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I am wondering if we need the tag (221 threads). It looks like an archetypal meta tag to me, and the SE policy is to not tolerate meta tags. We do have some particular exceptions to this rule on CV (such as [self-study]), but [basic-concepts] does not seem to be useful at all: it seems to be used randomly with many hundreds of "basic" questions not having this tag.

Therefore my suggestion is to eliminate it.

The problem is that it has a lot of threads. We have recently manually removed another meta tag , but this involved editing below 40 questions. There was a recent question about with what seems to be a consensus to get rid of this tag; but it has over 60 threads and manual removal will be tedious and annoying (because of bumping to the front page). With we are talking about 200+ threads.

If we agree that is useless and should better be removed, can we actually ask SE developers to burninate this tag? SE developers can perform automatic no-bump removal of a tag from all threads; this is called "burninating" a tag. See When to burninate on Meta.SE:

You probably shouldn't bother [to remove a tag manually] if there are more than a few dozen questions. [...] For tags that involve large numbers of questions, just flag the burninate-request and leave a note for the mods that the cleanup is done. They'll pass this along to someone like me [SE admin], I'll verify that you didn't lie about the sanity-checking and cleanup, click a button, and it'll be like the tag never existed...

Update.

I have re-tagged all the threads that had [basic-concepts] as the only tag. This tag is now ready to be burninated. I am putting [burninate-request] tag on this meta thread.

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    $\begingroup$ This tag is violating the [basic-concepts] of what a tag should be. It should be burned. $\endgroup$ – EJoshuaS - Reinstate Monica Aug 17 '17 at 22:18
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is a meta tag, and our policy is not to have meta tags. See this this 2010 thread The final death of meta-tags? (that eliminated [beginner] tag) and this 2010 blog announcement by Jeff Atwood: The Death of Meta Tags.

So should go.

The problem with it (as with most meta tags) is that there is no clear scope. Which concepts are basic enough to warrant this tag? Which are not? This is entirely subjective, hence the mostly random usage of this tag (leading to it not being helpful). This is contrast with subject-matter tags such as [regression] or [clustering] which do have clear scope.


Update 13 Nov 2017: The tag has been eliminated by @kjetilbhalvorsen. Thanks!

Despite multiple requests in chat and on Meta to burninate this tag, none of the mods was willing to help. So the tag was manually killed flooding the front-page with 100+ posts over the course of the weekend. I find this spectacularly ineffective.

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I do not view that tag as problematic.

I accept that it is a bit of a "how long is a piece of string" type of tag but I can see that some newcomers might find it helpful. Especially when browsing the site for old answers and threads this can be a helpful tag. The fact that people use it (you mention 200+ threads) adds to its perceived utility by some. As every tag it has its misuses where users clearly ask involved questions that would never fit in a basic Probability or Statistics class (eg. here) but in some other cases it makes some sense (eg. here).

Let me point out that is different from . A basic concept is something that is fundamental to Statistics and/or Probability. A question on Fiducial inference for example could very well be a basic concept that a beginner would find totally unapproachable.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. By the way, what's you opinion about [best-practices] tag? $\endgroup$ – amoeba says Reinstate Monica Dec 6 '15 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ Consider also that [beginner] was removed in 2010: meta.stats.stackexchange.com/questions/264. How is [basic-concepts] different? Perhaps I am missing something. $\endgroup$ – amoeba says Reinstate Monica Dec 6 '15 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ Because a basic concept is not necessarily a bigger concept? For example, asking about the difference between a Bayesian and Frequentist approach is not necessarily a beginner question but it is a basic concept in many cases. $\endgroup$ – usεr11852 says Reinstate Monic Dec 6 '15 at 20:36
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    $\begingroup$ To everybody: let's not downvote answers in this thread (and in any other meta thread that has several contradicting answers). Instead, upvote the answer with which you agree. If you disagree with one of the answers very strongly, please comment to say so (instead of downvoting). $\endgroup$ – amoeba says Reinstate Monica Dec 7 '15 at 10:46
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    $\begingroup$ The problem with [basic-concepts] (as with most meta tags) is that there is no clear scope. Which concepts are basic enough to warrant this tag? Which are not? This is entirely subjective, hence the mostly random usage of this tag (leading to it not being helpful). This is contrast with subject-matter tags such as [regression] or [clustering] which have clear scope. $\endgroup$ – amoeba says Reinstate Monica Dec 7 '15 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ I do agree that it a clear element of subjectivity; I disagree on the necessity to remove the tag. $\endgroup$ – usεr11852 says Reinstate Monic Dec 7 '15 at 20:36

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