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I've noticed that we as a site seem to be prone to tag duplication, moreso than many other sites; sometimes this is just a case of a simple typo (and let's be honest here, there are a lot of typos on this site), but more often than not it seems to be a result of variations in transliteration. A few examples, from looking through the current tag synonym list:

This is hardly a complete list — I'm sure there are some that haven't even been caught and added to the synonyms list yet — but the problem is fairly consistent: Tags end up split based on minor changes to transliteration, which semi-regularly requires cleanup otherwise it breaks categorization (which pretty much eliminates the whole point of tags in the first place).

In many (most) of these cases, the regular auto-complete list would pull up the correct tag; however, for whatever reason, not everybody uses the auto-complete list. And unfortunately, when a new tag is created, future users who do use the auto-complete list are now stuck choosing between two tags that quite literally mean the exact same thing.

According to M.SO (see: Warning or confirmation on new tag creation), there is a feature which can be enabled which would warn users via popup that they're creating a new tag (whether intentionally or by accident); I feel that enabling this warning on our site would encourage users to use existing tags and reduce the necessary cleanup and confusion that mistagging can cause.

Do we want such a feature here?

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    Yes, please....
    – ozbek
    Oct 22, 2015 at 7:24

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Yes such a feature would be fine! But I guess a big cleaning of tag-synonyms is necessary! And I guess that wouldn't prevent users to create new tag synonyms!

Unfortunately this is a big problem: there are so many tag synonyms here it's confusing.

Because we have differences in the Arabic transliteration and of course some special definition which are more or less known because of cultural reasons and sometimes it's a madhab matter.

Before suggesting some other possible solutions, I need to ask:

  • Would it be possible to avoid the creation of new tags (at least for a while)?
  • Would it be possible to disable tagging without auto-complete?

May suggestion could be:

  • we need try to find all those synonyms (but should we post them here?) And then
  • we will need to put them together so that they should auto-complete each tag creation (for this we would need a kind of temporary tag creation "stop")
  • If it's not possible to disable tagging without auto-complete... then this should be done monthly or weekly...
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    I'm not sure there's a need to stop tag creation altogether (there's already a bar of 150 rep for creation, in theory anyone who has earned that much knows enough about the site and their topic to know when new tags are necessary). Tag cleanup is always going to be an ongoing process, it just needs enough people who care enough about the site (and their topic) to keep it clean catching mis-tags as they occur.
    – goldPseudo Mod
    Oct 23, 2015 at 15:58
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    As for finding synonyms, if it's more than a trivial edit to fix (i.e. if a mis-tag has only one or two questions on it, you can just edit the questions to use the proper tag) definitely post them here; any users with 1250 rep can propose and vote on synonyms, and diamond moderators can also bulk-merge tags together when necessary.
    – goldPseudo Mod
    Oct 23, 2015 at 16:00
  • Ok, thanks for the information: as you see theory isn't practice i realized that i could create some tags without knowing that it needed 150 rep, as my rep increased somehow rapidly the first few weeks i was here but i always try to use auto-tag, as on the other hand i realized i couldn't create tags or could only use a few tags when i lately began to write here in meta. How does the tag cleaning process works:vote purpose? Do we need to report them in a special "thread" and do i understand well: only moderators can do the cleaning etc.!
    – Medi1Saif Mod
    Oct 28, 2015 at 7:44
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    The only Moderator-only ability in this case is tag merging (which silently renames every single instance of a tag to a new tag); tag synonyms can theoretically be suggested, voted on, and implemented by any users with sufficient rep, but in my experience that rarely actually happens (on this site and others) without a moderator jumping in anyway. Other than that, most tag-cleanup would just be editing (or suggesting edits) to add/remove/rename tags to an individual post, which doesn't really require much reputation at all.
    – goldPseudo Mod
    Oct 28, 2015 at 9:03
  • What about: tags like father, mother, sister, brother couldn't they be merged. or different names of sahaba, ahl-al-bayt, prophets names, prayer names, sin/sinner ...?
    – Medi1Saif Mod
    Oct 28, 2015 at 14:27
  • Those are probably all probably better argued in their own meta discussions.
    – goldPseudo Mod
    Oct 28, 2015 at 15:42

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