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Problem statement

The following text is shown about voting and suggesting tag-synonyms:

Users with more than 2500 reputation and a total answer score of 5 or more on the tag, can suggest tag synonyms. Users with a total answer score (total upvotes minus total downvotes) of 5 or more on the tag, can vote for tag synonyms. Suggestions will be automatically approved when they reach a score of 4, and automatically deleted when they reach a score of -2.

I think this is fair for tag with many questions (because that probably means there are also many users who can suggest edits and vote on them). For tags with fewer questions (let's say 60 or fewer), the bar is set quite high. Combine that with the fact that almost every user can create new tags, there are quite some tags which could be considered synonymous, but there is nobody to suggest or vote for that to actually happen.

Just two examples, but I'm sure there are more out there: german & germanic-languages, and oxford-comma and serial-comma.

Possible solutions

Perhaps it would be an idea to change the requirement on suggesting and voting on tags.

One way would be to make the requirement dependent on the number of questions associated with the tag (so more niche tags can be voted on by more non-experts on the tag).

Another way would be to allow users with X reputation to suggest synonyms regardless of their score on the tag and users with Y reputation to vote on this (where X is around 10K and Y around 20-30k).

Another third idea would be to let users with 10K reputation suggest tags (regardless of their score on the tag) and allow those users to vote on it as well. The voting process would be different, everyone would upvote with their reputation and downvote with MAX(reputation, 15K). A synonym is accepted when the sum of votes exceeds 100K and is rejected when the vote gets below 25K. (the numbers I chose are just to give an indication of the idea)

This question

This question is meant to see if this is something the community likes, please post ideas in the answers. This is not a feature-request (yet), because it's unclear if this is something the community wants at all and it's unclear as of yet which solution is preferred.

  • 4
    The tag editing situation is crap. Look for discussion on meta.SE too. – Mitch Mar 19 '18 at 20:50
  • Can we be sure that tag-synonyms are enough of a problem (besides personal preference) to warrant any changes? – user171152 Mar 20 '18 at 3:55
  • 1
    One work-around (though I don't know how the powers that be would feel about it) would be to apply the tags in question to more semi-plausible questions with a lot of answers and votes, to bump up the number of people with the necessary rep. – 1006a Mar 22 '18 at 15:53
  • I referred to it as a work-around, and used the term "semi-plausible", advisedly; I was specifically imagining a situation where someone wanted to synonymize a couple of tags but couldn't find enough voters, such as the current proposal for "computers" and "computing". In that case, I'm quite sure we could find enough questions that could have these tags affixed to get a few regulars qualified. Of course it doesn't solve the underlying problem; it's just a quick fix for specific situations. – 1006a Mar 22 '18 at 16:08
  • I really don't think german is synonymous with germanic-language. The latter has a clear meaning when referring to etymology and language origins; English is plainly more germanic then German is. In itself this doesn't destroy your point (since your second example is perfectly reasonable); but it does indicate that being unable to change tags if you can't find enough experts is often a very good thing, and may well be deliberate. – TimLymington Mar 26 '18 at 21:44
  • "Combine that with the fact that almost every user can create new tags [...]" certainly not new users, but those having at least 300 rep. Also, when a new tag is created, it should be judged as soon as possible whether it's needed or not. Anyway, easier solution: post a tag-synonym request on meta and let the mod handle it. It's not something that occurs that often, so it's hardly a problem. (note: I'm not a regular here, so that's just my observation & experience on other sites) – Andrew T. Mar 29 '18 at 9:31
  • Addendum: anyway, it's always better to post tag-synonym request on meta first to get the community approval (^like Tim arguing about [german] & [germanic-language]). Whether it'll be resolved by normal users voting or a single mod is not a problem. – Andrew T. Mar 29 '18 at 9:40
  • 2
    On Stack Overflow, the solution is to come up with a question with a witty pun involving the tag in the title on meta. Of all the sites on stack exchange, I find it hard to believe that it's English that wants to do away with that system. – Andrew Grimm Mar 29 '18 at 10:03
  • There's a process that causes questions that haven't had many votes to periodically be promoted to the front page in order to encourage additional voting. If there's any way of controlling this process (I'm not quite sure how it works), then it could be useful to prioritize the tags in question, and therefore potentially increase the number of qualified voters. – Jules Mar 30 '18 at 16:04

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