I'm concerned that is actually a meta tag (and if so, it should be removed from use).

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  • It feels like one to me. – Ash May 28 '14 at 2:44
  • I upvoted the question to indicate that I think it's a good question to ask, not that I think the tag is a meta-tag. :) – John Cavan May 28 '14 at 2:51
  • Okay, I'll add an answer that says it is a meta tag for voting :-) – Zaralynda May 28 '14 at 12:50
  • What if we changed it to myths instead? I don't like the wording of mythbusting, it sounds like an action, but I think the idea is fine. – Spidercat May 28 '14 at 16:16
  • I've orphaned the tag – John Cavan Jun 8 '14 at 2:38

Yes, it is a meta tag. We should remove it.

does not describe the content of the question, but it describes the asker's previous knowledge or thoughts on the question. It describes the author's motivation for asking the question (I think X, is that right?).

From the post on meta tags:

The reason meta-tags are a problem is that they do not describe the content of the question. They describe some other aspect of the question, like the author’s skill level, or the author’s motivation for asking it, or generally what “kind” of question it is (poll, how-to, etc.).

Meta-tags are actually a subset of a larger problem that I usually call dependent tags. These are tags that don’t say anything by themselves – you can’t tell what the question is about unless they’re paired with some other tag (or several of them). These tags are a problem because people don’t realize this and will often use that as the question’s only tag.

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  • The content of the question (yes, I'm playing devil's advocate :D) is a potential myth though in that we have a common perception and that we're trying to establish the veracity of it. As an aside, I'm not wedded to my response, I can definitely be persuaded off it. Having said that, I do kind of like the browsing around interesting things aspect of it. – John Cavan May 28 '14 at 14:10
  • @JohnCavan but wouldn't myths vary by culture/location (myths about animals needing to reproduce before desexing are stronger in Europe than in the states, for example), so that's still a subjective "content" – Zaralynda May 28 '14 at 17:27
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    It is very much a meta tag, and it is highly unlikely anyone would come here specifically searching for that tag. – Ash May 28 '14 at 22:18
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    @AshleyNunn That, and more: if someone is already on this site and reading an answer, then is mythbusting something they'd choose to click on? Would we want to encourage it? For example, if they came because of an answer about horses but which also happened to be tagged mythbusting then clicking the tag would take them to a list of, for the most part, questions unrelated to horses. I'm guessing it would also affect the list of questions in the Related list on the right. The fact that it is only meaningful if paired with another tag is what makes it absolutely a meta tag. – ClickRick Jun 1 '14 at 22:09

In addition to my comments on Zaralynda's "Yes" answer, I shall play Devil's Advocate for a moment and liken to one which we don't currently have and which I think would be subject to similar arguments.

Consider .

This particular example describes a characteristic of the animal in question, certainly, but more importantly it describes an aspect of the question which is important to the person asking while in many cases being actually irrelevant to the question. It would get used simply because people like to categorise things, but it would attach to questions about any sort of animal in which albinism can occur.

  • Is that useful to the person asking? No.
  • Is it useful to a visitor looking for related questions? No.
  • Is it useful to the site as a whole? No.
  • Is it useful on its own in categorising a question? No.

In short, I think the arguments for or against apply equally to and in my view that means that neither is useful. (Though might possibly be).

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Well, a point in the linked blog post is about whether or not the tag could be used by itself for the question in a meaningful way. It seems to me, with respect to the questions we have there, that it's not too bad in and of itself. Basically, I'm seeing that it:

  • Describes the purpose of asking the question
  • Implies that the question is about a "fact" that could be disputed
  • Invites the responder to provide real evidence to dispute the "fact" presented or support it and back it up

I think I kind of like it. :)

It also has the advantage of collecting together questions that surround the old wive's tales of animal caring and that can be an interesting trip for anyone looking at "interesting" questions that are not directly related to personal problem solving.

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  • We should encourage all answers to be backed up to some extent (even if it's just personal knowledge) – Zaralynda May 28 '14 at 14:15
  • @Zaralynda - Of course, but to be honest, the only thing I really like about that tag is grouping up a collection of interesting things. It's in my nature, I'm the type of person that wanders through Wikipedia. I can start with say Pink Floyd and end up reading the history of papyrus making in the Nile delta just by connecting links. – John Cavan May 28 '14 at 14:18
  • I think all of our questions are potentially interesting, and can use any tag to wander around if I want to. – Zaralynda May 28 '14 at 17:28
  • @Zaralynda - Interesting tags lead to interesting wandering... that's just me though. I'm more likely to click on "mythbusting" than I am to click on "care" as it were. – John Cavan May 28 '14 at 17:32
  • As it is, it seems like only you or I have any real opinion and mine is wishy-washy. – John Cavan May 28 '14 at 17:33
  • Leave it for a few days and see if anyone comes by with a stronger opinion. – Zaralynda May 28 '14 at 17:34

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