There are discussions on giving warnings to those who creates new tags: 1, 2. It seems that this feature has not been carried out in Math SE. Does anyone know why? I would be very happy to see this happen.

On the other hand, I think we should also give warnings to those who only use rare tags (those tags, e.g. has only less than 500 questions) in a question. The wording would be like

Currently the tags of this question is not popular. Do you want to add more tags? A popular (and related) tags would highly improve the visibility of your question.

Given the number of questions we have each day, I figure out that I always missed interesting questions that tags (e.g.) only symplectic geometry without differential geometry, only (e.g.) calculus of variation without pde.

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    $\begingroup$ I have not followed the tagging threads (in meta) too closely, but I have this growing sentiment that the bar for the privilege of creating new tags should be raised quite a bit. When the site was new, and new users with various areas of expertise joined the community, it was essential to allow them to create new tags sooner. But those days are now behind us. But I am not necessarily eager to put a high rep bar for this privilege. May be this is something that could come with the yearling badge? Time spent on the site, becoming very familiar with how it works, is IMHO equally important. $\endgroup$ Oct 10, 2015 at 5:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Jyrki: I think that around 200,000 points shouldn't be too high. Even 500,000 sounds reasonable to me. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Oct 10, 2015 at 8:29
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    $\begingroup$ Is every conceivable branch of math really represented in the tags at his point? Sometimes, I look through the tags at random, and I yearn for the simpler times... $\endgroup$ Oct 10, 2015 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ It's not hard to set up a bot to do exactly what you propose. But we'd need a bit more research to determine the suitable threshold. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Oct 10, 2015 at 23:15
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    $\begingroup$ @J.M.: Are those times which have no nontrivial subtimes? :-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Oct 11, 2015 at 7:46
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf, not really sure; they are bizarrely both nontrivial and simple. :) $\endgroup$ Oct 11, 2015 at 12:59
  • $\begingroup$ I have a quite look of the tags and it seems that tags with $<1000$ questions are either quite specialized. Since the warning has no real consequence, personally I think setting the threshold to be $1000$ will not be that high.. @MiceElf $\endgroup$
    – user99914
    Oct 11, 2015 at 13:04

1 Answer 1


To test the effectiveness of such a warning, I launched an early-warning bot which leaves a comment under certain conditions:

  • The question's top tag has <1500 questions, but is not one of "rare-but-that's-okay" tags; or
  • The question's top tag indicates that the question may be more suitable elsewhere (cryptography, economics, philosophy); or
  • The question has only one tag, and a vague one ("transformation", "reference-request", etc).
  • The question has a nondescriptive title ("Need help with discrete mathematics", etc).

The comments are automatically deleted after 5 minutes.

The source is on GitHub; suggestions for feature changes or new features are welcome.

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    $\begingroup$ As you know, I noticed this script going on. First, let me mention that I think it's a pretty great idea. I have noticed that often the lack of tags or a title with "help, please" are not the main issue of the posts (still being big issues), and I thought that this being pointed out before anything else might mislead new users about what the issues with their post are. But probably I am just being overly cautions... $\endgroup$ Oct 14, 2015 at 4:49
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    $\begingroup$ @SilviaGhinassi True; posts with tag/title issues tend to have other issues too. Tomorrow I'll add a link to how to ask a good question to the comment, since it covers tags/titles and other things such posts lack. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Oct 14, 2015 at 4:54
  • $\begingroup$ I'd say that more visibility is often not that big of an issue, but I see how it's an instance much easier to detect. I'll follow the progress on the questions page, anyway! I'll keep providing my non-requested feedback, hoping not to be too annoying. $\endgroup$ Oct 14, 2015 at 4:57
  • $\begingroup$ P.S.: the github link in the answer leads me to a 404 $\endgroup$ Oct 14, 2015 at 5:04
  • $\begingroup$ I wonder whether 5 minutes is enough. (I mean, are we sure that anybody who posts a question will check on the question again within a 5 minute interval.) But I suppose that your bot adds comment almost immediately after the question is posted. So there is a good chance that the OP is still around. (Maybe even trying to edit the post or reading some other early comments.) $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2015 at 8:16
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak My bot comments within 15 seconds of the post creation. Many OPs edit after my comment; others ping me asking for tag suggestions. This usually happens within 2-3 minutes of the comment; otherwise there is no reaction at all. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Oct 25, 2015 at 8:20
  • $\begingroup$ If the comment comes that fast after post creation, then it is certainly ok. (Having comment displayed in some 5 minutes long interval starting a few minutes later would probably be much less efficient.) And, of course, thanks for the reply and the clarification! $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2015 at 8:23
  • $\begingroup$ If I'm not mistaken, your bot would complain strongly against a title like $\sum\limits_{n=1}^\infty a_n$ but not against the more or less equivalent $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty a_n$$ $\endgroup$ Oct 30, 2015 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ @HagenvonEitzen $$ is blocked in titles, so there is no need to check for it. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    Oct 30, 2015 at 11:38

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