I've been very slow about it, but in relation to this question: Issue with [students-t] tag, I have finally re-tagged them all (bar the last couple which I will take care of after a suitable interval from my last few retags, perhaps later today) to either [t-test] or [t-distribution].

What's the best action to take with the empty tag? The linked question suggests making it a synonym of [t-test] (and I don't object to that if that's seen as a good option by people other than myself) but I wonder if that's really the best option.

For example, a lot of the uses of it since that post were [t-distribution] (perhaps near to half) and I think that mislabeling a [t-test] question with [t-distribution] is slightly less bad than the other way around.

Another alternative would be to ban the tag (on meta and meta.SO they talk about burninating* blacklisting tags). I think this is less easy to achieve but may be worth considering pursuing.

So what to do?

If you have an opinion please consider putting it as an answer, to enable voting.

*sorry, I used the wrong word there. I meant making it so nobody can recreate it or we'll be killing it again in a few months.

Specifically see burninate-request:

It stands for simple deletion of a tag. Burninating tags does not imply that they will be merged with another tag, synonymized with another tag, or blacklisted altogether.

and blacklist-request:

This tag is used in requests for adding one or more tags to the blacklist, preventing them from ever being recreated.

Blacklisting a tag removes all occurrences of it from the target site and prevents anyone from ever using that tag again.

Tags must be "quite bad" to be blacklisted. Generally, these are tags that could never convey any useful information or are actively harmful to the site. Because of the potential consequences of getting something wrong, only the dev team is able to add tags to a site's blacklist.

So if there's a consensus that the tag is horrible and needs to be made not-recreatable, we can request that (even then it may not happen, it depends on how bad the tag is understood to be).

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    $\begingroup$ Once the tag is cleared off from all threads, it will be automatically deleted in 24 hours. Do you think there is a danger of it getting re-created? $\endgroup$ – amoeba Nov 29 '15 at 22:16
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    $\begingroup$ In addition to that: do you think the danger of [students-t] being re-created is any higher than any other possible similar tag such as [student] or [student-t] getting created? The case seems to be equally strong to blacklist any of them. $\endgroup$ – amoeba Nov 29 '15 at 22:20
  • $\begingroup$ @amoeba, is it true that tags w/o any threads are deleted in 24 hours? I've never heard that. I do know that new tags w/ only 1 thread are automatically deleted after 6 months, but that's a different issue. If the tag deletes itself, you're right that nothing should really need doing. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Nov 29 '15 at 22:47
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    $\begingroup$ @gung Yes, Tags not associated with any question are automatically destroyed at 03:00 UTC every day. $\endgroup$ – amoeba Nov 29 '15 at 22:50
  • $\begingroup$ @amoeba yes, that's my specific concern. I should have been clearer. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Nov 29 '15 at 23:55
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    $\begingroup$ Hi Glen_b, this is just a nudge: a week has passed, my answer by now has 11 upvotes and there was no disagreement at all. Shall we make these synonyms and resolve the issue or do you have any reservations? $\endgroup$ – amoeba Dec 6 '15 at 0:05
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    $\begingroup$ @amoeba Thanks for the reminder. No reservations; it's in the mental list of things to take care of but less urgent than some other things I need to do on site. If it's not done in two days feel free to nudge me with extreme prejudice. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Dec 6 '15 at 0:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Glen_b, I imagine you have more than enough to do (whereas this issue is not pressing at all), but as you asked me to nudge you again after two days, I will point out that four days have passed. $\endgroup$ – amoeba Dec 10 '15 at 23:56
  • $\begingroup$ @amoeba thanks, you were right to do so. I'll try to get it today. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Dec 11 '15 at 1:00
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure you will notice that Scortchi has now implemented the mappings; consider accepting my answer here and perhaps also gung's answer in the previous thread to make both threads appear resolved on the meta front page. Cheers! $\endgroup$ – amoeba Jan 20 '16 at 17:14

One reason can potentially keep reappearing is that it starts with "Student". We don't have any other tags starting with this word.

