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In a comment to a plugin-recommendation tagged question @toscho advised a user of reading the tag's description when/before using it.

This is, of course, a good advise.
However, let's be honest, who reads a description of something self-explanatory? If I'd want to ask for plugin-recommendation and, hey!, there's already the tag, I'd gladly use it and post my question.

Why not mark unwanted/off-topic tags in some way, for instance, graying them out (disabled-like), paint them red, and/or bold etc., as done for the and .
This is just a supplementary means, true, but I'd say this actually does catch the user's eye, and maybe then he/she will be reading the description (and thus don't use the tag or even don't ask the assumingly off-topic question).

Of course, black-listing these tag(s) would be an even better way, but that is another story...

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I like the idea but I don't know how you'd implement it effectively. There would need to be a way-- perhaps there already is-- to mark the unwanted tags in order to display them with some identifying formatting, and even then, unless there was a working blacklist user could, and I expect would, continue to use the tags. Something even more unfriendly like a Javascript message box begging users not to use the tag might be more effective but is not without its own set of problem, many of which are shared with the formatting idea.

It would probably be better than nothing but I wonder if the effort would be worth the payoff.

  • Well, as to be seen with the discussion and status-completed tags, implementing this is possible, and already done. The latter tag is also restricted to moderators only, so there should also be a way to restrict non-moderators from using the plugin-recommendation tag and the like. But that's yet another thing. – tfrommen Apr 23 '13 at 19:24
  • The difference is that there are relatively few of those other tags and they should be mostly static. I don't know how much hard-coding was required to mark them, if any, but what you propose would require some kind of dynamic moderator input of user voting system, or the hard-coding of each tag. Not knowing how the code works here I don't know if that is possible or feasible, but I do support the idea. :) – s_ha_dum Apr 23 '13 at 19:30

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