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There is an automatic job that deletes single-use tags after 6 months. No attempt is made at determining whether the tags are good and should remain, or whether the tags are a variant name of another tag and should be renamed or made synonyms. There is no way to explicitly declare a tag as good. Even beta sites, where it is expected that the tag system is still evolving, are not exempt.. This job is not subject to any review, not even after the fact: one day the tags are there, the next day they're gone.

This has already been shown to cause harm on French Language & Usage: we currently have one untagged question because of it (what was it tagged as? Stack Exchange isn't saying.), and we might have lost more tags but there's no way to know.

Please either:

  • turn off the job that deletes single-use tag, and provide a log of past deleted tags so that we can add them back where appropriate; or
  • provide evidence that the deletions were beneficial to the site (I don't know what form the evidence could take other than a log of past deleted tags so that we can ascertain that the tags were indeed useless in a vast majority of cases).

P.S. There is now a way to protect single-use tags: write a tag wiki. (I don't know if an excerpt is enough.)


Résumé : il y a un procédé automatique qui efface les étiquettes qui ne sont présentes sur aucune question au bout de 6 mois. Il n'y a aucun moyen d'être prévenu ou même de constater l'étendue des dégâts après coup. Je demande à ce que ce procédé soit désactivé, ou à avoir une trace démontrant qu'il fait plus de bien que de mal.

P.S. Il y a désormais un moyen de protéger une étiquette : si elle dispose d'un wiki, elle ne sera pas effacée. Donc si vous voyez une étiquette raisonnable qui n'a pas de wiki, merci d'en écrire un !

  • I was also about to post the same feature-request! I noticed several good tags have disappeared :-( – Stéphane Gimenez Nov 25 '12 at 23:45
  • Sacrebleu, le tag premier-avril a disparu ! french.stackexchange.com/questions/2322/… – Stéphane Gimenez Jan 24 '13 at 17:42
  • droit et justice avaient disparu, je les ai ressuscités en les réunissant sous droit-et-justice, mais dans 6 mois ils vont disparaître de nouveau si personne d'autre que moi ne retague. – Stéphane Gimenez Feb 22 '13 at 14:57
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    @StéphaneGimenez Depuis peu, le script qui détruit les étiquettes omet celles qui ont un wiki. On peut donc maintenant protéger une étiquette en écrivant un wiki. – Gilles 'SO nous est hostile' Jul 20 '13 at 21:41
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This question lost all its tags: What is the nickname for Michel? I'm not sure about how we can re-tag it. Even the timeline of this post doesn't help when it comes to recover data, the operation seems to be destructive. IMO it shouldn't.

If possible I'd like to access backup databases to find all tags which silently disappeared. If some of those tags were worth keeping because they fit a few more recent questions, I would like to go through them and make them stick. (Though I would not be able to do this by myself with the current system, I would have to cooperate with another user.)

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    I've requested this information in the past and been told that it was hard-deleted. The only snapshot on Wayback Machine is already untagged. Maybe if we go and hit the developers with a giant storage device to teach them to make backups? – Gilles 'SO nous est hostile' Jul 19 '13 at 12:12

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