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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. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Oct 8 at 1:18
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    @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 – Reinstate Monica Oct 8 at 2:57
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    @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. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Oct 8 at 3:42
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    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 at 8:52
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    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 at 0:51
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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, the comment author was 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?
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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.

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    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. – aparente001 Oct 8 at 17:22
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    @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 at 17:27
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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.

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    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. – aparente001 Oct 7 at 22:02
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    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. – Aza Oct 7 at 22:29

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