I sometimes remove the deprecated homework tag, and five minutes later somebody reads the question and thinks: "hey, this looks like homework", and adds the tag again.
I propose a blacklist of tags which should be disallowed, like (not exhaustive)

Like I said in comment I think the homework tag is deprecated because it's a meta-tag. Maybe we should add something like this to the FAQ:

If your post is about a school assignment, mention this in the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 because I've fallen victim to adding the homework tag to a HW question before without knowing that it was deprecated. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jon L
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 19:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ What's wrong with pointing out your question is homework? That's useful information I'd like to know when answering since I will likely answer it differently. When I know or suspect something is a homework question I teach the basic concept and try to not provide a direct answer. For other questions a direct answer is appropriate. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 24, 2011 at 13:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Olin - We discussed this before and I kind of agree. I didn't decide that homework is deprecated, I just want to avoid silly situations like in the question (the 5 minutes did really happen). I guess it's deprecated because it a meta-tag, and doesn't say anything about the question's topic. \$\endgroup\$
    – stevenvh
    Commented Sep 24, 2011 at 17:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ related: How can I possibly know if a tag is deprecated or not? \$\endgroup\$
    – davidcary
    Commented Oct 18, 2011 at 13:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ You'll always run into problems when you try to enforce ill-conceived, controversial policy decisions such as declaring the 'homework' tag deprecated. Better not to waste your time trying to do so. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


There already is a tag blacklist system. There is no such tag blacklist for the specific tag on this site. Blacklists for the system should be evaluated one-by-one. Note that there's also a burnination system, which deletes the tag from all questions in one blow, so we don't have to go through and remove it manually.

There are various levels of dealing with bad tags:

  1. Edit the questions with the tag. I've updated the list of meta tags to include post counts, many of them can be trivially dealt with by hand. Note that the tools and policies originated on Stack Overflow, which has over 2 million questions, so dealing with 20 questions is trivial. While doing this, consider that having bad tags is an indicator for bad questions - Consider whether the body and title need editing, or if the post should be closed entirely. You want to leave high-quality questions behind you.
  2. Burninate the tag if the remaining questions appear to be well-tagged and high-quality, or so numerous that they can't be edited in bulk.
  3. If, after burninating and manually clearing, the tag comes back from the dead (remember that 500 rep is required to create a tag, so this shouldn't happen in most cases), then we blacklist.

Particularly egregious tags may start further in this system, but this is a good general case.

You can propose a tag to be blacklisted via the tag. For good examples of this in action, search for [tag-blacklist-request] [status-completed]; for example here on MSO. There are currently no tag blacklist requests on meta.electronics, so it's unsurprising that you were unaware of the system.

Tag blacklists are typically used for meta-tags, as described in the blog post. Examples of meta-tags would be the contents of the list at What meta-tags on E&R should be axed?, which includes your listed tag .

Other bad tags are those which don't helpfully describe the question given the context of the site, such as on Stackoverflow, or , , , or here. Unfortunately, is the only item in that list which has no questions. None of these should exist.

In summary, I'm terribly sorry for the abominable state of tags on this site. Yes, we need to work to improve them. Yes, blacklists are available.

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    \$\begingroup\$ what do you want to do with the specific tags listed in the Q? there are no blacklist entries for electronics. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 24, 2011 at 9:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JeffAtwood - Burninate them! I'd also like blacklists for the intrinsic tags and for popular meta-tags like beginner and homework. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 24, 2011 at 14:41

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