I just rejected about 10 edits from the same user who were just retagging questions from 3 month to 1 year ago. I accepted the first few, then realised it was the same user, giving the same reason for each edit. The tags before were already appropriate. He added tags which could be added, but this is not really necessary. I think this is just ridiculous attempt to gain reputation.

The reason I did this was that many of these questions have answers and retagging them would just clog up question feed. I want to ask:

  1. Did I do the right thing here?

  2. is there sort of warning you can give people requesting users not to do this or report to moderators to give them a warning?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I, personally, think that posts over three months old should be flagged when they enter the review queue for an edit. See here. Then appropriate action can be taken. I also think that your action was correct. $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 11:54
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I think what you did is okay. Please make sure to explain to the user (using the form which allows rejections of proposed edits) why this type of retagging could be bad form. You should feel free to flag if necessary. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 12:46
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I support your action. I don't think any reputation can be earned from such actions - it was probably a badge hunter. Beware though. It is barely possible that such an edit spree is part of a group retagging effort. However, in those cases the involved members are usually veterans, who can edit without needing the review queue. Also the retagging will then have been discussed in meta in advance. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ @WillieWong so when you reject and provide a reason, the user sees this? $\endgroup$
    – Lost1
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 13:18
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Lost1: yes, the user can see it. Whether the user chooses to pay attention to it is, well, up to the user. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 13:19
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Is there a good reason that retagging should bump questions anyway? I occasionally see mistagged questions from more than a few months ago that I'd like to retag, but are obviously not worth bumping to the front page. $\endgroup$
    – user98602
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 14:26
  • 14
    $\begingroup$ Maybe it was a "ridiculous attempt to gain reputation" ... or maybe he just didn't realize that re-tagging many old questions would flood the front page. Instead of accusing him, just refer him to one of the threads here recommending a limit of 3 minor edits of old posts per day. $\endgroup$
    – GEdgar
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 15:07
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ For the right users that may be interested in and can posssibly answer a particular question, it is important that it has the right tags. For example on Physics SE I sometimes only got an answer (and more upvotes too) after somebody retagged ... So I disagree with rejecting retags if the tags added are appropriate, even of old questions (what is wrong with bringing good old questions back to the front page such that new users can see the too, anyway?). As I was still able to review, I always approved such edits. The right tags are important to reach the right audience for the questions. $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 16:08
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Dilaton Tags are important, but they are also subjective. Say you had a question which said "prove that every subgroup of a finite abelian group is normal". Possible tags would be group theory, abstract algebra, abelian groups or finite groups. Adding either of the last two would be pointless, especially if the question is 6 months old and has an answer. $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Dilaton: I don't know how tags work out on Physics.SE, but here there is a huge overlap, and sometimes people add relevant-but-unnecessary tags. For example something tagged with abstract-algebra having group-theory added to it. It's not irrelevant, but definitely unnecessary, and even more so when the post itself has been inactive for several months. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Dec 23, 2013 at 15:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila I can guess what you mean... At physics we have many non-physics-term tags created by people who know not even enough physics to find the proper subfield or classification tags they should use ... And there is a user who explicitely admits to not know much about physics who keeps attaching these dilettante tags to many questions. This is annoying even when done to recent questions, because these everyday language tags make physics SE look not very professional to say the least... So yes, I think adding unneeded tags can be rather contra productive ... $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Commented Dec 23, 2013 at 17:57

1 Answer 1


This was too long for a comment. Sorry!

I find that plenty of (often quite old) MSE questions show up in search engines, questions whose tags could be improved - so I improve them and move on. For example, I might think an interesting & helpful (alternative) answer to some search-pertinent question might come from, say, Universal Algebra, but I happen to be ill-equipped or not patient enough at the time to supply it, so provide the appropriate tag instead (which I hope is okay); but then I still haven't found what I was looking for: next!

So perhaps what you saw was the path of destruction of some frustrated Googler like me.

Is it really such a bad thing that good questions get bumped up to the front page like that? I'm not sure. Maybe someone might benefit from it or at least be saved from making a duplicate. Answers don't have to be for the person who first asked the question . . . Right?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ sure, i dont think there is anything wrong with it, but not 15 posts at once! $\endgroup$
    – Lost1
    Commented Dec 30, 2013 at 20:49

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