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Note. After over one month of discussion, and more than one week of voting, I think the community has decided.

  1. Leave the tag alone: 43 upvotes (20.38%)
  2. Consider the tag deprecated, but do not remove it from the system: 12 upvotes (5.69%)
  3. Request that the tag be burninated and blacklisted: 156 upvotes (73.93%)

So it seems like we'll be requesting that is burninated and blacklisted. See this question for the next (and final) steps in the process.


  1. New users don't normally include it, whether or not their question is homework. On the list of newest questions, most are of the homework type, but few are tagged as such. If the goal is to identify or filter homework question, the tag fails at that.

  2. Despite of 1, it is used often enough to be the top tag on the site. So it gets to be the one inserted in the page title. For example, this question is titled homework - Finding the adjoint of an operator instead of functional analysis - Finding the adjoint of an operator. The beginning of page title heavily influences the way Google treats the page (this is why the tag is put there to begin with). The (homework) tag deprives the page titles of the site from including the most important key words.

  3. Gold tag badge confers the ability to unilaterally close duplicates with that tag (and SE might extend this ability to other closure reasons in the future). This makes sense if the badge indicates the expertise in some subject. But homework is not a subject. There is no such thing as being an expert in homework.

  4. The tag is featured on the front page for new users, promoting the image of the site as a homework factory:

    enter image description here

If it's too much work to delete the tag, I suggest to at least change the tag wiki to say that the tag is deprecated and should not be used. The users who wish to receive a hint instead of full solution can say so themselves. Tags are for classification, not communication.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 Well argued! $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Jun 10 '14 at 20:53
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    $\begingroup$ Another small problem with meta tags like homework is that you can end up with only the meta tag on a question, and not a single tag that indicates what the question is actually about. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Jun 10 '14 at 21:33
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    $\begingroup$ @GitGud SE has the ability to remove tags entirely, and this would be a case where they would use it. There would still be quite a bit of work required to clean up any questions that would end up without any tags, but those are badly tagged right now as well. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Jun 10 '14 at 21:36
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    $\begingroup$ While in principle you raise some good arguments, I have an issue with the third reason: (1) unilateral closures can be reversed by users; (2) at the moment this is only for duplicate, and if someone can close as a duplicate more questions because of the homework tag, it's a positive thing; (3) What happens when someone gets a gold badge in soft-question or big-list? Do we blacklist those as well, just because "you can't be an expert on big lists"? Again, the other three points are good and provoke some thinking, but the third one is not very good. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 10 '14 at 22:13
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    $\begingroup$ Personally, I'll prefer to keep the homework tag and question that are really homework without this tag should simply be closed and removed from the question pool. $\endgroup$ – achille hui Jun 11 '14 at 1:43
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    $\begingroup$ Well, this would result in many people losing their bronze/silver/gold badge for homework questions. That's probably going to be a heartbreaking experience. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jun 11 '14 at 8:17
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    $\begingroup$ "Tags are for classification, not communication." I agree that the [homework] tag doesn't serve a purpose in terms of classification. Proof: no one searches MSE for questions tagged [homework]. $\endgroup$ – Gyu Eun Lee Jun 14 '14 at 19:12
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    $\begingroup$ With 46 upvotes vs. 1 downvote, the meta community clearly supports this proposal. How can we move it forward? $\endgroup$ – Ayman Hourieh Jun 15 '14 at 21:29
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    $\begingroup$ May I add the following?: 5. Homework questions will, at some point, no longer be homework questions. 6. It's already deprecated on StackOverflow for similar reasons (ref.). $\endgroup$ – Rebecca J. Stones Jun 20 '14 at 1:37
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    $\begingroup$ While we are on topic, get rid of the "self-learning" tag too. $\endgroup$ – IAmNoOne Jun 23 '14 at 3:46
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    $\begingroup$ If we ban homework, we won't need a homework tag. $\endgroup$ – wolfies Jun 24 '14 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ While we are at it, let's simply delete all questions that have a HOMEWORK tag. That will certainly help de-clutter the place. Most homework questions could be more than adequately answered by reference to a wiki page anyway. $\endgroup$ – wolfies Jun 24 '14 at 17:58
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    $\begingroup$ @wolfies: While we're at it, let's delete all the questions from the site. Surely they can all be answered by adequate research and studying. It will also free the time of many users to pursue more productive things. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 25 '14 at 4:31
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    $\begingroup$ @wolfies: And no amount of false positive that will disappear with this "big cleanse" is worth keeping? Please let me know, so I can start tagging everything you ever posted on the site as [homework]. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 25 '14 at 10:39
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    $\begingroup$ @This: For the last week or so, pretty much. It is abnormal. It appears that more than half of the mods are currently busy with other matters (conferences, vacations, etc.). I've put in a request for a 20% increase, and the SE team said they'll oblige. Now I just have to ask the fine folks of math.SE what 20% of 0 is.... :-/ $\endgroup$ – user642796 Jul 20 '14 at 5:57
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The (homework) tag should be burninated and blacklisted.


