I know this has been discussed before, however, the discussion seems to be primarily focused on how it would pertain to Stack Overflow, with the apparent conclusion being that this is a sign of things being tagged incorrectly, rather than a need for something useful.

On other Stack Exchange sites, though, there are cases where this would most definitely not indicate incorrect tag usage.

For example, on scifi.se, there are many tags used to refine specific franchise tags. Some examples:

  • harry-potter has many sub-tags such as aldus-dumbledore (48 questions), hogwarts (55 questions), voldemort (149 questions), etc., as well as tags specific to individual books/movies.
  • star-wars also has sub-tags including specific movie titles as well as the-clone-wars, character tags (darth-vader: 45 questions; luke-skywalker: 27 questions, etc.), and franchise-specific tags like the-force (46 questions), jedi (66 questions) and sith (34 questions)
  • Author specific tags are frequently forgotten. An excellent example is george-r-r-martin, which should be used for every question related to one of his works (including Game of Thrones TV show, A Song of Ice and Fire books, and various short stories and novels unrelated to those titles). However, we have 181 questions tagged with the author, but 372 tagged with a-song-of-ice-and-fire and 398 tagged game-of-thrones.

I have seen similar issues on other sites, such as Arqade.com, which has some instances of class-specific questions that fall under more general title tags.

I know we have several users who make an effort to fix these when they can, but it is a difficult task, particularly since these examples are all very popular titles, especially for new users who aren't very familiar with the tagging system.

It would be really helpful if we could have the larger franchise and author tags listed as mandatory, or even implied, whenever the tags that are clearly always sub-tags are used.

It would be up to the individual community to very carefully evaluate which, if any tags would be set up this way, but it would make cleanup for those communities that have clearly-defined subset tags much easier.

  • 1
    I think you're incorrect on the george-r-r-martin thing, but the rest of the tag hierarchy would be nice to have. If I tag something star-trek-tng, it should also be tagged star-trek. This is similar to how on SO, tagging something with some C++ library should probably have C++ on there too.
    – user1027
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 15:36
  • @Keen Yeah, I've rethought my position on the author tags... and most of the others, as well.
    – Beofett
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


Why does a question tagged game-of-thrones have to be tagged with george-r-r-martin? Surely this relies on the author of the question knowing that Mr Martin is the author of the books upon which the TV series is based. Something you can't assume. But from the meta post where you define this rule it states:

Do not use more precise tags

So, this would imply that it's not that you need tags to be linked, just that people are using inappropriate "precise" tags when the more general ones are what they should be using.

The important thing to remember is that you should be able to apply a single tag to a question and have it make sense.

Users can favourite multiple tags and include multiple tags in searches so there are tools to ensure that you don't miss a question.

If anything it sounds like your george-r-r-martin and star-wars type tags are redundant and you should be using the more specific tags for a given character or film/book.

  • 1
    @Beofett Then maybe your question should be posted on meta.scifi - I don't see how this would fit for other sites.
    – bluefeet
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 15:14
  • @bluefeet I thought all feature requests were to go through this meta? I'll take a look at other graduated SE sites and see if I can find any others, but this meta is no longer just the trilogy, as I understand it.
    – Beofett
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 15:16
  • @Beofett If you think a feature should be implemented on all sites, then yes, post to MSE. If not site wide, then you can post a feature request on Meta specific to that site. This seems really targeted to SciFi, I don't see how something like this would work on SO.
    – bluefeet
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 15:17
  • @Beofett - if your feature request is site specific it should be asked on you site's meta.
    – ChrisF
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 15:17
  • @ChrisF I guess I'm not clear if this should be site-specific. It certainly seemed as if the (rather old) discussion I linked indicated there was popular support for this as a feature for other sites, including SO, so I thought it might merit wider discussion.
    – Beofett
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 15:20
  • It seems to me that your tag wiki descriptions could include a list of related tags. See, for example: android.stackexchange.com/tags/notifications/info
    – Fish Below the Ice
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 15:21
  • @Beofett Tag hierarchies are indeed popular, but have been rejected time and time again.
    – ChrisF
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 15:22
  • @ChrisF Regarding your edit: you have missed the rest of the meta discussion that you quoted, which is extremely relevant here: except for extremely popular works. Certainly Star Wars and Harry Potter qualify as "extremely popular works" on our site, especially since they both have more questions than the example Lord of the Rings specifically called out as a good situation for using more precise tags.
    – Beofett
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 15:27
  • 1
    On a personal level I find it most frustrating that despite that I've marked game-of-thrones to be hidden, only to immediately come upon spoilers for the current season because the questioner has seen fit to tag it with asoiaf and stannis-baratheon
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 9:05

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