The discussion on the tag is overwhelmingly in favor of doing something, in agreement that the status quo is unfavorable. The creation of a tag, and moving most existing questions to it (or to the existing tag), also seems to be pretty well endorsed.

One of the questions that the existing discussion is much less clear is what to do with enchantment going forward: should it be blacklisted as a tag name in the future? Or synonymized with some other tag?


Removing the tag is fine. It should not be blacklisted.

Removing the enchantment tag is fine if we deem it's not necessary for the D&D questions right now.

Blacklisting the tag at this stage is overkill. It's also not an appropriate use of the blacklisting tool (I'll get back to that shortly).

We're not currently facing any specific problem with it warranting blacklisting. We have reasonable concerns we may run into confusion someday, because D&D disagrees with a popular interpretation of the term. We are not, however, currently experiencing that problem or that confusion.

Stack Exchange content moderation works best when it's in response to problems we are currently experiencing. Whilst we tend to not resolve problems like this pre-emptively, we also especially don't bring in last-resort tools like blacklisting at the pre-emptive step.

I seriously need to emphasize that blacklisting is last resort and done only when we continuously experience a problem. Doing it merely pre-emptively is very much not the appropriate way to use blacklisting.

In the future, if we see the tag come up again in the scope of another product, we'll see how it goes, see if any serious problems come up, and if they do, see exactly what those problems are. At that point we can make decisions about what needs to happen: renaming tags, blacklisting, thoughtful retagging, etc are all on the table.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I disagree—we are currently experiencing the problem. The enchantment tag was created in response to its usage in D&D, primarily 5e, and caused exactly this problem. If we had already gone through all of this for prior editions, we would be going through it again now. How is that not experiencing the problem we are concerned about? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Mar 12 '18 at 17:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan First, the tag has not been burninated multiple times in our history. We blacklist for tags which we've decided are bad and keep coming back, but we don't blacklist after the first burnination. We can and do simply remove it if that's appropriate. Second, the tag has not run into an issue where we're having problems because we're using it in relation to multiple games where it means different things, and since that has not happened we have not seen any problems arising from doing that, so we are not experiencing that specific issue at all yet. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 12 '18 at 17:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Third, whilst we've decided the tag is inappropriate for classifying in D&D, our blacklist currently consists of tags which are fundamentally not workable on the site: only these five tags. "We don't need [enchantment] on D&D questions" is not at that level of unworkable yet as far as I can tell, nor is it creating an issue that can only be resolved via blacklisting. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 12 '18 at 17:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, I suppose you (and the other moderators) will shoulder the bulk of the burden if it ever gets created again (and inevitably becomes a problem), so I suppose +1, you’ve convinced me. I’ll leave my answer there for people to vote on, though. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Mar 12 '18 at 17:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Fair enough, and I'm sure your foresight is quite sound that we could bump into issues. I just want to know that blacklisting this tag is the correct and proportional response to those issues before doing so, and we'll find out whenever those issues actually come up. There are other tags that get misapplied occasionally (like [new-gm]) but it happens on a scale of less than once a month and the tag remains having inherent value, so it's trivially resolved by simply untagging the occasional case of its misuse. The same may be the case for a future [enchamtment] tag. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 12 '18 at 18:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yep, this. Especially my answer was in the context that blacklisting is a Big Deal, usually unnecessary, and wasn't even on my radar for consideration or need. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 12 '18 at 20:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ An additional consideration in my mind is that "Enchantment" would be a pretty reasonable name for a new RPG, so we could find ourselves in the future actually wanting to have an [enchantment] tag. \$\endgroup\$ – Oblivious Sage Mar 12 '18 at 22:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ObliviousSage We would probably want to call that [enchantment-rpg] to avoid issues, but then maybe we would synonymize [enchantment] to that. It’s a good point. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Mar 13 '18 at 0:38

Yes, it should be banned

The term “enchantment” has two major, widely-used, mutually-exclusive definitions. Questions about the subject of each definition should definitely not be grouped with questions using the other definition, so using one tag for both definitions is not workable (and there seems to be strong community consensus on this point).

Anything we define to be, is going to clash with some of our users’ expectations, and that’s going to lead to misuse. This fundamental problem with the term is not going to go away. No matter what future development happens, it seems inconceivable that either definition is going to stop being used (even if D&D dropped its usage of the term, people will continue playing the editions of it where it did, to say nothing of spin-offs from those editions that will also most likely continue to use it). And a third usage appearing in some future product does not make the situation better.

So we should avoid ever having a tag by this name. It will never not be a problem.

No, it should not be synonymized

The problem is that there are two more-or-less-equally valid targets for a synonym: or . Picking one seems to sort of “favor” that definition. Synonyms can be helpful here, in that they convert for the user so they can see “oh, this site means this thing when they say that,” but there is no way to present the user with a choice between the two tags.

Even just thinking about it, I find myself going back and forth on which direction I would favor for the synonym, if forced to pick one. That, to me, is a strong indication that there shouldn’t be a synonym.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note: I have been convinced by @doppelgreener’s answer and the related commentary, so I do not personally endorse this approach at this point; I’m just leaving it here as a thing to vote on. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Mar 12 '18 at 18:01

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