This means that we will request the SE team to completely remove the tag from the system and ensure that it cannot be re-created. This will result in a large number (at present over 900) of questions, which will be the responsibility of the community to fix.

Upvote this answer if you agree with the above option. (Downvotes will be ignored, so please do not downvote.)

locked by robjohn Jul 30 '14 at 0:35
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    $\begingroup$ Can we also have a vote to ban taxes? That might be quite popular amongst the masses, though not necessarily entirely helpful $\endgroup$ – wolfies Jul 22 '14 at 14:00
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    $\begingroup$ Current number of upvotes on this answer, for those under 1000 rep. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jul 22 '14 at 21:29
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    $\begingroup$ +1, but I'm a bit concerned about the procedure here: this is (now) displayed prominently as the top answer, and there's no indication that there's another two options. Additionally, the reader is told not to downvote (and is criticized if they do), so if they don't know about the other options, they might think that not upvoting is what they should do. (Also, by what margin would this answer need to win by to be implemented?) $\endgroup$ – Rebecca J. Stones Jul 23 '14 at 12:27
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    $\begingroup$ @RebeccaJ.Stones: Unfortunately, this is probably the best we can do with the tools readily available. If you look at the "banner" added to the question above, you'll see that the three options are named, with a link provided to the relevant answer. I don't have a percentage needed to win in mind, but currently almost 80% of the votes have gone to one option. I imagine this would satisfy any reasonable requirement. $\endgroup$ – user642796 Jul 23 '14 at 13:53
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, I simply didn't see the message up top. It's fair enough then. $\endgroup$ – Rebecca J. Stones Jul 23 '14 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Thisismuchhealthier.: while I have no uses for the link to see number of upvotes you posted, I still can't figure out how to actually use it. What exactly need to be done to use that code? $\endgroup$ – Gina Jul 24 '14 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Gina One the number of upvotes counts in such a poll. When some users downvote, disregarding the directions, the score of an answer does not accurately reflect the number of upvotes on it. Only users with at least $1000$ reputation can see the number of upvotes by clicking the score. So I posted a link that makes it possible for everyone to see the number of upvotes if they wish. When clicked, it currently shows "up_vote_count":106. The rest of the code is some unavoidable fluff. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jul 24 '14 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ The moderation work of Arthur Fischer was finally rewarded ... with a gold badge, the second-ever Great Answer badge issued on meta. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jul 27 '14 at 2:56
36
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The (homework) tag should be left as is.


Upvote this answer if you agree with the above option. (Downvotes will be ignored, so please do not downvote.)

locked by robjohn Jul 30 '14 at 0:35
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    $\begingroup$ Some men simply want to watch the homework tag burn. $\endgroup$ – user61527 Jul 20 '14 at 0:25
  • $\begingroup$ @ArthurFischer what do you think is the probability the two down votes comes from the same person who voted for the first option. $\endgroup$ – Lost1 Jul 21 '14 at 14:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Lost1 I would consider the probability as rather low, since the down-votes did not happen at about the same time. $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 21 '14 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ Current number of upvotes on this answer, for those under 1000 rep. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jul 22 '14 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ The homework tag should be left as it is. Many students have tough homework and they need help with their homework. Maybe their chapter is too hard and they need help with homework. Homework tag should be left intact. $\endgroup$ – Abhishekstudent Jul 29 '14 at 17:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Abhishekstudent: This is not about getting rid of homework questions on math.SE, but only of removing the tag homework. Stack Overflow went through something similar many moons ago, and (quality) homework questions are still welcome there. $\endgroup$ – user642796 Jul 29 '14 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ @ArthurFischer So, why not leave homework tag as it is? $\endgroup$ – Abhishekstudent Jul 29 '14 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Abhishekstudent: Some of the reasons are highlighted in the question above. (You have to scroll down because some stupid moderator keeps on adding stuff to the top.) In short, the tag provides no information about what the question is about, it is not uniformly used on homework questions, and it ends up giving the site the image of a homework factory (whether that is true or not, I guess it's not good PR). $\endgroup$ – user642796 Jul 29 '14 at 17:22
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I am posting this in order to give users an opportunity to vote for an opposite proposal. (Since it is a pretty radical change, I think we should also weigh the arguments against the removal of the tag.)

