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This is the front page of Meta Stack Exchange as I'm writing this post:

enter image description here

Even though is used less often than the other three tags on that question, it's still listed before it. Presumably it has a certain flag (other than being red / moderator only) which makes it appear 'before' regular tags. However, this is not the case for . Is this by design? Another recently added red tag, , does always seem to appear right after the required tags. Even stranger, on the question Improving the Review Queues - Project overview does appear in the familiar order. What's going on here?

  • 3
    It appears to be a tag dedicated to the product team, perhaps it being staff-only has something to do with it, since the other red tags started out as moderator-only? Regardless, I agree it should be roughly in the same place as the other red tags: up front. Possibly with the least priority of them (most right if more red tags are applied), but definitely before the mortal ones. – Mast Jul 27 '20 at 17:40
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When tags on a post are saved to the database, they are sorted in the following order:

  1. Required
  2. Moderator
  3. By number of posts (desc) using the tag

The sort order of the tags is determined at the time that the tags are saved. This is not calculated when the post is displayed - it takes the saved sort order.

The current posts that use are:

image of four posts using the product-discovery tag, one of which has the tag after the required tag, and the other three have the tag at the end of the list of tags

You will notice that only one of these posts has the tag showing up in its proper place (second). So why is that?

It has to do with the timing around these posts. They were all posted on April 23, between 16:27 and 18:11.

However, looking at the history of the tag, the tag itself was not actually made into a moderator tag until April 24 at 13:34 (I know, because I ran the dev route to do so, check out the tag wiki history as well). So since at the time that these posts were made, and tags were saved for the first time, was not a moderator tag, it was sorted to the end of the list (since it had the lower post count of any of the non-required and non-mod tags that were added).

So why does one of the posts have the tag in the correct position (second)? Because that post had its tags edited after the tag was made into a moderator tag. The tag edit happened on May 7, when I removed the tag:

revision history for the post in question, showing tag updates happening on May 7, and the product-discovery tag switching positions

You can see here that the tag actually switches position from last to second - the resorting will happen whenever tags are edited.

Hope that this has cleared up the mystery.


out of place mod tag
has Glorfindel stumped, for real
timing is the key

  • 2
    I've gone through all three posts with the wrong order and edited them so they're in the right order. (Unfortunately, the system detected those edits as "reverted during grade period", so my edit summary on those was overwritten.) – Sonic the Curiouser Hedgehog Jul 27 '20 at 20:14

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