I have a maintenance question about tags (I'm a temp. moderator on cstheory.SE). When merging tags, the spec says that the Master tag will exist after the merge: however, if I try to merge an existing tag into what will be a brand new tag, the system croaks (complaining correctly that the Master tag doesn't exist yet).

The only way to fix this is to create the tag by retagging, but then this bumps up a question to the top of the front page for no good reason.

So my question is: is this expected behaviour? It seems to contradict the postconditions specified when merging tags (i.e that the Master tag doesn't need to exist prior to the merge). Also, I was under the impression that moderator relabelling doesn't promote a post to the top of the front page, but it did in this case.

3 Answers 3


Try doing the following:

  1. Create a testing question by asking, then immediately deleting a question
  2. If you're not going to have mod abilities going forward, bookmark the question so you can find it again easily (you'll likely need to use it again)
  3. Retag the question to create the desired master tag (do this in step 1 the first time)
  4. Run the tag merge as the target tag now "exists"
  5. Optional: untag the testing question.

I do this process here on Meta for tag synonyms where the synonym doesn't exist yet (requires 10k). I'm assuming it should work for a tag merge as well.



If the Remove Tag does not exist, the Master Tag will be renamed to the Remove Tag.

this does of course entirely contradict:

The Master Tag will exist after the merge.

So the trick when renaming tags is to place:

  • Master Tag : old tag name
  • Rename Tag : new tag name

I'll clarify the wording...


Yes, this is the intended behavior. It allows other site users to monitor the retagging.

  • 1
    Moderator bulk re-tagging is not handled this way. Jan 4, 2011 at 8:37

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