I recently asked a couple questions with the tag. A mega-high-rep user removed that tag. Now, the tag doesn't exist.

screenshot showing defunct tag

What gives? Why was the tag deleted?

Update: I don't know if it was the same person who removed the tag from my questions, and then later removed the tag from the site. Maybe a tag disappears once it is no longer associated with any questions.

To respond to some comments I decided to link to my comment where I asked him why he did it. When I found that page again, I discovered that he actually had already responded to my question (but I hadn't read his response because he forgot to ping me).

Anyway, his response was

IMO it's already covered by code-of-conduct.

Personally, I disagree; a code of conduct hopefully covers a whole lot more than just pronouns.

  • It's simply not possible for somebody of high reputation to remove a tag from the system itself single-handed. Oct 8, 2019 at 1:18
  • 14
    @JasonBassford If a tag is removed from all questions it's deleted by a scheduled task that runs once a day. I have deleted a lot of tags that way Oct 8, 2019 at 2:57
  • 3
    @CharlieBrumbaugh Yes, of course. The question didn't seem to describe the situation in that way. At least to me, it read as if somebody deliberately (as we informally call it) burninated a tag, something that can't be done by a single high-reputation user. Oct 8, 2019 at 3:42
  • 4
    There is no contradiction between it's already covered by code-of-conduct and a code of conduct hopefully covers a whole lot more than just pronouns.
    – Jan Doggen
    Oct 8, 2019 at 8:52
  • 3
    Great question. If we're going to make pronouns a big issue, it goes to follow that questions should be tagged accordingly.
    – user212646
    Oct 12, 2019 at 0:51

4 Answers 4


Rhetorical question: Why does this site need a tag named pronouns?

It looks to be a meta-tag. What about code-of-conduct-pronouns? But before creating such tag...

(more rhetorical questions)

  • How many questions already exist that could use that tag?
  • Are there already experts in the subject of that tag who could be interested in following it?

The following was added to the question after I posted the first revision of this answer:

Anyway, his response was

IMO it's already covered by code-of-conduct.

Personally, I disagree; a code of conduct hopefully covers a whole lot more than just pronouns.

As I understand it, the comment author meant that a new tag is not required because we already have . Again, rhetorical questions:

  • Why do we need something like code-of-conduct-pronouns?
    • Are already other concepts on the CoC that are being discussed separately?
    • Are there people that is interested on pronouns but no not on other concepts like being constructive?
    • Is the CoC so complex / controversial that each concept should be discussed separately?

Why was the pronoun tag removed?

Let me quote the Help Center:

When should I create new tags?

Most common tags already exist on a mature site. You should always favor existing tags; only create new tags when you feel you can make a strong case that your question does cover a new topic that nobody else has asked about before on this site.

The existing tag that covers the topic of these questions is . This isn't the first time that pronouns are the subject of discussion on Meta Stack Exchange:

(from searching for 'pronouns')

Lastly, while if you're even a little bit aware of the current events, it's crystal clear what we're talking about when we use the word 'pronouns'. But in a few years, it may be less so, especially for new users. They could equally well think 'hey, pronouns are on-topic here, let me ask an English grammar question about them'. This question is also about pronouns, but not in the way we're currently talking about them. A more specific tag (maybe [code-of-conduct-pronouns] as suggested by Ruben) might have more merit, but I think the volume is simply too low right now and hopefully it won't grow too much in the future.

Maybe a tag disappears once it is no longer associated with any questions.

You're right: tags are automatically deleted (after ~24 hours) if they have no questions, or (after six months) if they have only one question and no tag wiki or tag excerpt.

(but I hadn't read his response because he forgot to ping me).

I'm sorry about that, I assumed that since you posted the last comment it would automatically ping you. It turns out it doesn't, so I've added this exception to the proposed FAQ.

  • 2
    Thanks for following up, and sorry I missed your comment initially. // There is no tag for gender either. There are lots of possibilities, e.g. pronouns-and-gender, pronoun-use, CoC-pronoun-use, etc. I don't think I have enough rep here to create a tag so I hope you or someone else will give it some thought and create something. Oct 8, 2019 at 17:22
  • 2
    @aparente001 It seems to me we could use an inclusion tag for discussions about being inclusive that are not necessarily CoC issues.
    – ColleenV
    Oct 8, 2019 at 17:27
  • @ColleenVpartedways - I hope you will create such a tag. It would be best if you did it, rather than me, because I might not have understood exactly your idea. Dec 31, 2019 at 16:06

Ping that user to ask them -- you can always directly ping anyone who edits your post. And if you disagree for a substantive reason, roll back their edit.

