Near the end of 2013 I attempted to revive the highly-voted Can we allow 7.5K users to suggest tag synonyms without a score of 5 in the tag? with an answer pointing out the flaws in why the suggestion was first denied. In this time my answer has attracted 35 upvotes. I've also since then offered two separate bounties asking for a better response, but unfortunately nothing came of either of them.

The most popular answer on that question, which agrees completely with the suggestion, has attracted 117 upvotes and no downvotes. In fact, none of the posts which agree that this should be implemented have any downvotes.

The response on the other hand has attracted 28 downvotes (currently standing at -9). The reason for not accepting this was:

If you don't have 5 votes in the tag, what makes you qualified to synonymize it?

Shog9, the moderator who left that response back in 2012, at the start of 2014 answered Can trusted users be trusted to suggest tag synonyms without a score of 5 in a tag? (on smaller sites, not Stack Overflow), saying:

Long-term, we need to drop the idea of a fixed score, and grant or deny this privilege based on the size of the relevant tags. A score of 5 is waaay too low for suggesting, say, as a synonym for ... But as you note, it can be too high for very niche tags.

What we won't do is drop the requirement for some experience with a tag entirely. With all the best intentions, folks have none the less repeatedly created synonyms that have been incorrect and in some instances outright harmful to the relevant communities. Logging in to find your lovingly-curated niche tag rolled into a tangentially-relevant one because some over-enthusiastic synonymizer without any knowledge of the subtle differences between them is not a good experience.

The first part implies that a change is in order, and the second part is practically moot as synonyms have to be moderated (voted for, in this case) by other users and isn't an instantaneous process.

It's now 2016. We've been suggesting this for almost 5 years. Can we get the ball rolling on this?

  • 3
    This would be particularly helpful on sites that aren't software/hardware based like on M&TV and Cooking... I'm pretty certain that I don't need to have a score of five in "rising" to know that the British term variant "raising" is a synonym. – Catija Apr 8 '16 at 16:03

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