I got gold tag badge for both and here on Meta Stack Exchange. When voting to close a question tagged with both as duplicate, only one of those is selected as the hammer:

At first I thought tag popularity (number of questions asked with that tag) determines the tag to be used, but got today a counter example on Stack Overflow: (Where I got gold badge for both javascript and html, and javascript being more popular)

So, what determines what tag is being used as a hammer?

  • First alphabetically? – Cai Feb 5 '17 at 20:38
  • @Cai hmm.. interesting theory! – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Feb 5 '17 at 20:40
  • 2
    Already asked on MSO (no answers). It was also one of the things asked here (but no relevant, satisfying answers IMO). – Laurel Feb 5 '17 at 20:49

I have nothing official to back this up, only a bit of searching for dupe-hammer closed questions here on MSE, but it looks like it chooses the first tag alphabetically.

Here is a reasonably sized sample of questions (all the questions I checked, I found none contradicting my theory) here on MSE that were closed by a dupe-hammer from a user (mostly you) with more than one gold tag badge for the closed question's tags; all were closed with the tag that comes first alphabetically:


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