I wasn't able to find guidelines as to how generally tagging is done on SO (and possibly other SE sites).

Not that we want to have a long list of rules or rule-likes but something tags such as AND are unnecessary and sometimes may cause non-ideal behavior.

Take, for example, users who have an interest in but have no interest in . Tagging a question both means such users will also be distracted to such a question via the highlighting system. But if one follows a principle that since implies , it doesn't mean they need to also tag with .

In other words, being a subset (in terms of interest, so-to-say) of , people interested in are not necessarily interested in .

  • I've asked a similar question some days ago: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/60816/… Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 11:13
  • I just read that. Like you say, it is similar. :) It isn't really about a useless tag here. Technically it is python but saying it is django only is for one, sufficient and two helps people interested in only python (otherwise they would add django too to the interested-in list).
    – 101
    Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 11:25
  • related: implicit tagging hierarchy, this would allow [django] questions to be associated with [python] (e.g. for those who ignore python) without actually tagging them [python]. Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 12:15
  • And I was thinking the other way around. People who are not tagging [django] AND [python] (and only [django]) are doing good. Edit to the question.
    – 101
    Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


General guidelines for tagging where one tag can be considered a subset of another

If both tags apply to the question, then use both.

If one tag applies to the question, and the other tag applies to the first tag (but not directly to the question itself), then omit the latter.

If you're not sure, then use both.

Don't use non-applicable tags to draw in more readers. And don't omit applicable tags to shield readers from subjects they're not interested in: you can easily craft a search to exclude tags you aren't personally interested in.

For specific examples, see: Should jQuery questions always be tagged with “javascript”?

  • 1
    I like the idea, don't tag a tag if it only applies to the first tag. Would be nice if someone everyone could be made aware of that. PS: Didn't mean disinterest though. =)
    – 101
    Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 19:09
  • You mean that "if I'm not sure use both" so the folks can fix them later right? BTW, this is still valid, right?
    – Braiam
    Commented Apr 24, 2014 at 1:32
  • If that becomes useful, sure @braiam. If it isnt, then it's not necessary. Removing information is usually easier than adding it.
    – Shog9
    Commented Apr 24, 2014 at 1:56
  • So, just to make it more explicit: if a tag ends being irrelevant to the solution of the problem after everything is said and done it should get removed. If another tag is discovered to be relevant it should be added. Like that?
    – Braiam
    Commented Apr 24, 2014 at 4:06
  • 1
    What? No; you're headed into the weeds, @Braiam. Tags describe the question, not answers.
    – Shog9
    Commented Apr 24, 2014 at 4:13
  • Oh, then I was right here? meta.unix.stackexchange.com/q/2848/41104
    – Braiam
    Commented Apr 24, 2014 at 4:22
  • I'm not sure why you're fixating on the asker's intent there, @Braiam; you know quite well that folks asking questions are often hard-put to pick even one applicable tag. As I said, tags should describe the question; see the example I linked to, where all of the tags were added by editors after the fact based on their knowledge of the topic.
    – Shog9
    Commented Apr 24, 2014 at 4:34
  • Sorry, but I missed the link, unless you are talking about jQuery/JS. So, if OP knowledge is limited, is ok to add the tag? What about overlapping ones?
    – Braiam
    Commented Apr 26, 2014 at 1:24
  • Still don't see what the OP has to do with anything, @Braiam. Find me in chat next week, I think we're talking past each other.
    – Shog9
    Commented Apr 26, 2014 at 2:12

You must log in to answer this question.

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