We had quite a few requests to remove tags/retag:

But there have also been some protests against some users removing tags from/retagging questions without prior meta consensus:

These protests have not been well received, because they were rather direct/attacking but their spirit is correct. It is not recommended to singlehandedly remove a tag (in the context of SE).

Other sites (for example StackOverflow) have developed a codex/guidelines for this process of tag removal (commonly called burnination)

What shall our rules for reaching a meta consensus before removing a tag/retagging be?

  • $\begingroup$ Note that now we've got some users with the required rep level, there should now be fewer issues with this in that tag synonyms can be made. As this is done by a review process (I believe), there won't be a single user making such changes by themselves, although there is an argument about bringing such potential changes to meta anyway (at least for the not-tiny tags) $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir24601 Apr 11 '18 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ I suggest we set up a weekly chat session (at least for a couple of weeks) in The Classical Channel, to discuss these issues about tagging, re-tagging, modifying tag excerpts and tag-wikis, etc. Community review is a very lengthy process, and I feel moderators can handle these much faster, after getting at least some amount of community consent, during a pre-scheduled chat session. Our community manager (Robert Cartaino) mentioned that we will be getting our mods by this week, or early next week. So, I would recommend considering this issue after that. Let's just wait a few more days. $\endgroup$ – Sanchayan Dutta Apr 11 '18 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Blue I’m disagreeing with using chat as chat is not so good searchable and the rep bar is significantly higher than Meta. Maybe a 12 rep guy has the fantastic argument for keeping a tag but is unable to post it. $\endgroup$ – MEE Apr 11 '18 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ @MEE It's possible for ROs to give specially give access to those low rep members, who are willing to participate in chat. IMO creating too many meta threads about tags, is going to be a messy affair. $\endgroup$ – Sanchayan Dutta Apr 11 '18 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Blue I think though, if someone has an issue with how something is tagged, it's not so much a problem with how the question is tagged, but a result of the underlying issue of unclear tag meanings, so I'd hope that such issues (or at least the ones where we couldn't go "we've already got an answer to this problem here") would decrease with time $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir24601 Apr 11 '18 at 21:19
  • $\begingroup$ Just for FYI, what is the minimum reputation level for creating a tag? $\endgroup$ – user3483902 Apr 12 '18 at 1:59
  • $\begingroup$ @user3483902 currently 150 rep $\endgroup$ – MEE Apr 12 '18 at 5:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Blue this is not true, only mods can give low-rep users write access.(source: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/100291/…) $\endgroup$ – MEE Apr 13 '18 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Blue ok, I have just tried it and failed. I can only give explicit read access but when I say explicit write access it fails and says you need at least 20 rep to talk in chat. Only mods can do so. $\endgroup$ – MEE Apr 15 '18 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ @MEE I see you're right. Apologies. But now we have mods anyway. So no worries :) $\endgroup$ – Sanchayan Dutta Apr 15 '18 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Blue but how do the mods know whom to give write access? This seems to be a problem as low-rep users can’t request write access like in gallery rooms. $\endgroup$ – MEE Apr 15 '18 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ Those low-rep users (with at least 5 rep) who are interested can write it an answer to the relevant meta post I guest. No such post exists as of now, but you could make one. $\endgroup$ – Sanchayan Dutta Apr 15 '18 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ Anyhow, I don't have any strong feelings about this. We can do it your way, too. $\endgroup$ – Sanchayan Dutta Apr 15 '18 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Blue ok, i think we can leave it so for now but in long-term context this can’t be the final solution. Let us stop this discussion for maybe two or three months and look what happens then. I agree that making the long-term solution now wouldn’t be appropriate and is applicable to Roberts wise words about too-early rule making. $\endgroup$ – MEE Apr 15 '18 at 19:44

Major tag problems ("should such-and-such even be a tag?" or "is this tag appropriately defined?") should be brought to meta. Minor tag problems ("insert-stupid-tag-name-here should definitely not be a tag" or "this tag is definitely not applied correctly") should not.

And how can you tell whether the problem is major or minor? By using your judgement. Privileges are afforded to greater rep users because they have shown good judgement. They can generally figure things out. If there's a problem, as there was with then it's just hashed out after the fact.

Because it's tags and not, say, lives on the line, it's okay if there's an edge case that ends up hashed out after the fact. If people are unsure, of course they should take it to meta, but high-rep users can use their privileges with good judgement. If something is blatantly not good judgement, and/or bad judgement is repeated, the mods or community can help take action in correcting the course of the user.

Since the site is young, a weekly chat session to discuss tags as Blue suggested could be very useful, so I'll just second that thought.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm okay with this, with only a small addendum. If your remove a new tag of the category "insert-stupid-tag-name-here should definitely not be a tag", I think it is best to mention it in the comments so that the user who created the tag is notified and then can decide to accept it or take it to meta. $\endgroup$ – Discrete lizard Apr 12 '18 at 11:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Discretelizard, yeah, probably a good thing to do. Agreed. $\endgroup$ – heather Apr 12 '18 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ I am accepting this for now. Please see my comment to Blue above. $\endgroup$ – MEE Apr 15 '18 at 19:48

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