We have determined, 179 questions too late, that we positively need to kill an ambiguous bad tag, and kill it with fire (= remove it from all questions).

How can we:

  1. Ensure no questions would remain untagged as a result of this operation (I only found two questions that only were tagged with this tag, those probably had the other tag auto-pruned...)
  2. Actually apply fire on tag?
  3. (bonus) Blacklist it, at least for a short re-educating while?
  • It's not really a Meta tag for its majority use. It's just a bad tag, period.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 2 '11 at 19:23
  • It's fine if the only sensible answer is "ask a dev to do it for you." I just don't want to waste dev time doing something I could've done myself. (Hint: retagging rampage, that's not sensible.)
    – badp
    Mar 2 '11 at 19:24
  • Why don't they just find a good, precise way of defining "strategy"? It seems pretty silly to not have a strategy tag on a gaming site. Mar 2 '11 at 19:32
  • 3
    @Lance Because "strategy" on its own is about as meaningless as "program" is to Stack Overflow.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 2 '11 at 19:33
  • 1
    For your information, Jeff used fire on the picture tag over at tex.sx. (No idea if Jeff likes my telling this :-)) Mar 2 '11 at 19:54
  • Just FYI, Jeff has also used burnination on the help tag on Stack Overflow. Mar 2 '11 at 21:07

Currently, there's no clean utility for it outside of dev intervention. There used to be a way for moderators to rename a tag into a blank, thereby eradicating it. This can no longer be done, though.

Aaronut proposed this solution to Seasoned Advice, which I myself have backed. Credit for the concept goes to him, upvote him over there to show support! To roughly summarize it:

Plan for action

  • Merge all of the bad tags with the tag "please-remove-this-tag"
  • Add a tag wiki that explains instructions on how to properly remove that tag, which is in accordance with site traffic.
  • Over the course of eons, slowly remove that tag as it shows up, or finally get back our much-needed utility to destroy a tag.
  • 1
    Sadly the "slowly remove that tag" bit is going to be blinded past by some retaggers.
    – random
    Mar 2 '11 at 19:33
  • 1
    I'd rather skip the merge step then, and do the untagging quietly. Possibly by automatically creating anonymous edit suggestions.
    – badp
    Mar 2 '11 at 19:33
  • @badp The purpose of the merge is to prevent people from using the bad tag for the duration of the process (typically paired with blacklisting the problem tag). Otherwise, it's going to be an uphill battle. Comparatively, no one is going to intentionally put "please-remove-this-tag" on a question
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 2 '11 at 19:35
  • 3
    -1. Although this solution is very scalable, it can lead to outsiders coming to a question and seeing "please remove this tag" as one of its tag... that gives a very unprofessional feeling!
    – Oak
    Mar 2 '11 at 19:35
  • @random On Seasoned Advice, Aaronut laughed at me for suggesting that, but on higher-traffic sites I've always been concerned with it. That's why I haven't done it on Gaming, myself.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 2 '11 at 19:35
  • @Grace For that purpose we could do a tag-synonym towards "please-remove-this-tag", but again skipping the merging. Any new use of the tag gets the "please-remove-this-tag", as a kind of lightweight blacklist, while the old uses don't.
    – badp
    Mar 2 '11 at 19:36
  • @badp That still increases the job time, because "strategy" remains a valid tag that people can add to questions. And, there will be instances of the tag that people will still see, which will just lead to confusion.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 2 '11 at 19:39
  • @Oak Aaro and I went over several concepts of what to use as the dummy tag. Really, there isn't anything good to use for it, but when a tag is dangerous enough to warrant immediate removal, something must be done. I'd rather take temporary professional decrediting over a potential resurgence of a problem tag mid-way. Note that I don't think we actually need to do this for Gaming yet, I think we can afford to be patient enough for a tag removal feature.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 2 '11 at 19:45
  • @Oak: That's no worse than outsiders seeing inappropriate tags, especially tags that they would be encouraged to use on new questions. We had two ridiculous tags on SA, [technique] and [cooking-techniques], and nearly 1/4 of all new questions had at least one of them; after the rename, it went down to maybe 1 out of every 25.
    – Aarobot
    Jul 21 '11 at 23:15

I don't like editorializing in this way.

It'd be like remapping to .

I can support blacklisting tags, but not this weird passive aggressive editorializing with synonyms. This proposal is borderline abusive.

  • 1
    Why are you replying to my comment (or Grace's answer) in an answer? :) I'm asking for a proper way, because I can't see any. I still haven't done anything.
    – badp
    Apr 21 '11 at 8:23
  • 6
    I like where this is going. C/C++ would become I-am-a-cranky-git, PHP Wide-eyed-simpleton. A whole new dimension of family fun!
    – Pekka
    Apr 21 '11 at 8:29
  • @badp There are currently 133 questions on SO tagged as 'computer', at least one of which sports this marvelous tag as the only tag. I agree with @Jeff. If you look at that tag page, you'll see more tag problems than just the computer tag. Burning the single tag, at least in this case, would leave many questions still poorly / improperly tagged. However, I'd support banning that particular tag, as we assume you're talking about a computer when asking a programming question.
    – Tim Post
    Apr 21 '11 at 8:33
  • 2
    @Tim I agree it's not proper. That's why I'm asking if there's something proper.
    – badp
    Apr 21 '11 at 9:35

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