This question was edited fourth times by the same user. The edits were minor, rather unnecessary, possibly made for gaining some points. One of the last edits replaced the abstract-algebra tag by prime-ideals (btw, a really unnecessary tag). I flagged this as "An unnecessary edit by removing a suitable tag." and the mods say: "declined - a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it".

Another question was edited by removing the graded-rings and graded-modules tags, replacing them by algebraic-geometry only to reflect a hint given into a comment by the editor. I also flagged this as "What's wrong with the graded-ring/module tags?" and the mods say: "declined - flags should only be used to make moderators aware of content that requires their intervention".

I'm intrigued by all these and I really want to know if there is something wrong with my flags.

No need to mention that if you intervene and restore the suitable tags, the mods promptly warn you to stop entering to edit wars: "Please do not get into edit wars over tagging, as that only causes noise in the site. Flag for moderator attention instead."

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    $\begingroup$ I find it helpful to tell the mods as much information as possible, so refer to other flags. If there is one edit, then it is most probably benign, but 10...then flag each one saying "This user is adding lots of odd tags - I've flagged 9 other examples. Thought you might like to know." $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Feb 3, 2015 at 12:55
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    $\begingroup$ @user1729 When I flagged useless comments (part of the same discussion) one by one the moderator Pedro Tamaroff told me not doing so, it's enough to flag only one because the mods will follow the whole story and decide which one is useful or not. $\endgroup$
    – user26857
    Feb 3, 2015 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ Re: prime-ideals (btw, a really unnecessary tag): Here I suggested to make both (maximal-ideals) and (prime-ideals) synonyms of (ideals). (Thus effectively removing them and also preventing creation of the same tag in the future.) $\endgroup$ Feb 3, 2015 at 15:23
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    $\begingroup$ I was imagining 10 different edits on 10 different posts, which might not be easily found. However, this is tangential to my main point, which is give as much information as possible (this is echoed in Arthur Fischer's answer). $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Feb 3, 2015 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


Let me begin by saying that I didn't personally handle either of your flags. Were I to be handling them, I would have had the following thoughts:

  • What's wrong with the graded-ring/module tag?

    Are you literally asking me whether those tags are fine to be applied to this question? I don't know! And shouldn't this question be addressed to the user who removed it? (Remember that editors of posts can also be @-pinged in comments.) Do you want me to add them back? If you think it's appropriate — and you are certainly better suited to judge this than I — feel free to reapply it. Or maybe there's a third possibility that I haven't even counted upon?

  • An unnecessary edit by removing a suitable tag.

    Okay. Thanks for telling me. I'm not certain what you want me to do about this. You're certainly able to add the tag back just as well as I am.

In both cases it's not clear to me what requires moderator intervention.

The reason for your flags was completely clear to you. However to me these specific flags seem either cryptic, or unnecessary (e.g., speaking about situations that you yourself can remedy). The flag dialog allows for 500-character descriptions, and the better detail we get, the more likely it is that we will understand what you actually want of us.

As somewhat of an aside, a single roll-back isn't going to bring the moderators' wrath upon you — even assuming that a moderator notices, which itself is far from a certainty. When an "edit war" is detected, the moderators are alerted by the system itself. But this requires a fairly concerted effort on the part of two sides. If you really feel that an edit war is beginning, then by all means flag for moderator attention, and be clear that this is part of the reason for the flag. But I don't think there was any reason to expect this to be so in the two cases described in your question.

  • $\begingroup$ I see. My first flag was cryptical. So, you see an user removing two appropriate tags, I wonder what's wrong with them, but it's not clear what I want. (Maybe a short comment like this: "dear X, please don't remove the appropriate tags".) This sounds a little kafkian, but let's assume this was my fault. The second flag: I'm asking you to warn that user to stop it! Four minor edits to the same question are more than enough! Moreover, that user has a trademark in doing such things, but of course you didn't notice it. $\endgroup$
    – user26857
    Feb 3, 2015 at 14:29
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    $\begingroup$ @user26857: From my perspective, in neither case is it particularly clear what you wanted. The first is a question, and the second is a statement of your personal opinion about the appropriateness of an edit. From what you are saying now, "userSuchAndSuch seems to be making a lot of frivolous edits" would much more descriptive of the problem you were trying to communicate (and something that actually might require moderator intervention of some sort). $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Feb 3, 2015 at 14:38
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    $\begingroup$ @user26857: To reply to something in your first comment I think you edited in: Sure, a comment like "@userSuchAndSuch (blah-blah) tag fits this question because A,B,C. Why did you remove it?" might start a dialogue with that user, and perhaps they'll understand what tag (blah-blah) should be used for. Pinging editors isn't common, but when odd edits come up they can be useful, especially in avoiding edit wars without direct moderator intervention. (We might be needed to clean up those comments later, but that's another story.) $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Feb 3, 2015 at 14:51

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