So one of the major problems we have on Programmers is the proliferation of bad tags. We've had a number of discussions and posse requests for different tags, but killing a tag—when it's even possible—tends to be incredibly ad hoc.
So, based on the recent software tag cleanup, I'd like to propose a more structured cleanup process for tags:
Step 1: determine a tag needs to die
Once a quarter-ish, we'll create a question here, tagged featured, that'll request candidate tags for cleanup. Each tag will get its own answer so they can be discussed in comments.
After two weeks, the question will be closed, and any tag with a score of 5 or higher will move onto the next round. We'll work through each of these tags in the same way: once these are complete, we'll create a new call for candidate tags.
Step 2: create a cleanup notice for the tag.
Once a tag is identified as needing to die, a moderator will create a new meta-discussion question tagged featured that starts the cleanup. The ground rules of the cleanup would be:
- One cleanup notice active at a time
- If a question in the tag is closed as anything other than "exact duplicate", has less than 20 score, and has been closed for a month or more, it can be deleted at any time
- If a question's been closed as an exact duplicate, it'll be listed as a "merge candidate" in the cleanup notice.
- If a question is closed and has a score of 20 or higher, it'll be listed as a "deletion candidate" in the cleanup notice
Once this post notice is created, a two-week cleanup timer begins.
Step 3: cleaning up the tags, identifying close candidates, and the last call for heroic edits
During the two-week cleanup period, the community will be tasked with doing the following:
Cleaning up the tags: if a question is on-topic for the site, it needs to be revised and retagged with more meaningful tags.
Identifying close candidates: if a tagged question just slipped through the cracks and needs to be closed, it needs to be listed as a close candidate on the cleanup notice.
For any tagged closed question or close candidate, the cleanup period is the last chance to save them with heroic edits: consolidate lists into canonical answers and flag duplicate answers for deletion and substantially improve the quality of the question. If an attempt to save a question has been made, flag the question and list it as a "saved question" on the cleanup notice
Step 4: cleanup aftermath
At the end of the two-week cleanup period:
- any questions marked saved will be reviewed and reopened if the edits have, in fact, substantially improved the question and addressed the original reasons why the question was closed
- any deletion candidates not saved will be deleted
- any merge candidates not saved will be merged
- any close candidates not saved will be reviewed by moderators and closed if found to be off-topic, not constructive, too localized, not real questions, or exact duplicates of other questions
Any questions closed during the cleanup will stick around for a month to give one final chance to save them. If they haven't been reopened after that, they'll be deleted.
Wrap up and feedback
This is pretty close to what we've been doing for other tag cleanups, just in a more structured manner that keeps everyone in the loop about what's going to happen at any specific time.
What do you think? What concerns do you have? Are there specific implementation details that need tweaking?