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Currently, you only need 300 reputation to create new tags. If you couple that with the 500 reputation required to retag questions at your will, you can easily end up with lots of tags that should never exist in the first place.

New crappy tags FTW

Once the new tags get created, newer users start using it all over the place and we would end up with having to awkwardly deal with them through mega retag threads that aren't pleasant to handle for the community or the moderators. Having to cleanup after poor tags essentially distracts the community from activities that are generally more productive, like answering questions.

(Did I also mention that we have a small army of users who look forward to adding tag wikis to these new tags, without actually taking the time to check whether the tags are obvious misspellings or poor tags at best?)

Now, in order to rein in on this matter, I suggest that we raise the reputation required to create new tags to 1500 reputation from the current 300 reputation, while keeping the retag privilege at 500 reputation.

This suggestion is not groundbreaking given it already works that way in Stack Overflow, requiring 1500 reputation to create new tags.


While I understand that having lower reputation for creating new tags might work better for smaller sites who don't have enough personnel or not many other problems, I think for sites of our scale, it doesn't work out well. Especially when getting rid of these tags require Stack Exchange team interaction as the mods don't have the necessary tools to nuke the tags.

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    "update-stuck" is awesome! – Jorge Castro Sep 25 '12 at 12:35
  • I just removed the tag from the question. :) – jokerdino Sep 25 '12 at 12:40
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    I concur with this. Lets move to 1500 rep. – hexafraction Sep 25 '12 at 19:31
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    hm, I remember the first thing I did when I created a new tag, was to link as many related questions to my new tag. I think it may be good to have the re-tag privilege come before creating new tags. – Mateo Oct 3 '12 at 4:04
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I asked a similar question on Meta Stackoverflow few months ago. (I discussed before doing so with the OP of this question i.e jokerdino). My first created tag was listed in the crappy tag list, may be a consequence :( .

I strongly agree with the reason given in the question. We should increase the reputation points required to create new tags. 300 rep is very low. Here is my reasons:

  1. Unlike StackOverflow.com and other SE sites, AskUbuntu site is really for beginners. We are providing supports for new, unexperienced users. These users are sometimes (well most of the time) so much unexperienced that, some can't even formulate a question.

    Just an example, I saw an off-topic question asked on the StackOverflow (belongs to meta site) and within 2 minutes it got -5 votes[!] without any comments. After 5 minutes it removed. So the content expected on StackOverflow is of good quality, but unfortunately we can't expect that level of quality in the questions here.

    So, we should not give tag creation privilege to users with 300 rep. Most users can't even understand the system with such small time (required to gain 300 rep).

  2. Re-tagging may be considered a solution, but why should we depend on that? It's a tedious work.

If 1500 seems to be quite large, I suggest to increase it to at least 800 rep. Preferably 1000 rep.

Here is the link of the asked question on SO meta:

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    If we really believe that "we can't expect that level of quality in here" then the site is a failure, which we know it's not. Yes, new tags are annoying, but let's not lose the forest for the trees. – Jorge Castro Sep 27 '12 at 19:17
  • We expect of course, we expect even higher quality here. But, that may not happen for the nature of the site imo. (A support for an OS) – Anwar Sep 28 '12 at 2:09
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    We're not the only SE to support OSes though, Superuser's been doing it for longer, and Unix/Linux and Ask Different are about the same age as we are. – Jorge Castro Sep 28 '12 at 12:48
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I don't agree (with what I admit appears to be the general consensus so far) that we should increase the amount of reputation needed to create new tags.

  1. Most of the time, these new, bad tags should be made synonyms of older, existing tags. Then they serve a positive purpose.

  2. It's better for people to tag a post (especially if it's theirs) with bad tags, than not to tag it sufficiently. Experienced users can change the bad tags to good tags, given the information provided by the bad tags. Of course there are exceptions to this; some tags are so bad they don't facilitate this. But even tags that are too meta and should possibly be blacklisted, like , do convey some information that could be used to help give a better tag.

    • Sometimes posts are tagged redundantly, with some just-right tags, and some newly created tags that are far too specific, or which really mean the same thing as the just-right tags. But this means the bad tags should be made synonyms, and such posts provide excellent impetus for us to do it.
  3. At minimum, to take away tagging privileges from users below 1500 reputation, we should first have some explicit evidence that most tags created by users with less rep than that are bad. Otherwise, we're throwing the good out with the bad.

  4. Can we even make this change, or is the amount of rep it takes to create tags network-wide?

Rather than make it harder for lower-rep users to create tags, I think we should consider trying to make it easier for higher-rep users to make tags synonyms.

As for the side point about tag wikis, however, I suspect you are correct. I have sometimes myself approved tag wiki edits that create tag wikis, where I am unsure how valuable the tag will be. I'd recommend another meta question about this (I might post it myself if nobody else gets around to it first). I don't know for sure about anybody else, but I know I could use more guidelines, supported by community consensus, about when a tag wiki edit should be rejected on the grounds that the tag itself is not valuable enough.

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    (Re:Point 3) I would have wanted to give evidence but I think it is tantamount to naming so I left that bit out intentionally. This suggestion doesn't come after a random thought in the middle of the night. I have been keeping a close eye on the new tags tab for more than a couple of months now and more often than not (like 9 out of 10 times), very bad tags were because of users that have less than 1k rep. And not so bad tags created aren't greatly used either and have no more than a couple of questions tagged with them. – jokerdino Sep 26 '12 at 1:35
  • (Re:Point 4) They might not make Ask Ubuntu an exception right now but given how SO has a different set of requirements, I do strongly think they will consider it if we make a really strong case. In any case, it is just a suggestion and I am glad there isn't much of a negative feedback so far, which also mean the community (or at least the expressive part) is pretty well welcoming of this possible change. – jokerdino Sep 26 '12 at 1:40
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    (Re:Point 1) I am afraid most of the time, the bad tags has to go away from the system altogether. Tags like stutter, break, dies, occasionally, update-struck and many others don't really seem to have any positive purpose and you can't satisfactorily make it a synonym of another existing tag. If you are, then that tag should probably be going away too. When I say bad tag, I really really mean it. – jokerdino Sep 26 '12 at 1:52
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    (Re:Point 2) It's just a matter of time for a bad meta tag to explode. And no, blacklisting is a PITA and involves a huge roll of red tape and several level of persuading between the mods and the SE team. And I am not going to retag all 653 of them either. – jokerdino Sep 26 '12 at 1:58
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    The problem is not with the handling of the bad tags but the mere existence of them. No matter how easy you make it for the high rep users to create tag synonyms, you will never really make much of a dent because someone has to go through the new tags to see if they are going to stay or not. And that takes time, which can be spent doing something else much more productive. I spent time removing tags as they come and I don't think we are ever going to win this battle with the way things work currently. – jokerdino Sep 26 '12 at 2:07
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    @jokerdino Of the 12 tags shown in your question, 10 of them convey valuable information and can also probably be made synonyms for other tags. Of the other two, one is pretty worthless (broken), and one is automatically generated by the system (untagged). – Eliah Kagan Sep 26 '12 at 4:34

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