This might seem like an odd issue to raise, but I'm curious to hear replies. I just asked a question on main. After little while I went back to math.se to check on its status and was confused to discover that I couldn't find it on the main page or under the questions tab. I had to access it directly from my account page. I was puzzled about why this was the case until I realized that I had tagged the question "integration" which is one of my ignored tags.

The above got me thinking. I have certain tags ignored. The complete list is:

  • algebra-precalculus
  • logic
  • calculus
  • probability
  • algebraic-geometry
  • number-theory
  • elementary-number-theory
  • differential-equations
  • integral
  • integration

I didn't really put much thought into it when I ignored these tags. I just sort of figured them for common tags which I either knew nothing about or am not very uninterested in. I think I am going to remove some of these from my ignore list now. But, I am surely not unique in having taken this rather casual approach to ignoring tags.

My questions are:

  1. Which tags do you ignore and why?
  2. Do you think you are often screened from seeing questions that you actually would find interesting?

I confess that part of the motivation for asking this question is to see whether if there are tags which are "widely blacklisted" by the community. Sometimes, you add a tag to one of your questions as a sort of afterthought, thinking "the more tags the better". But, it occurs to me, there might be tags which it would be in your best interest to avoid, if possible (of course sometimes a tag unquestionably relevant and should be added).

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I don't ignore anything. Part of the reason is that tags are ill-defined and often misused, e.g. "integral" might refer intro Calculus problems, real analysis on manifolds, number theory problems involving variables that take only integer values, combinatorial identities involving integrals, etc... $\endgroup$ – user7530 Aug 5 '13 at 0:58

I don't ignore any tags. Often I find myself enjoying some questions, or answers, and even trying to answer some questions that I wouldn't think that I'd be able to.

Sometimes I'd check a question just because I saw the name of some user which I know is an excellent writer. In some cases that user actually wrote an answer (and not just made an edit), and I may enjoy it.

While I can understand why people ignore some tags, the current system prefers "ignore" over "favorite", which is bad. If I were to ignore then I wouldn't see questions which are tagged under both , and say .


I hide somewhere around 70 different tags, but I use the Chrome extension which means that questions having at least one of my favorite tags (I have about 40 favorite tags) are not hidden anyway.

I do this because I am mainly interested in question with some sort of algebraic flavor and I like to keep a window with the active question list open, but if I did this without hiding tags, I would never get around to doing anything else.

If that extension did not exist, I would probably not be hiding any tags at all in fear of missing some nice question combining algebra with some other branch.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes I was rather surprised and dismayed to discover that questions adorned with both a "favorited" and an "ignored" tag are not displayed for me. It seems to me that, in cases of conflict, the only sane thing to do is display the question... $\endgroup$ – Mike F Aug 6 '13 at 4:07
  • $\begingroup$ Where can one find this extension? $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Feb 4 '14 at 3:12
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelGreinecker Near the end of the answer by 5pm on meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/8626/… there is a link to the extension (it does fairly little, and he also explains precisely what it does). $\endgroup$ – Tobias Kildetoft Feb 4 '14 at 7:56
  • $\begingroup$ @TobiasKildetoft Thank you! $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Feb 4 '14 at 8:07

A lot of PSQ hating types ignore . Before I started moderatin', I did too, and since turning it back on I find that I was not missing much.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks, Alexander. Can I ask what PSQ stands for? $\endgroup$ – Mike F Aug 4 '13 at 22:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Mike See here. $\endgroup$ – Andrés E. Caicedo Aug 4 '13 at 22:28
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    $\begingroup$ Although in my experience, a negligible fraction of questions obviously copy-pasted from an assignment sheet are properly tagged as homework. $\endgroup$ – user7530 Aug 5 '13 at 1:03
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @user7530: My experience differs considerably from yours. And I have less faith in your mindreading skills than you apparently have. $\endgroup$ – Brian M. Scott Aug 8 '13 at 16:52

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