For some reason, I am not allowed to remove tags without adding in a relative tag. I (like probably most people whose contribution is mainly answering questions) really only want to help people with things I am interested in and have some relevant expertise in. Sometimes questions (usually of very low quality but perhaps close to the median of this site) are mistagged as having to do with something close to my area of expertise. After reading a question like this, I have no desire to look through a list of tags for the asker after they have already wasted my time, but I'd like to be able to do something about them.

In many fields, there is often no (or at least not very many) moderators with enough expertise to determine if a question belongs to a tag. I am requesting some sort of "untagged" tag, which people with reasonable amounts of rep can change a question to if it is tagged incorrectly, so that experts can determine when a question is mistagged without having to go through the hassle of fixing some 4th graders homework for them.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ So who exactly do you propose should deal with the untagged question? For the retagging, you do not have to make it super-precise, and is it really that hard to figure out which general tag to use? Just have a look through the most common tags once and remember the names of a couple. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Sep 27, 2016 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ @quid someone who wants to deal with general questions or look through questions where the asker wasn't considerate enough to add an appropriate tag. At least in this case this person doesn't need the expertise to determine what the tag means if it is outside their area of expertise. $\endgroup$ Sep 27, 2016 at 19:07
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    $\begingroup$ I think there is little demand for this task. Really if you already read the question and already clicked to remove the tag the extra effort to decided to add one of say calculus, algebra-precalculus, geometry, probability, abstract-algebra, discrete-mathemtics is really minimal and covers most of the questions you mentioned. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Sep 27, 2016 at 19:17
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    $\begingroup$ Context. $\endgroup$
    – Did
    Sep 27, 2016 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Did for further context it might be interesting that tag-removed exists on MO. (Yet I do not recommend to introduce it here. There, at least in part it is a remainder of working around limitations that no longer exist.) $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Sep 27, 2016 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ @quid Thanks for the information. On MO, it seems to be used even when the question has other tags. Is this a remaining trace from a time when said question had no other tags? $\endgroup$
    – Did
    Sep 27, 2016 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Did no merging into tag-removed was used as a substitute for deleting a tag, which early on was not possible or too inconvenient. I think it is still used sometimes in this way now, for habit's sake and as it is more convenient. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Sep 27, 2016 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ @quid OK. I should learn more about these things... $\endgroup$
    – Did
    Sep 27, 2016 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ Even though I oppose the idea in this post, it makes no sense to close it. In fact "opinion based" closures makre rarely sense on meta. So I'm voting to reopen. $\endgroup$
    – wythagoras
    Sep 28, 2016 at 7:23
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    $\begingroup$ Two minor points: 1) If you think a question should be retagged and you are not sure you can try to mention this in tagging chatroom or in the main chatroom. There is at least some chance that somebody will come up with reasonable tags and retag the question. 2) The phrasing in your question saying that "there are no moderators in certain fields" suggest that you think that there are different moderators for specific areas (specific tags). (cont...) $\endgroup$ Sep 28, 2016 at 17:00
  • $\begingroup$ (...cont) This is not the case. Moreover, every user can change tags, so this is not something only moderators should do, tagging is a task for the whole math.SE community. $\endgroup$ Sep 28, 2016 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with @wythagoras, especially for a feature-request, and cast the final vote to reopen. Now it is in my opinion not a good idea, so I downvoted. But that's the point of posting a feature-request, to poll the community on the desirability of a feature. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Sep 28, 2016 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


Let me first say that I appreciate effort to have questions tagged correctly. I think that correct tags help this site in many ways. (Correctly tagged question are useful for users when searching using tags; tags are used when creating list of related question; they also help users to follow the areas of their interest, etc.)

However, I do not think that adding possibility to change question to (or creating a special tag for questions where it is not clear which tags to chose) would improve things. One of possible consequences could be that many users mighty lazily dump many questions into this tag without doing any effort to find correct tags.

Moreover, we already have very many mistagged questions. If there would be easy way to remove incorrect tags without actually adding correct ones, I think that the final situation would be worse.

Still, if you find a question which is incorrectly tagged and you are not sure which tag to choose, there are several reasonable possibilities to do. (Apart from the possibility to simply ignore it.)

  • You could write a comment explaining the tag is incorrect but you are not sure which tag to use. Either the OP or some other user who sees your comment might edit the tag.
  • You could mention this in tagging chatroom or in the main chatroom. (Admittedly, there are not many users who regularly visit tagging chatroom, but there are at least some. Recently I have started marking each post asking about tags for some particular question by the words specific question, so that such posts can be easily found.
  • You can ask on meta. I think that there were some such questions in the past. (Or at least this one very recently.) It would probably not ideal to have many such questions here on meta. But one questions asking about advice about for a once in a while would probably be ok.
  • $\begingroup$ Hi, you are maybe a tag expert, but your chebychev-function tag should be removed. $\endgroup$
    – reuns
    Oct 15, 2016 at 23:21
  • $\begingroup$ @user1952009 Since this is really not related to topic of this post, perhaps we could move this discussion to chat? $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2016 at 0:40
  • $\begingroup$ :D sure, I just wanted you to notice, and it was also intended to make you laugh $\endgroup$
    – reuns
    Oct 16, 2016 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ @user1952009 Since I did not receive any response from you in chat, I am not sure whether you see the messages I posted there. Anyway, brief summary is that if you want to suggest removing a tag, the standard approach is to make a post in the tag management thread. If you decide to post there, it might be useful to link to previous discussion about this tag. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2016 at 10:27

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