Firstly, I've been looking at some questions with broken tags recently. Take a look at What is the difference between Platform-Independent and Cross-Platform? for example. The question is about terminology and has absolutely nothing to do with C, C++, or Java, and I re-tagged it as such, and left a nice reasonable comment, but the author has tagged it back, because he added them to get a bigger audience. This is not the only question where the questioner has added more tags just to attract more attention and admitted to it in the comments on the question. I don't know if I've just noticed more recently, but it seems like this kind of thing is on the significant increase.

This also decreases the utility of the favourite tags feature. I make heavy use of it and I personally find it very irritating to click on a question tagged with my interested tags only to find that actually it has absolutely nothing to do with my interested tags. Normally I just edit them out, but if the author edits them back in, then I don't really know what to do. The questions don't normally deserve closing and I've never seen a question have it's tags locked.

Secondly, I want to draw attention to some use of the chat. People drop in to the chat, drop a link to the question they just asked, and then leave, or give a one-liner asking for help. I don't know if I'm the only one who feels this way, but the chat is for social chatting. It is not a reserve of answerers at the beck and call of anyone who was smart enough to look there. If someone has a question, then we have a Q&A site for that, and if someone wants to look at questions, they will browse said site. It is only somewhat annoying when the question is related to the room topic, but it's getting ridiculous when people are dropping Bash or Javascript questions in the C++ room just because there are people there.

I feel that these two issues are degrading the signal-to-noise ratio. People are doing whatever they can to get more attention for their questions, regardless of whether or not other people actually want to see them.

Should I just get more aggressive about flagging for moderation?

Edit: Not that I'm not sympathetic about having a question with no answer that you can't solve and being stuck waiting for one. I've got my own unanswered questions. I'm just not the guy to be asking about your Android problems.

  • 18
    When they drop in chat to drop their question link and bolt, it's your turn to visit the question and downvote as they wished for it. Obviously they had no thought into the question and chat is easier than reddit.
    – random
    Jul 14, 2011 at 17:08
  • I fixed some of the users' tags. Jul 14, 2011 at 17:24
  • 1
    C++ experts might have a say in the definition of those terms as it applies to their language, so I don't know that it's a terrible usage.
    – Pollyanna
    Jul 14, 2011 at 17:29
  • I re-tagged this question so that it gets more attention.
    – bkaid
    Jul 14, 2011 at 17:32
  • 2
    I believe language-agnostic is the best fit "major" tag.
    – user138231
    Jul 14, 2011 at 17:38
  • 2
    I think that question should go to programmers.stackexchange.com
    – Marcelo
    Jul 14, 2011 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


On the tag misuse issue, once you explain your edit and the OP rolls back the retag, you can go ahead and flag for a moderator so it doesn't turn into an edit/rollback fight. We can lock the question temporarily if one side or the other is being unreasonable.

On the "chat room surgical strike" issue, it's fine to post a question in chat if you want to discuss it live with other people, but sticking around is a prerequisite to discussion. If they're just dropping and leaving, or posting questions in chat rooms where they'd be considered off-topic, then you can flag their message for removal.

Chat message flag

  • 1
    Interesting, I had no idea that was a Frowned-Upon Chat Behavior.
    – Pops
    Jul 14, 2011 at 17:44
  • 4
    @Pop: It probably isn't universally frowned upon if the question is on-topic for the room, but I wouldn't blame anyone for getting irritated by it when the chat room is active. If they really want help, they'll probably stick around. Jul 14, 2011 at 17:50
  • @Pop: It's pretty simple. The chat is for chatting. If I wanted to look at questions, I'd check the questions list and find the question. If you're going to post the question in the chat, then it's for discussing, not for "Please can somebody answer my question".
    – DeadMG
    Jul 15, 2011 at 12:06

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