I suspect the reason may be that they don't believe such a tag is worthwhile / should not exist at all, and don't want it to exist to potentially mislead other people. But no one can speak for them.

  • 1
    I pinged the person and asked him why he removed the tag. // I can't restore the tag to my questions because it doesn't exist any more. I don't have enough rep to recreate it, and I wouldn't do that anyway because edit wars are no fun. But thanks for trying to help. // Can you explain the potentially mislead idea you mentioned at the end of your post? Thanks. Oct 7, 2019 at 22:02
  • 8
    Sure thing. What I mean is, if someone doesn't think the tag should exist, then its existence would wrongly imply people should use it. Taghounds are (in general rightfully) worried that leaving a tag around is like a broken window. It might become popular, and then it becomes a lot harder to clean up if it needs to go away later.
    – user206222
    Oct 7, 2019 at 22:29

Let’s talk about the ethos of a good tag.

Now, I hate tags (oddly enough. I hate many things!).

On the other hand, folks have pretty good ideas about tags I hate less. While this is meta, meta tags are pretty disliked.

As per the meta tags tag wiki,

Meta tags are tags which describe something other than the question's content--such as the author's skill level, motivation, or current take on it. Alternatively, they may be ill-defined concepts which make consistent application of the tag difficult or impossible.

Arguably a pronoun tag kind of falls under the last.

Now if you wanted to do this properly - let’s consider a few things that would ease the way

  • Is there a reasonable amount of support from the community?

On a regular site, this would be on meta. On meta, well you can ask on meta. Conventionally you'd talk about consensus, but let’s be realistic here.

  • Can you define the topic as a tag wiki and a tag wiki excerpt?

I've not seen an effort to, and a meta post should hash this out

  • does it help searchability for a stand-alone topic of general interest?

At least the last time I removed it, the tag didn't meet any of this criteria. Maybe the last, but there's a reason it's the last.

  • 1
    Would you kindly point me to a post that has instructions for how one is supposed to go about creating a new tag? Dec 30, 2019 at 16:04
  • Take a look at this and this . This seems appropriate too. Via The Faq Dec 31, 2019 at 2:44
  • Thanks, but that's a lot of thises. Care to narrow it down to one or two? I'm working on deadline. Dec 31, 2019 at 2:45
  • 1
    You asked. I don't see any deadline. You want to get it done right, with tags that seem controversial - they've been rolled back, you either get some community support you can point to me, or read and cross all the ts and dot all the is. My post seems a reasonable level of specific suggestions that would work Dec 31, 2019 at 2:47
  • Sorry. The deadlines I'm dealing with are my own. They have nothing to do with you or SE. I'm asking, as a favor, for you to simplify and streamline, if you can. I appreciate that you want to be complete in your guidance -- but I've got several very tight deadlines so I'm asking for your assistance, in narrowing down the amount of reading I'll need to do, to follow the recommended procedure. Dec 31, 2019 at 2:58
  • But... I don't think the tag is valid. I rolled back the edit. The best I can do is improve your chances of the tag being created and sticking. I gave a short bit of advice, when you asked for pointing you at the post, I found and pointed you at the appropriate faqs. My answer is the simple version. My comment is the fuller version. Dec 31, 2019 at 3:00
  • It wasn't your text that was too involved. That was fine. I understood what you wrote in your comment. The problem is that you have pointed me to four different links. Normally I'd be okay reading four different links -- but right now I have to limit the work I do on things other than the crunch stuff I have to do by some very tight deadlines. I hope you understand. Dec 31, 2019 at 3:02
  • Okay, I've had a look at your links. The first two are identical -- perhaps you accidentally pasted in a wrong link. None of them tell me best practice for creating a new tag. However, your helpful link the the FAQ led me to meta.stackexchange.com/a/146950/287826. I will attempt to follow the instructions posted there. Dec 31, 2019 at 16:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .