This is not a question, really, but an experiment.

We have had a battle against the tag for a long time. For some history, see this meta post.

One problem is that it would be nice to have a tag wiki that says to not use the tag, but to have no questions marked "algebra." But if there are no questions in a tag, then the tag wiki gets deleted.

Thus far, a few dedicated people have been sure to remove every algebra-tag and replace it with its or counterparts. But people keep on making them. So I thought that giving Henning's idea ( http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/4472/disambiguation-pseudo-tags ), which is essentially what Martin says here, of a disambiguation pseudo-tag for algebra.

So I have frozen an algebra tag in place on a question, and am editing the tag wiki for algebra. And we'll see what happens.

  • $\begingroup$ And only now do I see something confusing. On the one hand, looking next to the algebra tag on a question shows (algebra)$\times 4$, but clicking on it shows only 3. Is this because tags on locked questions don't count? That would be disappointing. $\endgroup$ – davidlowryduda Sep 4 '12 at 4:19
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    $\begingroup$ If fighting the fire is becoming bothersome, one other option is to just e-mail the Stack team and asking them to make "algebra" (that exact word) inadmissible as a tag by black listing it. We've already blacklisted such gems as "math", "mathematics" and "equations". You can now see the list if you go into the Mod panel, navigate to links, and look for "Black listed user inputs". $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Sep 4 '12 at 8:47
  • $\begingroup$ BTW, (algebra) is showing 0 questions now.... we may want to ask the Stack Team about the exact behaviour of tags and locked questions. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Sep 4 '12 at 8:48
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    $\begingroup$ One other problem with your plan: if the tag is orphaned (only one, and not any second question tagged as such for a period of time), it will be automatically cleaned up anyway. So to circumvent that eventuality you will need at least two questions. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Sep 4 '12 at 8:51
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    $\begingroup$ One problem I can see is that the existence of a tag makes the software more willing to apply it to new questions (in particular for new users who would otherwise need 300 rep in order to get to "create" it (or is it enough that it has been used recently?)). I could imagine that sufficiently many new users don't bother to read the tag wiki popups anyway, that the plan will lead to a net increase in algebra-tagged questions. But let's give it a chance. $\endgroup$ – Henning Makholm Sep 4 '12 at 10:01

The tag has already been blacklisted - which renders this question, to some extent, obsolete. (But it still documents an attempt which was done to deal with the problem, so I think the question should be kept here.)

I am posting this CW answer mainly to achieve that questions will not remain unanswered.


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