I am making this post CW - feel free to add arguments why you consider this tag useful.


Why the tag could be useful:

  • It helps users who do not want see trivial stuff, since most frequently questions tagged (homework) are rather simple and such users can ignore this tag.
  • It helps users who do want to help students by giving hints and nudging them into right direction - since these are precisely the questions where hints are more expected than full-fleshed answers. (Some users certainly consider this site not only as site for asking questions and giving answers, but also the site for teaching and they try to use pedagogical approach to needs of students asking questions.)
  • It serves as a kind of an indicator which says: "Wait! This is a homework question! If you answer it, could you, please, try to give a hint instead of full answer?"
  • Some kind of general "policies" or "etiquette" for dealing with homework questions has been formed on this site in lengthy discussions. (Although not all users agreed with them and not everyone followed them.) Would removing the homework tag mean also abandoning the agreements about dealing with homework questions? Or should after the removal of the tag the same policies be applied to all posts which "smell like homework"? (Which is somewhat subjective criterion.)
  • It indicates that OP is still learning math, and it encourages answers which not only answer the question, but also provide additional insight, references, hints, etc.

Certainly the tag does not work perfectly. Not all homework questions are tagged as such. Here we must rely on the honesty of the poster. The best thing we can do is to explain newbies, that if the question comes from a homework, then they are supposed to add (homework) tag.

Also many people post full solutions to homework questions. But even if the (homework) tag reduces the number of full answers only by some percentage, it is a good thing. (So it helps this site not to become homework-factory.)


  1. New users don't normally include it, whether or not their question is homework. On the list of newest questions, most are of the homework type, but few are tagged as such. If the goal is to identify or filter homework question, the tag fails at that.

Then more experienced users are supposed to explain newbies about the tag. I do not think we can do much more than that with this issue.

(4) The tag is featured on the front page for new users, promoting the image of the site as a homework factory:

I think that this tag is used precisely for the opposite purpose - so that the homework questions can be identified and they are dealt with in a different manner. So, in fact, it should (at least in theory) help against problem with this site being "homework factory".


I did not address 2 and 3, since I don't know how to solve 2 and I do not consider 3 to be much of a problem. (At least it is not a bigger problem for this tag as for gold badge in any other tag.)

Again, I've posted the answer as CW, so anyone feel free to address these points.

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    $\begingroup$ We usually do not know which questions are homework and which questions come from mock exams, textbooks, or other sources. Asking people all the time whether something is homework is pointless and sounds accusatory. And without it, we are not going to educate users to use the tag. Users themselves can always write that they only want hints- and even that is often ignored. I think the problem is bad questions without any background or motivation, not homework in itself. $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Jun 20 '14 at 0:47
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    $\begingroup$ I assume we'd be adopting a policy of "if this is homework, please say so" to replace "if this is homework, please use the tag". That makes the last two bullet points obsolete. $\endgroup$ – Jack M Jul 1 '14 at 9:46
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    $\begingroup$ To make explicit that a user only wants hints, we could introduce a (hints-only) tag. Not that people will actually honor such a request... :-) (Or does such a tag already exist? I couldn't find it.) $\endgroup$ – MarnixKlooster ReinstateMonica Jul 1 '14 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ @MarnixKlooster Such tag has been discussed on meta. In fact, some people has suggested using (homework) tag for this purpose. See, for example this answer. And also the following: Suggestion for “Hint-Only” Tag, Request for a tag for homework hints/evolution rather than solution and How Should I ask Questions that I just need Hints on?. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 2 '14 at 12:09
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelGreinecker: Suppose we were to remove the homework tag and as such expected to users to ask for hint only answers if they desired them. Would hints then be discouraged if the question doesn't explicitly ask for hints? Would anything less than a full solution be deemed acceptable? $\endgroup$ – Michael Albanese Jul 10 '14 at 7:30
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelAlbanese I think hints are sometimes perfectly good answers. What people here deem worthy of being upvoted, accepted, downvoted, or closed will no doubt still vary widely. $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Jul 10 '14 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ It would be a good thing to edit these answers frequently: Some users (like me) may change their mind after having read the other answers. Since reading them usually takes more than 5 minutes, one ends up with a locked vote. $\endgroup$ – punctured dusk Jul 26 '14 at 20:16
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    $\begingroup$ @barto How many times do you get to change your vote in real-life polls, such as elections? $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jul 26 '14 at 20:21
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    $\begingroup$ @900sit-upsaday It goes like $\sin\left(\frac{\pi t+\sqrt5}{2t}\right)$, $t$ time. $\endgroup$ – punctured dusk Jul 26 '14 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ @barto meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/4311/… The topic of this post is the closest I was able to find to discussing editing a pots just for possibility to change a vote. Anyway, if you think it is necessary, you can edit the answer and then change your vote. But I have the feeling that such behavior is generally frowned upon. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 27 '14 at 5:11
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This is not an answer for or against the proposal. This is merely some comments about the technical aspects of the proposal:

