While bumps are generally good, there are niche cases where they are harmful:

I recently decided I would consolidate two tags on Stack Overflow: "openoffice" and "openoffice.org". They refer to precisely the same thing, and having two tags for them just fragments the organizational structure.

However, after a couple of retags, I noticed that these questions were being bumped to the front page, clogging it up. Not wanting to be disruptive, I stopped retagging.

This prevents a very useful organizational benefit of SO's community structure. As well as consolidating two identical tags, I could do things like look at each question in "openoffice.org", and add the tag "openoffice-writer", "openoffice-calc", etc. where appropriate. Abuse would be unlikely, due to the 500 reputation minimum for retagging questions.

Update, July 2012: I think this problem is much less bothersome now that tags can have aliases. My original use-case was merging two tags, which is somewhat solved by aliases.

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    This bumping problem could be especially bad for small SE sites, where questions may persist on the front page for hours or days. – gobernador Jul 19 '12 at 1:02
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    4.5 years later, still the same issue. – Franck Dernoncourt May 16 '14 at 23:57

For a Wikipedia analogy, robots usually have a flag noting that what they're doing is rather mundane and shouldn't flood the "Recent changes" list. They also have a "Minor edit" option for humans making minor changes.

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At the moment, yes; that counts as a bump. But ♦ mods can do a blanket tag merge / rename without bumping, saving you a lot of time. Perhaps this would be a more suitable option? If so, please tag this as [retag-request], and assuming it is a sensible merge (and we agree the direction) they can be merged without too much pain.

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    Blanket tag merging and renaming isn't always applicable. For instance, what if the OP was trying to split up [OO] (which doesn't exist) into [openoffice] and [OOP] by reading each question with the wrong/old tag and making an edit? – Kevin Vermeer Jan 25 '11 at 10:58
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    @reemrevnivek then it will have to be done by hand – Marc Gravell Jan 25 '11 at 11:15
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    Which bumps it to the front page. – Kevin Vermeer Jan 25 '11 at 20:55

This would be great, especially for beta sites where there isn't several questions a minute that effectively drown out the noise this causes.

Most of the time when I feel the urge to retag on E&R it's because the tags are meaningless, not to just do a merge

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Re-tags Are Edits, and Therefore Need Review

Taking up the counter-argument, the bump is useful in that it moves edited posts to the front of the line where the change will garner eyeballs to validate the change. The fact that the question here presupposes that retagging is too minor to warrant attention does not seem in keeping with the collectively-edited and peer-reviewed nature of the site.

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Does it really matter? For instance, in SO the oldest entry on the front page is 10 minutes old, in SU it's 3 hours old and in SF it's 5 hours old. In fact, even meta, which I guess is much less popular than the others, has only a 15 hour old post on its front page.

If you flood the front page with retags, you're only polluting it for a short time anyway.

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    10 minutes may not be that big of a deal, but I would argue that flooding the front page for 3-5 hours is definitely matters. – Matthew Nov 12 '09 at 19:28
  • Depends on how often it happens. If you do this once every few weeks, I wouldn't worry about it. – Nathan Fellman Nov 14 '09 at 21:35
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    There are now more SE sites than StackOverflow. Items on the front page can last for days. – Oddthinking Nov 16 '13 at 8:16

I have proposed a system to solve this problem.

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    Posts should be able to stand on their own without external links. Some of the linked post should be summarized in this answer. – Stevoisiak Mar 22 '17 at 2:32

I'm surprised this hasn't been implemented already. Stack Exchange already differentiates tag edits when accounting for the Copy Editor badge, so it shouldn't be too hard to implement.

It would be really helpful in other scenarios as well, such as retroactively applying a recently created tag to older posts.

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