I'm wondering how to deal with a tag like "spider" in this question. It seems to me that the tag is redundant with the "crankset" and maybe the "chainring" tag that are also on the question. Right now it is the one-and-only question tagged with "spider." But maybe I'm wrong…

So I have many questions:

  • Is there a general rule? Something like "don't add new tags unless they are really necessary."
  • When you see an unnecessary new tag, how do you handle it?
  • If you edit a question to remove an offending tag, and it is the last instance of that tag does the tag go away? Or is separate action required to clean up the tag lexicon?

2 Answers 2


New tags should be added when they'll help categorize questions. New words for the same things that we already have tags for shouldn't get new tags.

If you see an unnecessary new tag, you should edit the tags on the question so that the question is tagged appropriately. (remove the unnecessary new tag)

I believe the tag does get cleaned up, but there may be a slight delay. If you look at the end of the tags list, you'll see that all of the "least popular" tags are either only used once, or are synonyms for something else.

Since the spider is an integral part of the crank/crankset (even the exceptions are swaged together, not bolted), and you really can't talk about a spider without talking about a crankset, I agree that the tag is redundant. It also seems likely that somebody may try to use that tag again.

I have used a moderator tool to merge into , which cleaned up the (one) instance of "spider" and created a synonym, so that all future instances of will become .

While I was in there, I saw that there was a proposed synonym of to be , and I used that same mod-access tool to change all instances of to and create the appropriate synonym.

If you have access to propose synonyms, you should do so. You can always use a custom flag or a meta post. If it seems possible to be a controversial tag change, a meta post will be better.

  • Thinking back, we have had questions about spiders ...
    – andy256
    Aug 5, 2015 at 1:17

Don't add new tags unless they're necessary is important.

When you see an unnecessary tag (e.g. duplicate), you should try to make a tag synonym. This requires 2500 rep, and there are ~60 users who can do it. Unfortunately, most of those 60 are inactive, so either you need a meta thread for it or wait til you have enough rep. You can leave a note in the chat as well to get someone else to do it (as most people in chat have neough rep).

For the last question, I have no idea, but I'm sure its somewhere in the stackexchange documentation.

  • I assume the same applies to unnecessary as in "too specific" as well as duplicates. or would you make spider a synonym for crankset?
    – dlu
    Jul 14, 2015 at 15:41

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