  1. I think that we can in fact ask SE to nuke the entire tag and blacklist it, if that is what people want. (There are already a few tags that are explicitly blacklisted; examples include the old "algebra" tag (now split into and , and the implicit tags "math" and "mathematics".) The whole deal about editing the tag-wiki to indicate that a tag is deprecated happened with the "algebra" tag because we needed a transition period to carefully retag all the questions thus-tagged. As far as I can tell from this proposal this is not necessary (except for the odd question that only has the "homework" tag and nothing else).

  2. This is more of a note-to-self (or other mods): if we go through with this proposal we will have to also edit this FAQ item appropriately. (Alternatively we can also just deprecate it, which will involve also editing the main FAQ post and the Help Center item which contains a link.) Note that much of the functionality of that FAQ item is currently duplicated and generalised in this newer FAQ item.

  3. (Suggested by Martin Sleziak) If the tag is removed, also some comment templates should be updated. And also the faq post on meta-tags.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, we can ask the SE folks to burninate and blacklist the (homework) tag. $\endgroup$ – user642796 Jun 11 '14 at 7:39
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    $\begingroup$ Some SEDE queries which can give list of posts tagged only (homework) are given in this post: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/12823/… $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jun 11 '14 at 7:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Arthur: Hooray for Trogdor references. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 11 '14 at 8:29
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    $\begingroup$ As a "factual speculation" regarding the level of user support, anything that proposes MSE change its practices to be the same as those of Stackoverflow gets an automatic 10-15 upvotes from people who don't regularly use MSE but are sometimes/always reading the meta. The number may be higher these days due to the Network Hot Questions visitors from Stackoverflow who see something eye-catching like "remove homework tag!" on the Comuunity Bulletin. It looks popular anyway from current vote counts, especially the zero downvotes, just not as much as the total would suggest. $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 11 '14 at 15:38
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx Could you tell us me you can identify who votes how on a question? That knowledge would come in quite handy for us site mods from time to time. $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Jun 11 '14 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ No such ability was necessary to draw the conclusions, which you don't particularly seem to dispute (so far). Take a look at the meta.MSE vote counts of obvious suspects, for example. Apart from the question being a non sequitur, vote trolling sarcasm is rather unbecoming, as you must know. @MichaelGreinecker $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 11 '14 at 18:27
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx I think you vastly overestimate the amount of users that read metas for sites they don't actively participate. I'm the exception and not the rule. There can be some distortion of votes in these cases, but that happens mostly when a controversial meta post is linked in high-traffic places, and that hasn't happened in this case as far as I know. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Jun 11 '14 at 18:29
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    $\begingroup$ @MadScientist, it used to happen for really high profile stuff only (other than a few exceptional users as you mention who vote on everything), but now there is the Network Questions driving SO traffic to the math.SE community bulletins. $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 11 '14 at 18:34
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx I cannot dispute the conclusion, becuae I don't have access to voting data in that detail. That does not mean I believe it. I do understand that you detect sarcasm in my comment, but I don't get the "vote trolling" part. $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Jun 11 '14 at 18:36
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelGreinecker, in practice (whether intended or not, and usually it is part of the intent) the point and the result of such comments is not communication with the recipient, but a vote-trolling theatrical aside to the meta readers. Knowing that this will, very probably and predictably, generate a few, or more than a few, one-directional votes (there is no -1) on the ridicule and sarcasm directed at particular individuals or their statements. $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 11 '14 at 18:42
