Inspired by this meta post, I decided to take a look at the tags that are used together with [tag:harry-potter]. Some of them seem too specific.

Should we make a group effort to clean this tags?

is currently at 1350+ questions.

The list includes (number of occurrences alongside )

  • 1
    I don't really have time for a proper answer at the moment, but (1) be careful so as not to flood the front page with old questions, and (2) I think everything from sorting-hat down definitely needs to go
    – Kevin
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 14:52
  • 3
    @Kevin - sorry, I deeply disagree. Sorting-hat seems like a perfectly valid tag. Tons of questions, and I myself used it for searching. Ditto elder-wand. Some low-count ones don't seem very widely useful, but blanket-deleting tags that already have 10+ questions (and some should really have more except older questions weren't tagged with them) isn't very helpful or useful to ANYONE and does tangible harm. Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 15:38
  • @SQB - what exactly is the reason to clean up these tags? Are they harming anyone in a tangible way? Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 15:42
  • 3
    @DVK, the reason would be better tag use. For example, I edited this question. Before, it was tagged with the main characters and a tag that wasn't really appropriate. Now, it is tagged with the main universe (harry-potter) and the type of question it is (plot-explanation). If I wanted to see every question about Albus Dumbledore, I could search for his name, since I don't think there's a question about him without it. But tagged like this, I can actually search for all plot explanations of Harry Potter.
    – SQB
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 17:13
  • @Kevin I wasn't planning on doing more than one or two a day. On which tags can go, I think most if not all character tags can go. There's hardly a question about a character that doesn't use that character's name.
    – SQB
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 17:15
  • @SQB - that still doesn't explain what harm having Albus-dumbledore tag on that question caused? Was it crowding-out the plot-explanation tag? Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 17:15
  • As a slight aside, tom-riddle should simply be an alias to Voldemort tag Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 17:17
  • 1
    @SQB - show me one example where there was a deep need to add a 6th tag AND you couldn't find one to legitimately edit out (like butterbeer). And at the risk of sounding antagonistic, "plot-explanation" meta tag seems a lot more useless to me than HP specific tags. Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 17:31
  • For what it’s worth, the HP-specific tags chamber-of-secrets and order-of-the-phoenix
    – alexwlchan
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 21:34
  • @DVK 'Harm' is irrelevant, as that's not how we determine which tags should stick around. Beofett just posted the guidelines for tags. 'Harm' isn't one of them. You should edit your answer to address these guidelines.
    – user1027
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 14:33
  • @Keen - every one of those tags fit the guidelines as they are useful for searching (and I did search using many of them - my answer clearly highlights that); so they fit the guidelines. Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 14:58
  • If you want to blame someone, blame @Slytherincess meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/a/1565/1148 Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 14:36

3 Answers 3


I'd say tags could be removed from roughly 80% of the questions it's on. Only a handful of those questions have anything to do with the author.


I think we should get rid of and . The former due to it being overly-specific and rarely- used. The latter should be replaced with a more generic Fantasy or . The use of said generic tag plus will make it clear that it's about these dark arts.

  • Makes sense. Especially since one HP question already has dark-magic tag on it. Also, 2 out of 4 uses of Azkaban tag are invalid (the question mentions Azkaban but isn't really about it) Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 18:10
  • 1
    Same goes for dada.
    – SQB
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 6:26
  • @SQB Post an answer, so it can be voted on, or edit that into mine.
    – user1027
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 14:51

Simple answer: No, they shouldn't be removed. They are used by HP experts (example: myself) to search for questions in a way that having no tag would make impossible.

Since searching is listed as one of the valid uses of tags, and these tags clearly greatly help searching and their removal - as demonstrated - will make searching between much harder and impossible for many topics - they should be left alone for any tag where the text search results number more than 10.

Caveat: some of these tags SHOULD be removed as they are flat out wrong (tom-riddle should be an alias for voldemort; j-k-rowling should be an aliast for harry-potter until she writes speculative fiction in another universe OR someone asks JKR question not related to Harry Potter that's ontopic); some should be renamed (hagrid should be rubeus-hagrid to avoid ambiguity)

  • Note: similar stats for most of the tags listed; I just listed the first 3 I recall searching for in the last couple of months Commented May 2, 2014 at 1:37
  • tom-riddle being an Alias for voldemort could be inherently a spoiler. Not sure how important this is, since it's been so many years since CoS (Movie AND Book)
    – Möoz
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 4:40
  • @BorhanMooz - aliases aren't easily visible unless you type the "wrong" name as a tag; so there's not much spoil ability Commented May 2, 2014 at 17:11
  • Didn't know. Cool
    – Möoz
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 0:45
  • The Apparition tag is misspelled as Apparation, so that one should go, IMO. If a person wants to create tags for their own posts, that is their prerogative; however, I do not like people sticking tags onto my posts. I do feel that "plot explanation" is generic and unuseful. It describes basically every question re: Harry Potter. Commented May 3, 2014 at 5:00
  • @Slytherincess - as per chat, both spellings are valid... so it should be aliased. Commented May 3, 2014 at 15:11
  • 1
    @Slytherincess - No. There were numerous posts that, boiling away polite chit chat, amount to "If you don't like the fact that other people edit your posts, don't post on Stack Exchange". Edits that drastically change the post content are against the rules. Edits that you merely don't find useful are perfectly valid and welcomed, no matter how they personally feel to you. Commented May 3, 2014 at 15:13
  • @DVK That doesn't come remotely close to meaning you can't disagree with the edits they make. There's a huge, fundamental difference between accepting that your posts will be edited and accepting every edit that is made to them. Slytherincess, and anybody else, is perfectly within her rights to revert any edit to her posts that she disagrees with. Commented May 11, 2014 at 1:37
  • 1
    @AnthonyGrist - There's a fairly wide chasm between "Slytherincess has a right to revert any edit" (which I agree with you) and "Slytherincess is right to object to people editing her post" and especially "Slytherincess is right to expect people to NOT edit her posts" (which is contrary to both the license and the spirit of SE). As long as the edit is non-impactful, of course. Commented May 11, 2014 at 1:40
  • @AnthonyGrist - "As it says in the faq: if you aren’t comfortable with the community editing your posts, Stack Overflow may not be the right website for you.". blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/03/the-great-edit-wars Commented May 11, 2014 at 20:41

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