I really love the new tag synonyms feature, but I think that the process of creating a tag synonym should be improved.

Currently, only moderators are allowed to create tag synonyms. Synonyms that are added are ones that have been problematic in the future or have been highly supported in this synonym repository.

I think that the creation feature should be expanded to allow users with a nominal amount of rep, such as 1,000 rep (500 more than the necessary rep to retag), to have a more direct say in tag synonyms.


Here's how a perfect system would work, in my opinion:

  1. Users with the necessary amount of rep submit tag synonyms that they think should be added
  2. Other users with that amount of rep review the submissions
  3. If those users find tag synonyms that they agree should be added, they can vote for the synonyms
  4. Once a synonym gains a certain amount of votes, it is automatically added (unless a moderator intervenes and deletes the submission completely).

With such a system, moderators can still add tag synonyms without going through the submission and voting process, of course.

What do you think?

Would such a system be helpful (on the current "Trilogy" and on new Stack Exchange sites)?

UPDATE: I just noticed that Waffles mentioned something about this in the Tag Synonyms room of Chat:

this is not done yet, im still working on it, the general public (with a rep bar) will be able to suggest and vote on synonyms the current solution does not scale

  • 1
    I already proposed such a system in my answer here. I have no idea what @waffles has planned as far as a public interface, but it's definitely [status-planned] per his comment.
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Jul 17, 2010 at 2:27
  • You've been to the future? And some of our tag synonyms were problematic there? Why don't you say which ones, so we can get rid of them!
    – SamB
    Commented Nov 27, 2010 at 3:57
  • See also meta.stackexchange.com/questions/122995/…
    – ripper234
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 13:49

1 Answer 1


There is now a UI to suggest tag synonyms and vote for them.

  1. You must have more than 2500 reputation to suggest any new synonyms.
  2. You may only suggest synonyms that have a question count lower than the tag selected.
  3. You may not suggest any synonym that is already suggested on another tag.
  4. If it gets 4 score it becomes a synonym
  5. If it gets a -3 score it is deleted
  6. You must have a score of at least 10 on the tag to suggest/vote on synonyms.

This UI is in the info tab.

  • 1
    Nice, but how do we vote on the suggestions? Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 6:52
  • Well you are going to need to have 2000 rep AND there are going to need to be suggestions :) the ui for voting is on the info tab but only visible to people who can vote.
    – waffles
    Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 6:54
  • Nevermind, i was confused by an already established synonym. Nice work :) Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 6:55
  • Great, thanks! Why is the rep limit so high though? :( Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 7:14
  • @Maxim if we need to make it any lower we can always change it later, my call is let it run for a few weeks and then lets see where it takes us.
    – waffles
    Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 7:17
  • 3
    Nice. Although one point - How often to people actually browse to the tag info tab? If I notice the need for a synonym I'll have a reason to go there to suggest it, but do you need some kind of notification to users who are able to vote that there is a new suggested synonym requiring approval? Just a thought. Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 7:51
  • The info tab should acknowledge when a tag is a synonym of another tag. As far as I can tell currently it is only showing synonyms of a head tag.
    – Mark Hurd
    Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 6:18
  • @Mark, the other tags are meant to disappear anyway .. its almost like I would like to redirect to the main tag info page if they hit a synonym
    – waffles
    Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 6:48
  • @waffles it obviously takes a while for the tags to be merged. E.g. check the synonyms of ms-office.
    – Mark Hurd
    Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 10:59
  • @Mark nothing is merged automatically I posted a separate question on dealing with merge
    – waffles
    Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 12:38
  • 4
    Why do we need so much reputation to suggest a new synonyms? Voting I can understand, but not to suggest. Also, how destructive is it. Like if three 2000+ users got together and merged Python and Java?
    – Casebash
    Commented Jul 30, 2010 at 4:00
  • @Casebash: well, we can always do it the old fashioned way, and now there are a lot more people able to get things moving...
    – SamB
    Commented Nov 27, 2010 at 4:00
  • Wouldn't be useful to have a place where lower rep users could suggest synonyms and then highter rep users could actually suggest them? Maybe a specific topic that could be cleaned up from time to time. Commented Feb 23, 2011 at 4:08

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