As I keep collecting tags to highlight interesting questions and questions I want to ignore more questions now appear where tags from both lists are present. It seems like currently the ignore tag has precedence. I wonder what people think if those tags could have weight/importance to them. Would that be too complicated?


10 Answers 10


I prefer 'ignore' having precedence over 'interesting'. I'd like to see every 'java' question, but I don't need to see the 'fun, offtopic, not-programming-related, java' questions.

  • 3
    Exactly my preference. Jun 28, 2009 at 20:25
  • 4
    What about the language agnostic questions where someone tags both Java and C++? I'm not a C++ programmer, so I've ignored that tag, however, I am a Java programmer... I'd still like to see that question! Aug 15, 2009 at 5:31
  • @weenaak: I would think that a question tagged both 'java' and 'c++' would require knowledge of both, so, are you sure you need to see it? See ChrisF's answer below. There is a balance that needs to be struck. You might not see every single 'java' question under the current system, but you should see most of them. Aug 15, 2009 at 12:26
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    Just because a tag is ignored doesn't mean the user doesn't have knowledge of it! I ignore C# because of the high-volume, but I still want to see questions tagged both C# and ColdFusion - especially ones which I've just responded to myself! Oct 19, 2009 at 19:00
  • 1
    I was just about to write a duplicate to that when discovering this...any changes to that? Or is there the slight, and I mean slight, possibility that we get as a setting along with hiding of ignored tags? Imagine the following use case scenario: I choose my favorite tags and want to hide everything else (read: putting a wildcard into the ignored tags). Apr 27, 2012 at 10:37
  • @Kobobby No, I haven't heard of any upcoming changes to how this works. Currently you have to ignore a lot of tags in order to see only what you're interested in. (There's probably some small subset of extremely popular tags that you could ignore to filter out most uninteresting posts.) Apr 27, 2012 at 13:57

I would like the ability, for at least certain interesting tags, for the "interesting" tags to take precedence over the "uninteresting" tags. For instance, I don't want to see java questions in general. However, I don't want to miss a wcf+c# question simply because the java tag was applied as well. This may be the case with a problem in consuming a Java web service with a WCF client, or vice versa.

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    +1: This is a common problem with SQL questions. I would miss half of the SQL questions if I ignored the languages I don't know well/at all. Often, those questions are a SQL question in the vein of, "So I'm using Python and for some reason, select distinct gives me less rows than select count(*)." Obviously, I want to see those.
    – Eric
    Aug 9, 2009 at 1:28

Bill the Lizard said (in this page):

I prefer 'ignore' having precedence over 'interesting'. I'd like to see every 'java' question, but I don't need to see the 'fun, offtopic, not-programming-related, java' questions.

This is the opposite of my preference. I ignore python questions, but mark perl as interesting. When a question comes up that is tagged with both (e.g. someone asking for a solution in either language), I would prefer to see this question, rather than hiding it.

Perhaps this could be resolved by having another checkbox in the user preferences below the first: "...even if they also match one of my interesting tags."

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    Yep, he's focusing on the "fun" questions (which there aren't actually that many of), without considering that people use the feature to focus in on relevant questions. Would be trivial to make it a user preference, so hopefully the SO team can do this. Oct 19, 2009 at 19:26

On money.se, for example, we use tags to regionalise questions. I'm from the UK, and don't feel able to answer questions that are US or Canada -specific. I therefore choose to ignore [united-states] and [canada] tags, but this meant I couldn't see any question tagged with both [united-kingdom] and [canada], for example, about international transfers which I would be interested in seeing. I added [united-kingdom] to my preferred tags list, but because "ignore" takes precedance, I'm unable to see these questions still.

Perhaps the precedance could be set on a per-site basis, if no conclusion can be reached to satisfy all sites?


As this issue is applicable to the area51 beta sites also, it seems this question may need to be resurrected. Based on all of the answers here, we all agree that we have a preference. So, on the preferences tab, there should be a preference to drop down.

  • Make Questions with both one of my Interested and one of my Uninterested Tags follow my [interested / uninterested] display option

Per an argument I listed on the cooking meta, say you LOVE real-time strategy games for PCs and have experience with a few dozen, but HATE Starcraft. A question comes up saying, "I love Starcraft, and really want to play more RTS Games, blah blah?"{[RTS][Starcraft][PC-games]}

Is it a success that your filtering of tags makes you unlikely to answer that question, when your expertise would have been ideal?


I think things may be improved by making a distinction between "entities" (php, java, mysql) and "concepts" (bestpractice, design, ui).

For the record, the system filters my results pretty well, but it would be interesting to see whether splitting the tags into groups as suggested above, and giving concepts priority (as they are typically entity independant), would provide even better results.


If you don't hide your Ignore tags the current system isn't perfect, but I think it strikes the balance between greying out and highlighting fairly well.

Looking at it positively, while the question is greyed out because it has at least one of my Ignore tags it's background is changed to show that it has at least one of my Interesting tags, and I might be able to answer the question after all.

  • 1
    This only applies if you don't select the "hide" option in preferences - which I do because otherwise I can get every other question greyed out! Oct 19, 2009 at 19:06

I was about to ask this question, because I noticed a C# and Java question greyed out.

Here's an idea that hasn't been considered: have a "scale of importance" and apply the highlighting/greying based on the "score" of interesting/ignored tags in the question. The score on a question would be calculated as: (# interesting tags) - (# ignored tags), which would give a range of -5 to +5.

So in the case of a question having 1 interesting tag and 1 ignored tag, the score would be 0, and the colour of the question would be left as default. This makes sense because while it involves something we like, we're not sure about what the context will be, so don't let the system decide what to do with it automatically. If a question had 5 interesting tags, then we would really want to have a look at it, so highlight it to the max. The opposite goes for 5 ignored tags, where we probably aren't interested at all.

The situation where this would work the best is with questions that have 2 or 3 interesting tags and 1 ignored tag. There's a better chance of us being able to answer that one, so it would be a shame if it got ignored out of the list (based on the current algorithm).


I suggest Allow assigning a score to tags to determine “interestingness”


This Greasemonkey script prevents questions with Ignored tags from loosing opacity if the question also has a Favorite tag.

(function() {
    function GM_wait() {
        if (typeof unsafeWindow.jQuery == 'undefined') { 
        } else { 
            $ = unsafeWindow.jQuery; letsJQuery(); 
    function letsJQuery() {
        $(function() {
            $("div.tagged-interesting").each(function() {
                $(this).css("opacity", "1.0");

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