If someone creates a new site tag, and there's a difference of opinion of whether it's a good tag for the site, who has the onus of proving their side by initiating discussion on Meta? The tag creator, or whoever opposes the tag?

More specifically, is it a valid approach to claim that the tag creator has the responsibility to start a Meta discussion, and if they don't, the tag is worth deleting despite the lack of said discussion?

  • If you think it's a valid approach, don't downvote a neutral question asking for a yes of no answer. Post a "yes" answer. That's how Meta works Dec 29 '15 at 17:39

In general, anyone who is allowed by the system to create a tag may do so freely and without asking permission (either on meta, in chat, etc.).

The problem, as you note, is that other users might object to the creation of the tag. Such users can just as easily remove the new tag, possibly resulting in an edit war. In that case, both the tag creator and the objector(s) should search for and link to a relevant meta discussion (either a discussion regarding the specific tag or a class of tags in which the disputed tag falls). If a relevant meta discussion exists and the community's consensus is clear, the onus is on the party which disagrees with that meta discussion (whether the creator or objector(s)).

In some cases the community's consensus is not clear (either there is no relevant meta discussion, or there is an existing one but there is no clear consensus). In that case, the onus is on the party which is outnumbered in the initial dispute. For example, if the tag creator and one other user agree that the tag should exist but one user objects, the onus is on the objector. If there are two objectors versus one tag creator, the onus is on the creator. If the two parties are equal in number, the onus is on both to initiate the meta discussion.


Considering the fact that none of the SE sites (including this one) requires posting a Meta question to create a new tag, this is clearly not an established custom to ask permission to create a new tag.

Considering that the negative downsides to deleting a tag erroneously far outweigh the negative downsides of erroneously NOT deleting it (the latter merely creates a minor negligible extra clutter without any meaningful harm to any site user, the former deprives people of the effective search means), the onus should be on the people who intend to cause the more impactful negative consequences if they are wrong.


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