I was looking (randomly) through SO tags when I jumped to the last page which have some tags like which has Zero questions (among others).

Not sure if this a bug or I'm missing something here


2 Answers 2


Unused tags are deleted, unless they're synonyms of another tag. But it does take a while for the tags to be completely removed from the system. Instead of being deleted immediately, they are silently and automatically removed after a period of time goes by with zero questions carrying that tag.

Browsing the list of tags by popularity and then looking at the last page is a fairly uncommon use case. Those tags are by definition the least popular tags on the entire website, probably not the ones that you wanted to see.

In fact, most of the tags listed on that page are synonyms of other tags. You can verify this by clicking on the tag, and then clicking the "synonyms" link at the top of the resulting page. , for example, is a synonym of the tag.

For more about tag synonyms, see this question: What are tag synonyms? How do they work?

I'm not sure where you think the bug is; this seems like expected behavior to me.

  • What about the other point, the "follow/favorite" dialogue? May 20, 2011 at 12:58
  • @Shady - It doesn't do anything. You can't follow or favorite a tag synonym: it's not actually a real tag. Any question someone tries to apply that tag to a question, it will be automatically retagged with the "master" tag.
    – Cody Gray
    May 20, 2011 at 12:59
  • That's exactly what I want them to do, to show the full tag and allow me to favorite it. Actually I was doing so (at the first couple of pages, though :D), going through the tags to check what I've been messing and adding the ones I find interesting to me May 20, 2011 at 13:02
  • @Shady probably should be a separate feature request.
    – Belinda
    May 20, 2011 at 13:09

We already do this, see

Should We Zap The Low-Occurrence Tags?

I've implemented a routine that removes tags created more than 6 months ago which have been used only a single time. It will run monthly.

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