A recent spate of over-obsessive tinkering with the tags has exposed a serious bug where some tags become unusable. The bug has been reported and those responsible have been asked to stop.

The tags had a purpose and were valuable for researching duplicates and appending some 'goto' types of questions. To be prevented from applying the relevant tags defeats the operating model of the site.

Tag definitions and tag wikis have also been clobbered.

I can set about to recreate them using a near replica strategy.

So an unusable tag like '' is something I can recreate by using '' and .

The upside is that we can tag questions again with something relevant. The downside is that the effort is vulnerable to being lost from unmanaged tinkering. The other downside is that the 'Tags' menu item still displays the tags which have been made unusable and the database will show a profusion of tags some of which are usable and some of which are not.

Shall I recreate the unusable tags? If so I will start the effort.

See below for an example...

I was looking to tag an article with '' and got this error...

enter image description here

Note that the error message refers to the plural, but I am adding the singular (for which a tag exists). And it gets worse. Calling up the definition, we see there are 167 questions with this tag.

enter image description here

Which seems about right, but if you go to list the 167, you get this surprise...

enter image description here

No questions! And the programme has reverted to the plural. The expected behaviour was stable for a long time, but now doesn't work. Current status: You can no longer apply to a question. Try it! You cannot apply the plural tag either.

The tag wiki seems to have disappeared also.

Question: These types of things don't just jump out of the blue. Something changed. Somebody did something. What was it and how to roll back the change?

  • 1
    Would you please fix it?
    – Gayot Fow
    Dec 28, 2016 at 23:54
  • 3
    Would you be kind enough to stop tinkering until somebody unsnarls the situation? Getting the right tags is fundamental to our operating model and the inability to use the appropriate tags inhibits enjoyment of the site.
    – Gayot Fow
    Dec 29, 2016 at 0:01
  • @pnuts many thanks, would you ping me when it's fixed?
    – Gayot Fow
    Dec 29, 2016 at 0:07
  • 1
    meta.stackexchange.com/q/184851/189912 has some explanation of what may be going on here. Jan 1, 2017 at 22:21
  • Is this bug still occurring? I can add a standard-visitor-visas tag to a questions. Feb 6, 2017 at 22:13
  • @RoflcoptrException I can't tell, I only saw it manifest.
    – Gayot Fow
    Feb 6, 2017 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


Adding yet more tags is likely to aggravate rather than ameliorate matters, whether largely "for the sake of it" or to bypass the issue you describe. Without independent justification for "pink-lemonade" and/or "orange-lemonade" there is a risk that creating these will only cause yet more synonymising, renaming and tag edits.

Re Tag definitions and tag wikis have also been clobbered. true, but not deleted, at least for the Usage guides and very likely not tag wikis either. (Though in various places where it is useful to seem them, some do not appear.)

  • Indeed, that risk is always there, and my question assumes that the obsessive and unmanged 'synonymising' and 'renaming' will stop. Do you think those individuals will stop? The alternative is to concede that the tags feature of the site is worthless.
    – Gayot Fow
    Dec 29, 2016 at 16:08
  • Agreed, would you add that part about 'worthless' to your answer?
    – Gayot Fow
    Dec 29, 2016 at 16:32

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