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I like the meta tag as the wiki info for it can be a useful educational resource for new users. I notice that user gnat has been using this in his comments where people post their first question asking for a list of tutorials or books. Eg:

https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/192102/i-want-to-learn-scheme-which-interpreter-compiler-and-books-can-be-recommended#comment371576_192102

resource requests are not quite welcome at Programmers. As far as I understand, one would rather present an underlying problem instead - a problem that was intended to be solved with particular resource requested

This is great and I don't think anybody would disagree with this, but perhaps it is a good idea that we create this tag on the main site so that when we identify blatant resource requests we can tag the question. I think it will help speed up the cumbersome and time consuming process of cleanups as we will have a big list of things we can speedibly delete all at once.

What are your thoughts?

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    Why tag the question? It should be voted to close (or flagged), closed, and then deleted. Some closed questions are automatically purged and there's a SEDE query (I think it's attached to SO, but you can select the site) that finds old closed questions that don't meet the criteria for automatic deletion. I don't like meta tags and I don't see the purpose for this one. Also, having the tag seems like it may confuse users into thinking that resource questions are allowed - "if there's a tag, why can't I ask about it?" – Thomas Owens Mar 27 '13 at 12:08
  • I think it's an idea worth thinking about. We could do this (or something similar) for some other areas where questions are off topic or problematic for some reason too. This would give people a better idea why we closed their questions. The grey box isn't really that helpful often. Bit I see Thomas Owens' point too, maybe have some more details on the FAQ site, especially about the problematic questions would be an option. Possibly linkable paragraphs. In it's current form the FAQ is not always very clear. – thorsten müller Mar 27 '13 at 12:12
  • @ThomasOwens Fair enough... but then Data Explorer query results need to be evaluated on an individual basis where as we can quickly view all questions that are tagged with this and can make a deletion decision very quickly. – maple_shaft Mar 27 '13 at 12:13
  • as far as I can tell, this would be a meta-tag wouldn't it? "Meta tags are tags which describe something other than the question's content--such as the author's skill level, motivation, or current take on it. Alternatively, they may be ill-defined concepts which make consistent application of the tag difficult or impossible..." – gnat Mar 27 '13 at 12:20
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    I agree with Thomas, if users see a tag for their question they won't think twice about posting it. – Walter Mar 27 '13 at 12:20
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    @ThomasOwens don't answer in comments :P – Jimmy Hoffa Mar 27 '13 at 14:22
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As pointed in the comments, this is not quite a good idea because having such a tag could have an opposite effect: users may think it's OK to use it, even if you write in its wiki and excerpt that it's forbidden - "if there's a tag, why can't I ask about it?"


Since you refer to my comment - for the sake of precision, this was only second time (I wish it would also be the last but unfortunately it wouldn't) when I referred asker to tag wiki.

Prior to that, my similar comments were pointing to particular meta discussion (the one that is currently set in the tag wiki as the guidance point). It was when my comment has been (quite legitimately imNSho) challenged by asker who pointed to another meta discussion to back up somewhat different approach.

After that, I suggested tag wiki and excerpt and switched to using these in comments.


On a more general note, I believe tag wiki like that are to be established any time when there is a confusion among meta readers caused by differing "canonical" / "authoritative" posts and comments.

  • It's not a new idea, explained eg in flagger's guide to link-only answers at MSO:

    In some meta posts or comments you may see moderators suggesting / requiring particular kind flag to be used (or to avoid) for link-only answers. Convenient litmus test in cases like that is to ask author whether this is their personal opinion or a statement that can be quoted in tag wiki (wiki for respective flag or for link-only answers). Tag wiki are quite authoritative reference; anything else, read: use at your own risk.

For a more recent example you can refer to MSO profanity tag wiki that have been established because of similar confusion caused by having differing "authoritative" posts on the subject.

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Why tag the question? It should be voted to close (or flagged), closed, and then deleted. Some closed questions are automatically purged and there's a SEDE query (I think it's attached to SO, but you can select the site) that finds old closed questions that don't meet the criteria for automatic deletion. I don't like meta tags and I don't see the purpose for this one. Also, having the tag seems like it may confuse users into thinking that resource questions are allowed - "if there's a tag, why can't I ask about it?"

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    Some closed questions are automatically purged Yes SOME are automatically purged. and there's a SEDE query ... that finds old closed questions that don't meet the criteria for automatic deletion. It's a lot of steps and post processing of results is manual. In a few clicks I can get every question posted with a specific tag. having the tag seems like it may confuse users into thinking that resource questions are allowed - "if there's a tag, why can't I ask about it?" This is the only real argument that I feel invalidates my idea and proves it is probably a bad idea. – maple_shaft Mar 27 '13 at 14:39
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    I'm actually less concerned about the misguidance to users myself and agree more with the meta tags are a bad idea concept. Meta tags as a concept are altogether more confusing to users than questionably-usable tags in my book. Meta tags would over time have their purpose forgotten and are just generally a way to end up with tag-puke on your site. – Jimmy Hoffa Mar 27 '13 at 14:41
  • This sounds like less of an arugment against meta tags and more of an argument against the entire concept of tagging content in general. Why do we tag anything then? If the existence of a tag replaces actually reading the FAQ then we are already failing. The only real purpose of a tag is to assist in filtering and searching for information. What difference does this make for those who are looking to answer questions or those looking to police content? – maple_shaft Mar 27 '13 at 16:38

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