While reviewing suggested edits, if the editor has removed a relevant tag it seems as though the best reason for rejection would be:

clearly conflicts with the author's intent

This edit deviates from the original intent of the post. Even edits that must make drastic changes should strive to preserve the goals of the post's owner.

However, many reviewers appear to be rejecting the edits using irrelevant tags as their reason for rejection:

irrelevant tags

This edit introduces tags that do not help to define the topic of the question. Tags should help to describe what the question is about, not just what it contains.

At first glance, the latter seems like it might be more pertinent to the situation at hand because it singles out the fact that the rejection is because of a tagging issue, but it never says anything about the removal of relevant tags in its description.

Normally I'd go with my instincts and stick with the former while reviewing edits, but since I'm seeing several cases where reviewers (with much higher rep than me) are choosing the latter as their reason for rejection, I'm wondering which choice is best for the community as a whole. If the answer is irrelevant tags, would it maybe be better to re-word the description to something different? Example:

This edit introduces changes to tags that either do not help or cause harm to the definition of the question's topic. Tags should help to describe what the question is about, not just what it contains.


I consider that Irrelevant Tags is, indeed, the better choice (and have often consciously used it in this situation), because the original author's intent is not really the problem here. Rather, the tags either do or do not capture the 5 most crucial cross-cutting aspects of the question — to give the question a domain that is ideally big enough for quite a few other questions with identical tags to be asked, but much smaller than the site as a whole — and should usually repeat a subset of what's already stated in the question in some form. And tags must often be selected by experienced editors as much or more than the original poster.

So if the author mentions that they experience a particular problem on Linux and adds , removing the tag is fine (and desirable) if it really isn't OS-specific, because the author may not know with any reliability whether it's meaningfully unique to Linux. Even if it may be Linux-specific, there might be five other tags that are even more important to have (though this should be rare). But removing the mention of Linux in the question should only happen if it's been verified that the OS makes no real difference to even the surface details.

The suggested wording seems to handle this line of reasoning fairly well, and I would only suggest updating the name of this option as well, perhaps to "tag mismatch" or similar.

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