I am asking because I just realized I have contributed to a tag called netbean, created by a user who mistakenly called that way the NetBeans IDE for Java development. I also contributed to the tag wiki, and now I feel bad as it is not properly named. Unfortunately I was not able to rename it myself, or suggest a synonym, because of insufficient privileges.

So, along with kindly asking someone capable to do the renaming, I'd be glad to know how should we handle similar cases. It may be possible for new users with insufficient privileges to detect similar inconsistencies (this would most likely happen in the beta phase, as the content and site is still being shaped), and providing of means to address them seems to me a good idea. Would request/question on meta be the right way to go?

  • 1
    One way could just be to remove the tag and add the tag back (since it's just one question), however, this wouldn't keep the tag wiki page...
    – hichris123
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 21:56
  • Putting aside the general case, for this specific case, shall I rename it to "netbeans"?
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 22:01
  • @GraceNote, Well, If it will not bother you I'd be happy. Still there is a way to deal with this myself as per my latest comments of Seth's answer. Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 22:09
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    Did it anyway. Yeah, there's ways to do things without intervention, but when one's around and able to do it, may'swell do it.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 22:13
  • Cool, I'll see to creating the correct tag tomorrow after the maintenance and link it back to where appropriate. Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 22:15

3 Answers 3


When I create a bad tag like that, I usually just edit it out and the tag will die on it's own (all tags with no questions go out of the system at 0300 UTC every day).

Then create the right tag and copy the wiki over (note that you might have to wait until the old tag is removed before you can add the new one if they have very similar names).

  • Thanks, will definitely do. Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 21:57
  • Can't do it — the engine thinks “netbeans” is the plural of “netbean” and won't let you create one while the other exists. Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 21:58
  • @Gilles Are you sure? I thought that check was only in place on SO and the like.
    – Seth
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 21:59
  • @Seth Nope, the plural check is in place everywhere.
    – user46
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 21:59
  • Nevermind, just tried it myself.
    – Seth
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 21:59
  • Does what @Gilles say apply even after the automatic removal at 3 AM UTC time? Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 22:05
  • @IvayloSlavov No, the system will never know netbean existed then.
    – Seth
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 22:05
  • Great, then your post makes complete sense, you should emphasize the "Then" in > "Then create the right tag and ... ". So there will be no-need to bother the moderator guys Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 22:07

Only moderators can rename a tag. You can ask for that in chat if it's obvious, or on meta if community discussion is needed.

In general, if a tag is misspelled on just one or a small number of questions, just edit it.

Once a tag is not present on any question, it will vanish from the list the next time the nightly cleanup job runs.

However, this is a special case: the engine won't let you create when already exists, because it thinks “netbeans” is the plural of “netbean” and you should have one or the other. So moderator intervention is needed (moderators can override this check).

  • +1 for the useful information. I had no idea for the tag management internals and the plural detection in particular. Still, does what you said mean I will not be able to create the netbeans tag even if the old netbean tag is deceased at 0300 UTC? Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 22:01
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    @IvayloSlavov If you remove netbean then wait until after 3am, then you will be able to create netbeans. Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 22:11
  • Thanks again, for the quick responses and useful info :) Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 22:12

For straight merging (renaming), only moderators can do this. The best way to request this is a post on Meta.

However, users can synonymize two tags, if:

  • You have the suggest tag synonyms privilege.
  • You have a cumulative score of at least 5 in all your posts in the tag being synonymized.

You can then click the synonym link on each tag page, and suggest a synonym. If three other users agree with you, then the synonym is created.

For a tag applied only to a few posts, however, it's probably easier to go through and retag them. The system automatically destroys tags that don't have any posts associated with them every 24 hours.

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