Often times I see posts for which the asker has filled in the maximum number of tags, and although the concepts for each tag exist in the content of the post, the question asked is really only about 1 or 2 of the tags. When I see this my inclination is to edit the post to simply remove the tag(s) that do not have relevance to the question. (And I often do.) But for those posts having what I feel are superfluous tags, and for which I have also posted an answer, I am conflicted, thinking that it may be self-serving to edit the tags, thereby drawing better attention to the post and therefore giving my answer more visibility.

I am interested in hearing what the community thinks in general regarding the ethics of editing the title and/or the tags of a question for the purpose of focusing interest to the post based on the question asked, rather than the full content of the post. What are the ethics in general? Would the ethics conclusions be different for re-directing attention to the right audience for a person...

  • ...who has no other contribution to the post?
  • ...who has also posted an answer?

My experience -- mostly from Mathematics and Travel -- is that many askers have very little knowledge about the appropriate tags for their question. They often either put some extremely generic tags, or tags of questionable relevance that they seem to have found simply by free association from keywords.

The utility of tags for navigation depends on more knowledgeable users to clean up the tagging. Often it's something that can be done by regulars who don't know quite enough to answer the question, but people who are experts enough to answer can do it even better.

Editing tags is completely ethical and appreciated. (Assuming that the edits actually make the tagging better, of course).

(The same holds for titles, by the way. If askers' own titles were sacrosanct, we'd end up with a lot of questions with titles like "Let f be an injective function" and "visting visa", repectively).

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