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A newish user (mathlander) created a new tag: .

They started adding it to questions across the site: 13 in total.

Being a low rep user, these retag edits had to be approved by several other members of the community, and they were: 8 independent reviewers (including one of our moderators) approved these retaggings — and there weren't any edit rejections. That moderator even approved the creation of the tag wiki.

Now, another one of our moderators has stepped in and removed this new tag from all of the posts it was added to.


While I would have preferred a discussion about this (potential) tag beforehand, personally I did think it was a good tag — and apparently so did the users who approved the edits.

Why has the tag been removed without a discussion?


Clarification

I don't really want this post to be a discussion about the merits (for or against) the existence of the the particular tag — though that would make a good topic for a separate post.

I want a discussion about what's happened here, and why. Because it seems to me like the community/process has struck a discord.

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3 Answers 3

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Tagging in general can get messy over time and single use tags do accidentally get added like the which was also removed in favor of the current tag we have . It is something mods and users on the site do typically try to clean up before a tag gains traction and is too hard to remove due to the number of questions under the tag that need to be assessed.

It was mass added over a month by one user and in general and we lean away from specifics like this for tags. We do not have a , , or we instead have the general tags , , respectively. We can have the discussion if people of the site want, but the remove was due to the pattern of tags we currently have and the general idea of trying to keep our tags clean.

I'm the one that did it and it was to maintain the concepts above and we can have a discussion, but one of the things I try to do with clean up like this is keep previous site patterns so we don't diverge too much from previous discussions like this. I also do not view the edit approvals as approval the tag should exist.

There were also a handful of questions where the tag wouldn't apply like there was a question about a tritone substitution and modulation by tritone which how the tag is described would not be a good fit anyway.

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  • Please discuss the substance of my question, not the particulars. My question is about taking action against the approval of other users, and without prior discussion. Feb 19, 2023 at 12:01
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    @ElementsinSpace I thought I did. The general answer is tagging gets messy and having people look at and clean up tags is needed. Anyone over a certain rep can add a tag and once it's added it can be added by anyone so cleaning it up before it becomes a pain to fix is ideal. I also do not view the edit approvals as approval the tag should exist.
    – Dom Mod
    Feb 19, 2023 at 15:09
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    @ElementsinSpace My view is diamond mods exist because it's impractical for every single site maintenance decision to go through community discussion. Having some discussions after the fact is much more efficient and sustainable. Also many actions can be reversed or undone in some way. For example, if we now engage in a discussion about a tritone tag and/or other interval tags, then we could agree to implement such tags and go back and retag content appropriately. At the risk of opening a can of worms, I expect there are many actions taken by diamonds mods without unneeded discussions. Mar 3, 2023 at 17:24
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In general, like may other Stack Exchange sites, we have a process whereby tags are discussed once there is a) a critical mass of questions that could use them, and b) the usage is actually, well, useful.

Having one user write a bunch of posts and suggest a tag for them is absolutely not the way this process should work, so thankfully a moderator did what they were supposed to do and removed it.

Dom has already articulated why a tritone tag would be likely to be one of the less useful interval tags, but in any case, if we have a number of questions that you think could require a specific tag, please use the process which has been working well for a while and propose the new tag in a meta post, along with its expected impacted numbers, and a brief benefits statement.

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    I agree that a discussion should have be had before the instantiation of the tag. But, given that 8 users and a moderator implicitly approved of this tag, I think a discussion should have been had before it was removed. Feb 20, 2023 at 23:33
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    I think the discussion should happen before trying to instantiate a new tag - so removal seems like the sensible way to reset to an appropriate start point.
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Feb 20, 2023 at 23:39
  • And just to make it clear, I hadn't seen this activity until this post - I took a few days away in Paris so just got to this fresh on my return as an independent pair of eyes.
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Feb 20, 2023 at 23:40
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    @ElementsinSpace I'm not sure why so much focus is put on the edit approvals here as approval the tag should stay. Most edit approves aren't going to examine the tag itself outside of double checking if it makes sense on the question itself and follows the usage guide. That would be all I'd expect from most reviewers.
    – Dom Mod
    Feb 21, 2023 at 4:39
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    When I approved of one of the tag edits, I noticed that "tritone" was a new tag and I thought that it was a really good one. And I s'pose I just feel that it isn't right that this was overruled without a seeking community consensus in a discussion first. Feb 21, 2023 at 22:53
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    @ElementsinSpace - think of it the other way - trying to edit a tag in before it has been discussed is overruling the community consensus.
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Feb 22, 2023 at 14:19
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If there's a tag, that opens the door for tags for all the other intervals. I don't think we need all those tags. The tag might be an exception.

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    Isn't the tritone a rather special interval though? It usually requires some kind of sensitive handling. Feb 19, 2023 at 22:03
  • As the creator of the tag, I think that the tritone is special enough to deserve its own tag.
    – mathlander
    Feb 20, 2023 at 3:47
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    @mathlander why? Perfect 5ths are much more important intervals that don't have a tag.
    – Dom Mod
    Feb 20, 2023 at 15:24
  • @Dom Perfect fifths have only a few questions that are specifically about them. Tritones have many.
    – mathlander
    Feb 20, 2023 at 16:29
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    @mathlander we get questions about perfect 5ths all the time as they are very important to many types of music and come up a lot in counterpoint. We get very few questions directly about a tritone. I'd say discussing the tritone substitution is more common which again is different than the interval it's a harmonic construct for chromaticism used a ton in jazz.
    – Dom Mod
    Feb 20, 2023 at 16:41
  • @ElementsinSpace any augmented/diminished interval will need special handling especially in counterpoint, but you would treat the A4 and d5 differently which is another reason why the tag itself doesn't make sense to me. The term is used mostly to encompass the enhamronic equivalence of the two distinct intervals, but the spelling tells you what it is and how to resolve it. For example, C diminished has C, Eb, Gb. The diminished 5th in the chord should not just be referred to as the tritone as the diminished 5th has a specific function, the chord a specific resolution, ect.
    – Dom Mod
    Feb 20, 2023 at 16:47
  • @Dom I think it's a good idea to have a discussion about the particular (potential) tag in a separate post. Feb 20, 2023 at 21:40

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