As this is a dev-level ability and not available to moderators, can someone from the team please blacklist the 'reference' tag? We've come up with other, clearer tags with community input and would like to keep reference from popping up again.

While you're in there, 'writing' isn't a useful tag on this site and should be blacklisted as well.

  • 3
    As a note, I'm in the process of removing the writing tag from all the questions it is currently on. Looking forward to seeing it eradicated. I've noticed that if a question is only tagged 'writing' it is more likely to be off-topic.
    – justkt
    Mar 23, 2011 at 18:31
  • 1
    I think writing is a valid tag as opposed to editing or publishing. Mar 24, 2011 at 0:46
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    @Ralph: I think editing and publishing are valid tags; "writing" isn't, or it would need to be added to pretty much every question that wasn't about editing or publishing.
    – Standback
    Mar 24, 2011 at 7:42
  • The "writing" tag might possibly be, in some instances, a carry-over from English.SE, where it may be more appropriate(?) or simply mis-applied.
    – Standback
    Mar 24, 2011 at 7:44
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    @Ralph - I have yet to see a use of the writing tag that isn't better described by one of our other writing-related tags. For example 'technical-writing', 'creative-writing', or 'tools'.
    – justkt
    Mar 24, 2011 at 11:46
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    On a Writing Q&A site, I think writing is redundant. Apr 13, 2011 at 22:44
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    I'd like to add the "advice" tag to the blacklist.
    – Standback
    May 5, 2011 at 12:50

2 Answers 2


"Writers" "info" "advice" and "tips" are now disallowed on this site. I left "reference" because it could be a worthy tag if correctly applied to questions regarding the writing of reference materials.


I don't know if they can be blacklisted, but what can be done is: they can manually be removed from all questions.

I think what will happen then is that the tag will be considered "nonexistent," meaning new questions won't be able to use it without enough reputation to create new tags.

  • Oh, and in retrospect, I think this has been done. I think I even did the "reference" tag.
    – Standback
    May 5, 2011 at 13:16
  • it's really a request for the SE team, who can blacklist tags (no one else can)
    – justkt
    May 8, 2011 at 22:31
  • Ah, thanks - I didn't know that option existed.
    – Standback
    May 9, 2011 at 5:00
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    The tag can be banned/blacklisted, but I believe an SE employee needs to do it; community mods don't have that ability. (Well, I don't have it on bicycles.) The problem with just removing the tag is that it almost always crops up again; people still use "bicycle" from time to time on the bicycles site. And if you miss it, pruning the tag later on ends up putting the question in question (heh) up to the top of the list of questions. Any questions? May 10, 2011 at 2:58

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