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx It is true that my comment was not mainly directed at you. It was mainly directed at people lacking the knowledge to appreciate that what you wrote is at best an informed guess. To compensate, I upvoted your last comment. $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Jun 11 '14 at 18:53
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    $\begingroup$ The comment in question described itself as "factual speculation". Whether that is read by others as being a guess about facts, based on facts, or (what is actually the case) both at once, the idea that it was a guess of some kind seems to have already been conveyed. It is not "at best" an informed guess, it "is" an informed guess, and I don't think that Mad Scientist or the SE affiliates or the other visitors from afar would dispute the premise that they tend to support proposals harmonizing MSE's practices with the rest of network and especially the larger sites. @MichaelGreinecker $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 11 '14 at 20:16
  • $\begingroup$ If the tag is removed, also some comment templates should be updated. And also the faq post on meta-tags. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jun 18 '14 at 11:52
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    $\begingroup$ It took SO several months to manually review the ~20k homework questions it had to sort out the good ones from the bad. With nearly 30k of them here and a much smaller userbase a mostly manual process would be infeasible. That said, on SO almost all the negatively voted questions were deleted and almost all of the positively voted ones were kept. There're ~24000 positive voted homework questions here, ~4000 0 score ones, and only ~900 negative score questions; so filtering on score to decide what to delete might not work. SO was much harsher on homework questions long before the tag ban. $\endgroup$ – Dan Neely Jul 11 '14 at 13:22
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    $\begingroup$ Could we please (temporarily?) remove the answers that are not the options to be voted for? This is placing some of the options at the very bottom of the page, which might influence the voting. $\endgroup$ – user2055 Jul 19 '14 at 22:38
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The main application of the homework tag is to reduce the use of the empty word "homework" in question titles, and to allow users the option to signal homework in a machine-readable way instead of loading up the question with junk phrases like "I didn't understand this question from my algebra homework". That entire phrase can be nuked and replaced by two tags, Algebra and Homework. Now if you would like to promote a zero-tolerance policy that encourages edits to remove, on sight, any text in the question that can be replaced by a tag, that would be a great thing for MSE and any other Stackexchange site I can think of. But this works better the more tags are available.

On the other hand, if deprecating the tag reduces the amount of absurd site politics related to homework, then: go for it!

Comments on the numbered points:

(1) is not a problem. The purpose of the tag is not to ID every question that happens to come from homework, but to permit that to any user who wants to do it (and in that case, yes, doing it by tag is better). This happens in a significant fraction of the homework questions, and every time that it does, the people who want to use that tag for filters and searches experience a gain in efficiency.

(2) is Stackexchange's problem to solve, if it is a problem at all. There are simple and obvious solutions like banning certain tags (whether specified by the users, the moderators, or SE itself) from the page title. This issue affects other tags than homework, and SE will sooner or later have to tune its algorithm for the page title.

(3) Same as for (2), except that this problem applies to all tags, and if it is a problem, is a structural one for Stackexchange to address. Gold star in one tag closing things in the intersection with other tags where they have only silver, lead, clay or tin-foil expertise, presents similar issues whether the gold is in homework or not.

(4) the "factory" aspects of the site are not, in my opinion, influenced by the tag display, and exist no matter what tags will be used and no matter whether the questions have anything to do with homework. There are people here who receive eager answers to their questions that appear to derive from industry work, for which they are paid. Some of the eager answerers are the same folks who rail against homework on meta, and some of those provide the freebies even when question is advertised as being for a job! There is a very unequal distribution of knowledge and consequently a small set of Givers who answer a large set of Takers. This is inevitable in the Q&A model and not much a function of what the first few tags are.

