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Following Implement a Tag Black List, I would like to know what exactly it means for a tag to be marked as blocked (formerly blacklisted) on a Stack Exchange site.

  • Does it mean I can't use that tag on my question?
  • What are the reasons for blocking a tag?
  • Who can block tags?
  • Why am I being prompted to remove a tag from a question I'm editing?

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What is a blocked tag?

A blocked tag (formerly blacklisted tag) is a tag that can no longer be used in a specific Stack Exchange community. Blocked tags are automatically prevented from being used or created on a site.

What are the reasons for blocking a tag?

A tag may be marked as blocked for a number of reasons. It may be a redundant tag, such as a tag on Arqade or a tag on Stack Overflow. It may be a meta tag describing the character rather than the topic of a question. In general, there is usually a shared consensus that these tags add little to no value to a question.

Generally, tags are only blocked if they have been recreated and removed multiple times despite such consensus. Some communities may also block a tag if a significant number of questions are using it, to prevent new questions from using the tag while the community continues to manually remove the tag from existing posts which use it.

Examples of blocked tags include, but are not limited to:

Who can mark tags as blocked?

Tags can only be added to the block list by Stack Exchange employees. However, you can request a tag be blocked by posting with on the relevant per-site meta. (See How should we make requests to block tags? for more information).

Why am I being prompted to remove a tag from a question I'm editing?

It's possible to block tags that already currently exist, and blocking a tag by itself does not automatically remove the tag from questions previously using it. However, if you edit a question that currently uses a blocked tag, you will be prompted to remove it before you can submit your edit.

See also: Why don't we block all tags that we remove?

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  • Although the [untagged] tag is supposed to be blocked network-wide, it seems that this setting has to be manually turned on when a new site is created. I believe some of the newer sites still don't have this tag blocked. – user313042 Aug 5 '20 at 19:15
  • @Brahadeesh File a new bug with examples of sites you were and weren't able to create the tag on. Also, it's worth pointing out that the system isn't subject to the tag block list. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Aug 5 '20 at 23:29
  • @Sonic I'm not sure the new guidelines discourage users from using the verb blacklist, the new guideline refers to programming terms, its terminology and, more specifically, to the tag. See: We are not going to institute any sort of network ban on the use of these terms – Mari-Lou A Aug 6 '20 at 8:19
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    @Mari-LouA The answer also states that the terms have been renamed internally in the system, and UI changes are planned to reflect those changes. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Aug 6 '20 at 8:23
  • @Sonic (reposted b/c I forgot to add the ping) The new policy is about terminology, not the every-day use of English verbs, are we supposed to replace verbs such as "white wash" and "blackmail" that are commonly used in speech and writing? It's admirable to edit out blacklist when specifically connected to programming, its replacement "block list", has the added bonus inasmuch its meaning is clearer. But I wouldn't recommend or worry about editing out every mention of "blacklist" when it's used as a normal verb, e.g. “Rude, vulgar terms such as c___ are blacklisted on SE”. – Mari-Lou A Aug 7 '20 at 6:16
  • @Mari-LouA As evidenced by the fact that SE changed the names of the tags today, the official name of the feature has changed. My change is no different from changing the term "favorites" to "bookmarks" in its relevant FAQ. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Aug 7 '20 at 6:18
  • @Sonic maybe it's because I find the number of times the word blocked used (15) distracting and excessive in this post? Anyway, I'll keep quiet from now on. – Mari-Lou A Aug 7 '20 at 6:32

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