We've got a lot of tags which, in my opinion, do not make much sense. To give some examples:

  • app-specific tags for "minor apps", e.g. (x1), (x1). I fully go with tags for "major apps" which are widely used (good examples here include (x80) or (x538). But the playstore holds over half a million apps -- we cannot provide a tag for each of them.
  • question-specific tags applying to only one (or very few) very specific questions, as e.g. (x1)

In my opinion, those tags are not very helpful -- but rather make tag-maintenance more difficult. So we might better...

  1. discourage users from creating such (sure, rep already does so -- but our better-rep'd members should be aware of this and not simply jump-in when a questioner mentions "...I unfortunately lack the rep to create this tag..."
  2. check whether we should "orphan" some of those tags, so the auto-purge cleans them up.

EDIT: MSO mentions some auto-cleaning task running monthly and cleaning up single-used tags from questions aged 6+ months, so this does part of the job. So let me refine my question to: What should we do when we just stumble-upon such an occurence where the question is, say, only 3+ months old, but the fact as such is clear?

Note also this quote from the linked MSO question:

Any tags not currently in use, or that happen to get orphaned through unusual means (rollback, merge, etc), are removed every 24 hours by a background process.

Another still remaining question is whether those two tasks apply to all stacks, as the answer just mentions 4 of them.

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Tags with only one question should be cleaned up automatically after 6 months. I agree that users with tag creation privileges should think hard when creating one, though. –  Matthew Read Dec 3 '12 at 22:40
    
@MatthewRead: I.e., you're for the 2nd option of orphaning low-usage tags? I'm for this option (if the tag is not in much use, then it's a low risk to just orphan it and hope noone uses it in the meantime) –  ce4 Dec 3 '12 at 22:41
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@ce4 There's nothing wrong with low-usage tags in general (although low usage may hint at some other problem with a tag). We should removed useless tags and keep/add useful ones. –  Matthew Read Dec 3 '12 at 22:42
    
I'd say if a tag stands with only one attached Q for 6 months or longer, this fact speaks for itself. Wouldn't you agree? –  Izzy Dec 3 '12 at 22:44
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No. It could just as easily mean that the tag should be more widely applied but hasn't been -- failure to use tags appropriately goes both ways. –  Matthew Read Dec 3 '12 at 22:46
    
Oh -- good one, tnx. Guess you don't mind I take that hint up to the question (to make it easier to spot). Remains the Q whether we should take sone action if stumbling upon such a tag on a just, say, 4 month old Q -- or rather wait for the auto-cleaner to come around? –  Izzy Dec 3 '12 at 22:49

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don't think we should jump the gun on the tag cleanup process.

While I can't find any examples at the moment, on multiple occasions I've run across a question where it is the only question for a tag and was able to find a minimum of two or three other questions that could be so tagged.

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While that might apply to many a tag, shouldn't we still at least discourage from creating "a tag for each app"? I'd say it would even make sense to have a popup (or the like) appearing when creating a new tag, with a kind of Windows "are you sure" plus the appropriate hint. Hm, not that anyone would read it, I guess... –  Izzy Dec 4 '12 at 7:22
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I made the same experience as Al and see no problem with minor tags either. If the cleanup scripts deals with them fine, if not then there is a reason for them to exist. I also see no problem with app specific tags, IMHO that's better then a whole 'applications' tag. –  Flow Dec 4 '12 at 19:01

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