So instead of blacklisting this tag, I suggest to create as a synonym of and as a synonym of . Then whoever starts typing "student..." in the tag field will get these two suggestions and will be likely to use one of them.

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    $\begingroup$ I've implemented these two mappings. $\endgroup$ – Scortchi - Reinstate Monica Jan 20 '16 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ Great, thanks @Scortchi. $\endgroup$ – amoeba Jan 20 '16 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Scortchi ... I managed to upvote this comment twice (undoing the upvote which I now can't change) ... $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Jan 20 '16 at 22:18

Update: If the tag is automatically destroyed after 24 hours without a thread (see @amoeba's comments above), it isn't clear that anything needs to be done.

Because it seems likely to lead to some mis-taggings regardless of which tag it is made a synonym of, I would lean towards 'blacklisting' as the safest option.

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    $\begingroup$ I changed the term in your post because I used the wrong word in mine -- it seems 'burninating' merely refers to the deletion of a tag, whereas I believe we both mean making it so the tag won't just get remade again (which needs CM intervention, assuming we get a consensus). $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Nov 29 '15 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @gung for clarifying in the face of my correction. Given the number of times it was used in the last few months, I was assuming the tag would simply be remade every time we deleted it. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Nov 29 '15 at 23:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Glen_b, in light of the quote you added, blacklisting seems to be a pretty big deal, & as amoeba notes, people could just create [student-t], etc. If the tag is automatically deleted, I see no problem to be solved. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Nov 29 '15 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ One could of course make the same argument about the tags that have been blacklisted before. I am content, however, that there will not be consensus to ask for a blacklist, so all I need do is remove the last question with the tag. Thanks gung. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Nov 30 '15 at 0:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Glen_b, I just saw that there was actually 1 thread left. I changed the tag. We can check tomorrow to ensure that the tag is gone. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Nov 30 '15 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ yes, I had deliberately left one until the thing was decided, just in case the CMs needed an existing thread for their blacklist script. Anyway, nothing to do now but wait. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Nov 30 '15 at 0:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Glen_b: I am wondering what is the list of tags that are blacklisted on CV? $\endgroup$ – amoeba Nov 30 '15 at 0:09
  • $\begingroup$ @amoeba I was referring to the blacklistings on SO and meta.SE, for example, tags that need another tag ("meta-tags") that arise are banned; I don't know of any here. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Nov 30 '15 at 0:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Glen_b, here is one idea: let's create [students-t-test] as a synonym of [t-test] and [students-t-distribution] as a synonym of [t-distribution]. Then whoever types "student..." in the tag field will get these two suggestions and will I think be very unlikely to use something else instead. $\endgroup$ – amoeba Nov 30 '15 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ @amoeba Actually, that makes a lot of sense. Can't do it right now; I'll try to do it later. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Nov 30 '15 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ @amoeba, that's clearly the superior solution here. Why not add that as an official answer & it could be accepted? (Not meaning to be presumptuous, of course. It's Glen_b's prerogative to accept or not as he chooses.) $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Nov 30 '15 at 0:23
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry about jumping the gun on editing the tag, @Glen_b. I didn't realize you were holding off. I thought they were all supposed to have been gone & so I checked to see if the tag still existed & saw the last one. Also, given amoeba's answer, I can delete this one if you think that's appropriate. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Nov 30 '15 at 0:38
  • $\begingroup$ There's no problem with the tag edit, everything is fine; I was simply explaining why I had left one there. I don't think you should delete this answer; it has upvotes, so it represents a segment of how people feel. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Nov 30 '15 at 3:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Glen_b, turns out that there is one tag blacklisted on CV and it's [statistics]. $\endgroup$ – amoeba Dec 2 '15 at 0:24
  • $\begingroup$ @amoeba oh, of course, thanks for that. Yes, I had heard that one before and it's an obvious one to ban here. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Dec 2 '15 at 6:11

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