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    $\begingroup$ Regarding (2), SE already solved this problem by eliminating meta tags on most sites. The SE position is that if the most-used tag that gets put in the title is a useless tag, there is some fundamental issue with the site's tagging scheme that should be fixed, and not worked around. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Jun 11 '14 at 9:57
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    $\begingroup$ That the meta tags get a lot of use is evidence that they are useful. Maybe removal of meta tags and not the existence of the tags is the "fundamental issue with the site's tagging scheme" that needs to be addressed. The anti metatag position was a personal imposition by SE's former leader. While some parts of the argument against those tags made sense, the overall absolutist position did not. Now that the founder is not in command maybe the matter can be revisited. $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 11 '14 at 13:55
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    $\begingroup$ While Jeff was one of the loudest, and probably the least diplomatic proponent of removing all the meta tags, he was by far not alone. I've criticized the tag system heavily in the past, I think it is borderline broken on sites like Arqade, but I still don't think meta tags are worth the trouble. They are simply not that useful. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Jun 11 '14 at 18:41
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    $\begingroup$ Is the tu quoque in your final point really necessary? It doesn't seem to add anything to your position. $\endgroup$ – Scott H. Jun 11 '14 at 19:44
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    $\begingroup$ tu quoque is quite a different concept (it's a response to accusations, for example). The behavioral observations in the final paragraph illustrate the incoherence of the "factory" rhetoric, which is used on the meta as a propagandistic way of discrediting particular positions. The OP is not the one who pushes that rhetoric (and is not one of the "folks who rail against homework on meta"), but he did take it up in this post. Therefore, in addition to the response to point (4) in itself, there is some relevance to highlighting other aspects of the situation. @ScottH. $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 11 '14 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ I felt that the use of the term was expedient, sorry to have misused it. The OP's final point seems to be about impressions of the site, while your response to it seems to be about mechanics of the site. I guess I just don't understand either the OP's final point, your response to it, or perhaps both. $\endgroup$ – Scott H. Jun 11 '14 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ The response to OP-4 can be summarized in two points. First, any Q&A site that provides useful answers at no cost will be a factory, across the whole spectrum of questions that it serves, whether it wishes to be one or not. Second, as both an observation of the past and a prediction of the future, that the "factory" rhetoric (which is irrelevant given the first point) will only be used in relation to homework. In fact the "factory" aspects, such as the ability to get an answer to pressing real-world questions, will be celebrated where there is no suspicion of homework. @Scott $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 12 '14 at 2:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Mad Scientist The problem lies not with use of meta tags but, rather, with SE's lack of support for meta tags. Meta tags can be very useful for filtering content. All of the problems mentioned here would disappear if SE properly supported them. One of the primary problems with the site now is that it has grown too large for users to filter out the questions that they like. The solution is not to throw out the baby with the bath water but, rather, to improve the filtering capabilities. That is what we should be demanding from SE, not some kludgey patch to an inadequate platform. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jun 18 '14 at 15:03
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    $\begingroup$ "That the meta tags get a lot of use is evidence that they are useful." Strange argument. I bet if one could tag "mathematics" the tag would be used a lot. $\endgroup$ – quid Jun 19 '14 at 23:45
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The (homework) tag should be considered deprecated, but not removed from the system.


"Deprecation" of a tag in this manner is not something officially supported by the SE framework, and it will still be possible for users to use the tag. It will therefore be the responsibility of the community to remove it from new questions, and inform users that the tag should no longer be applied.

Upvote this answer if you agree with the above option. (Downvotes will be ignored, so please do not downvote.)

locked by robjohn Jul 30 '14 at 0:36
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-17
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Even if the OP does not use "homework" tag, the users ("community police") can still attach this if they're reasonably sure that this is homework. On one recent post, though, the OP specifically said "this is not homework" because most questions are! So, maybe we should have a "not a homework" tag??

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    $\begingroup$ The tag wiki clearly states it shouldn't be added by other users without specific statement by the OP, and I think the vast majority of users respect this fact. $\endgroup$ – user61527 Jun 16 '14 at 19:22
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    $\begingroup$ I will be sure to go back and add the tag "Not analysis" to all of my questions. $\endgroup$ – RghtHndSd Jun 20 '14 at 19:44
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    $\begingroup$ @RghtHndSd and while you're at it, remember the buddys "not-set-theory", "not-topology" and "not-algebra". $\endgroup$ – AlexR Jul 23 '14 at 18:55
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexR: But everything is set theory! ;-) $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 24 '14 at 18:25
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Okay, then we must make use of "not-much-set-theory" and "some-set-theory"! $\endgroup$ – AlexR Jul 24 '14 at 18:42
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    $\begingroup$ At least 18 people have no sense of irony. $\endgroup$ – PA6OTA Jul 31 '14 at 0:57

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