The question Do we really need this many generic character related tags? was posted some months ago, and the top answer (+15/-2) says:

We don't need any of these tags. They're all meta-tags that add very little info to the questions they're used on. They can't be used by themselves, really.

These tags should be deleted.

Evidently community consensus is that character-based topics in SFF such as or aren't worth their own tags on SFF.SE. Well, OK, but between them these five tags are used on a total of 691 questions currently, and that would be an awful lot of editing. There's no one tag which most of those 691 questions are in, not even , which would have eased the process by allowing a moderator to merge the character-related tags into that one tag.

So what should we do?

  • Organise another Big Edit Event just to kill tags about character-based topics?
  • Chip away at those 691 questions slowly over the next several months?
  • Stop worrying and learn to love the tags?
  • Something else?
  • Or ask a CM? They can purge tag without editing Nov 15, 2017 at 19:01
  • 1
    I doubt they'd bother for something as 'small' as tag-editing 700 questions.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Nov 15, 2017 at 19:10
  • I am sure they did it in some SE Nov 15, 2017 at 19:17
  • They helped with getting rid of some tags here, in Jan 2016, but that was a much bigger operation with more people involved and more people who cared.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Nov 15, 2017 at 19:33
  • Is there any other large scale editing that needs doing or just character tags? Nov 15, 2017 at 23:24
  • Discussion about editing limits has been moved to chat, so that it doesn't completely derail this comment thread.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Nov 17, 2017 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


Stop worrying and learn to love tags.

The usual question I ask myself when talking about tags is "Does the tag hurt the question?", and by hurt I mean make the question confusing or otherwise less accurate.

  1. Specifically I like the motivation, development, and similarity ones. These tags can convey a lot of high level information in a simple way.

    • Motivation lets potential answers know the question is searching for a "why". Even though these types of question be phrased in that way to begin with (i.e. Why did Character X do Action Z), the tag is helpful because it sets the question apart from wanting general information about a character or events they participated in.
    • Development acts in a similar way to motivation, yet sets itself apart from looking for just a "why" and adding in elements of "how and when".
    • Similarity is great tag to have when comparing characters from different works and/or companies (i.e. Namor vs. Aquaman). It quickly conveys why you might have a question with seemingly mashed tags (Why does this question have a Thor and Superman tag? Oh, it wants a comparison!)
  2. The general characters tag is bit more broad and varied usage. With this tag I default to my statement above. Overly broad doesn't mean confusing. Of the tags in question it may be the least useful and most ripe for deletion. I don't have hard opinion on this one.

  3. As for female characters... I think that has been covered in two other meta posts more thoroughly than I can expand on. (linky1) (linky2)

  • Your answer has one HUGE flaw. While we can come to love tags, there usage should be strictly defined and not based on the feeling of the OP on the particular day. The three tags you suggest don’t really help us sort our repository of information or improve the classification of the question. While they help define the scope of the answer this should really be clear from the title and not require tags. As I find it highly unlikely someone will sort all out tags by motivation because they’re experts in motivation.
    – Edlothiad
    Nov 15, 2017 at 22:55
  • I'm somewhat curious what a tag that "make[s] the question confusing or otherwise less accurate" would actually look like. Would any tag meet that standard?
    – Kevin
    Nov 16, 2017 at 4:32

I'm largely inclined to agree with @Skooba, but... well, I'm not sure we should lump them all into the same boat:

  • , , and are all self-evidently useful. If we really wanted to, we might be able to merge -motivation with -development, but I don't actually think that's a good idea.
  • could probably be merged into since most of its 22 questions are of the form "Is character X based on/inspired by character Y?", but I wouldn't really care that much if we kept it.
  • doesn't really seem that useful to me. Clicking on it, I see a random assortment of questions which don't really have very much in common. They all have characters in them, but so what? So does practically every question on the stack. Again, I'm not too bothered about what we do here, but we might consider dumping this one outright. On the other hand, 136 questions might take a couple of weeks to plow through at an acceptable edit rate.
  • <comments about edit limits removed as obsolete> Ping me if you really think a record of that conversation should be preserved, and I'll undelete and move the comments to chat instead.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Nov 17, 2017 at 16:14

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