With a lack of clear data on intended use being a major sticking point in the recent discussion on the rules-as-written tag, we’d like to make a proposal that should gather useful data on how often the tag is used for its intended purpose.
We’d like to propose that we do the following:
- Change the rules-as-written tag to rules-as-written-only to clarify its intended use to new users just looking for a rules tag, and updating its tag wiki to clarify its use per the meta question What, exactly, is the RAW tag for?
- On any question where it’s not explicit in the body that the intent of the OP (and doubly so for new users) is for RAW we ask if they’re sure RAW is what they want with a canned comment that makes it clear the tag’s intended purpose (rules only, no common sense interpretation/house rules).
- Remove the tag when an OP indicates that strict RAW is not their intent
- Aggressively police answers on RAW posts to remove answers that rely primarily on house rules or common sense interpretations.
- Each question that has had the tag removed will be counted as an incident of misusing the tag. Cases of the OP not responding but then accepting non-RAW answers or objecting that the community removed non-RAW answers that were useful will be counted as mistagging as well, and the tag removed. Questions that keep the tag during the collection period will count as correct taggings.
The current suspected problem with rules-as-written is largely tied up in the fact that it A. gets applied to questions where the OP is simply looking for how to interpret the rules and grabbed the only tag that really starts with “rules”, and B. that it’s often answered with “this is what the rules say, and here’s interpretation/house rules that fill in the gaps.” These two suspected problems make the tag relatively meaningless in those contexts. The process presented here seeks to collect data on how often the tag is misused, if at all, allowing the community to proceed in a data-driven way toward resolving the perception of issues with the tag.
We’d like to start this about a week from today, and run this data collection for about a month. In a month we can evaluate and summarize the data, with the intention of eliminating the need for any stakeholders to guess about whether and how much mistagging is a real problem.
The community can help this process by aggressively flagging answers that are non-RAW on questions that have had the rules-as-written-only tag confirmed as understood and intended by the OP.
While it would generate better data, we don’t think that question closures pending OP confirmations of intent is necessary.