We've had a lot of very minor tagging issues where a tag is improperly named by just a hyphen. Here's a partial list of them. I'm sure I've forgotten some, but these should be enough to demonstrate that it's a common situation.

Currently, the software catches these situations and blocks the creation of the new, correctly hyphenated tag for any users except ♦ moderators. This is typically desirable, but in the case that the initial tag is incorrect, it makes it quite difficult to correct for ordinary users. We have 2 options to do this:

  • Request a moderator to merge the tag into the correctly named tag. While they can do this, it can easily get missed or forgotten, and moderators have better things to do than fix low frequency tags all day.
  • Edit all existing uses of the tag to something completely different. Wait until 3:00 UTC for the tag deletion script to run. Retag all questions. Copy the old tag wiki onto the new tag. This requires a user with at least 4k rep to edit tag wikis, and the number of edits needed is pretty significant. I just did 26 such edits in the span of 15 minutes in order to resolve the post above with 5 cases, and I had to wait until 11 PM local time to do it.

I don't really know why it's so common for incorrectly hyphened tags to be created, but it seems to happen a lot. Any user with 150 rep can create a new tag (which is typically a good thing), but if they're just a bit off it takes a serious effort from either a concerned high-rep user or a moderator to fix. Hence, I'm requesting that some software change be made so that ordinary users can more easily fix these cases without waiting for tag deletion scripts to run.

As for exactly what change should be made, I'm relatively flexible, but one possibility would be that if a tag is only used on one question, hyphen-only edits should delete the previous tag and replace it with the new, correctly named tag and preserve the tag wiki (roughly equivalent to a moderator merging the tag). This would just accelerate what the tag deletion script would do anyway within 24 hours. It's not really prone for abuse, since it would only work on single-use tags (fixing larger tags would still require editing each question, but not waiting for a script to run). It also wouldn't ever result in a situation where hyphenated and non-hyphenated tags exist simultaneously. Since it would only work on deliberate tag edits, it would also not be prone to error the way tagging a question for the first time might be. There might be edge cases to work out e.g. if both hyphenations already exist in the system, but for the most part this seems like a simple change with little potential for abuse or mistake, but which would make fixing these recurring issues significantly easier.


1 Answer 1


Try as I might, we will not be able to read all meta posts. we are bound to miss some (I'm now following on the list of links you've put here and notice some I've missed).

A better solution for the current time-being is to, in additionally to posting a meta post, flag a question with the 'offending' tag with a custom flag, explaining the situation and adding a link to the meta post.

We are currently overhauling our information gathering and organization ways, helping us collect the information will be extremely appreciated.

Right now, I think the preferred approach is to get a moderator's attention to fix it, for a very simple reason.

If tomorrow we'd like to change to , a moderator can do it on 3 clicks and a dash, while you'd need a collaboration of 10 users and several hours. Not to mention your edits bump to the first page! We don't always want that (sometimes we do, but not always).

All of the above was regarding the current state of things.

As for your actual feature request, I think it's a good one and forwarded it up the chain.

  • 1
    Okay, in the future I'll flag these instances. Still, it shouldn't require moderator intervention to fix a 1-character typo by a single 150-rep user.
    – Logan M
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 6:30

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