 12:23
  • @animuson But it lets you rudely tell them, "Didn't you read the tag before using it?" ;-) Apr 9, 2014 at 13:16
  • 1
    @AndrewBarber are you able to check if the information on meta.stackexchange.com/a/62586/167646 is still correct?
    – Stijn
    Apr 9, 2014 at 13:20
  • @Stijn There is, indeed, a moderator tool listing orphaned Wiki entries. I've updated the status tag on that post to reflect that, as well (EDIT: Removed that tag now as ShadowWizard pointed out that wasn't a Feature Request question!) Apr 9, 2014 at 13:23
  • @AndrewBarber But I'm not sure if they even get orphaned anymore. If you look through the last recent created tags from the last days, there are some which has no questions on them, but an excerpt and didn't got burried yet. Maybe it takes more then 24h or they didn't got burried for other reasons like they have an excerpt on them.
    – morten.c
    Apr 9, 2014 at 13:43
  • @morten.c It doesn't happen immediately, no. But there are currently numerous orphaned Wikis on Stack Overflow. Many actually show edits of the type you refer to here (from a high-reputation user), while many seem to have no content at all. Apr 9, 2014 at 13:44
  • @AndrewBarber Which means that this information aren't accurate anymore?
    – morten.c
    Apr 9, 2014 at 13:48
  • @morten.c That question is actually referring to the tags before they have been permanently deleted ("destroyed" is the term used in the answer there). Therefore, at that time any existing Wiki is still linked to the tag. Apr 9, 2014 at 13:49
  • @AndrewBarber Sorry if I'm asking too much, but the cited Q&A says "Tags not associated with any question are automatically destroyed at 03:00 UTC every day.", which doesn't seem to happen in that interval.
    – morten.c
    Apr 9, 2014 at 13:54
  • @morten.c There is some fuzziness there on the time frame, but I can verify that they are eventually destroyed, and that does render the Wiki 'orphan'. And there's no trouble with you asking for clarification! Apr 9, 2014 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


No, this will be pointless for the simple reason that each new tag (no matter if it appeared before or not) gets whole new ID number behind the scenes and whole new wiki.

Your wiki will become an orphan and stay buried in the tags graveyard along with its parent tag.

In case you mean leaving a temporary wiki until the tag is buried then I think it's still quite pointless to create a wiki just to tell "don't use this tag", as it requires three users to review and approve it - time better spent on other reviews that will improve contents.

If you see tag being misspelled over and over then it's possible to reconsider of course and mention this in the wiki summary so that it will have lower chances to be rejected.

  • I didn't expected any other behaviour, maybe this is a bit unclear in my qustion, I will make it more clear. The hint is just meant to prevent any use of this wrong tag until it's getting burried. I was fully aware that such a hint would only be useful until the tag get burried, which is in the best case less then 24 hours.
    – morten.c
    Apr 9, 2014 at 12:36
  • @morten.c I see. Edited to reflect this. Apr 9, 2014 at 12:39
  • In addition, isn't a tag without questions and with a wiki skipped by the tag cleanup script? I vaguely recall reading about that.
    – Stijn
    Apr 9, 2014 at 12:53
  • @Stijn Would be nice if anyone could confirm this, because if that would be true, it's an absolute no-go for leaving hints for wrong tags.
    – morten.c
    Apr 9, 2014 at 12:56
  • @morten.c I think there's also a way for mods to see such tags. Unless I had some weird dream about MSO and none of this makes sense.
    – Stijn
    Apr 9, 2014 at 12:58
  • @Stijn I just looked through some days of last recent created tags and I'm afraid that you seem to be right. Some of them are my fault.
    – morten.c
    Apr 9, 2014 at 13:00
  • Found it, the result is an orphaned post in the form of a tag wiki.
    – Stijn
    Apr 9, 2014 at 13:00
  • @Stijn Hm, I'm not sure about your last finding. Because the examples for undeleted tags with wiki excerpt but no questions on them doesn't seem to be orphaned in the way described in your link.
    – morten.c
    Apr 9, 2014 at 13:04
  • @ShadowWizard Would you mind to add the "orphaned wiki post" thing to your answer? I think then it would be totally complete and correct.
    – morten.c
    Apr 9, 2014 at 14:00
  • @morten.c sure, done. :) Apr 9, 2014 at 14:04

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