Many people have tag badges or the dupehammer for moderator-only tags. I think this is a problem since it defeats the whole point of being an "expert" in a tag, since these tags only tell what the community is planning to do with a question. This might lead to inappropriate closures with the dupehammer. Therefore, I think we should get rid of tag badges, or at least the dupehammer, for moderator-only tags.

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    All awards of tag badges for status tags have either been to current employees or ex-employees who had moderator privileges at the time and aren't active on the sites today. Are you suggesting that ex-employees will abuse their dupehammers issued to them from the time they worked at SE? Or are you concerned that someone will go through and post answers to older questions using those tags to earn those badges (it's highly likely that they'll earn a badge for a required tag first)? Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 5:54
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    I should also add that removing tag badges for status tags takes away one award for staff to post answers detailing why they added a status tag. That's a behavior I'd prefer to encourage, and the whole point of badges is to encourage behaviors. Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 5:57
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    This might lead to - has this happened? Even once? If you see a moderator or staff member abusing a moderator-only tag, by all means, flag it. Until it becomes a problem, I'm not sure there's a problem to solve or anything to gain by changing the current behavior... and no, this opinion is not influenced by being both a current staff member and a former moderator.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 6:23
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    Also, there's only a handful of 'regular' users with gold badges for those - and if they abuse it - we can have words. And if staff 'misunderstand' the use of a tool or badge, it seems a great opportunity for their peers, and the community to educate them politely Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 11:29
  • @JourneymanGeek politely ... is that with or without the pitchforks?
    – rene
    Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 11:53
  • Yes. Though no tarring and feathering tho Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 12:00
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    Does this answer your question? Don't give dupe-hammer for special tags. While this one's older, that one has an official response from staff. Commented Feb 3, 2023 at 23:58
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    The question here seems to be about the moderator-only tags (e.g. status-review), but the accepted answer talks about the required tags (which are also special, but different). Can you elaborate (in the question, not in comments!) to indicate which ones you mean and specifically why you think there might be (or have been) inappropriate closures? As with the potential duplicate created tonight, this seems to be a solution in search of a problem.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Feb 4, 2023 at 0:35

2 Answers 2


You are trying to solve a problem that does not exist.

According to SEDE, no moderator-only tags have been used to dupehammer questions here.

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    For what it's worth, this hasn't happened on Meta Stack Overflow, either. (Somewhat surprisingly, actually. I would have expected at least one moderator or staff members to have managed this.) Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 14:40

I believe that the problem is non-existent for a couple of reasons:

  • Currently there're no holders that aren't / weren't staff members, that's 16 in status-completed, 2 in status-declined

  • No question is asked with a status-tag in it, so no holder of this badge can just dupe-hammer it shortly after it's asked (which is usually the time you check a post to find out whether it's a dupe or not)

  • Even if misuse happens in status-* tags in future, I believe that this problem is just a drop in ocean, since we could as well say the same regarding the broad obligatory tags here. What does it mean if you have a tag badge in discussion? Are you an expert of discussion, why do you have to have dupe-hammering powers? Moreover, what if you have a tag badge in all the required tags (hint - you get powers to close any question)? Even if it doesn't denote any knowledge, it still denotes your heavy participation on meta, that's it

Anyway, once a bug report or feature request gets the status-tag it's considered to be a solved problem / a closed question. Even if it's closed as duplicate, in most cases it's closed so as to leave a link to an announcement where the addressed problem was solved, and a target is not really an "original question with an answer", it's not that duplicates here work exactly the way they do as on non-meta sites. From this point of view, duplicate in this case is not a matter of opinion, it's just a link to the announcement and even if a user happened to have the mjolnir in the tag to link the questions single-handedly, good for him. In some other cases, it could just happen that staff adressed a problem while it was actually a duplicate report. Well, why not mark it as duplicate then.

  • From what I know even of regular dupe-hammer privileges on gold badges, if a question wasn't initially tagged with your appropriate gold badge, adding it yourself does not then give you dupe-hammer privileges on that particular question. [This may, of course, be different for mods & staff.]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 10:58
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    @Tetsujin I just scienced it, it is no different for moderators.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 11:10
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    @tet that’s right, unless the tag added by someone else
    – nicael
    Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 12:05

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