1. x24

The oldest (oldest topic dating to 2013), and is a clear tag; its usage guidance:

[...] which questions are on-topic here.

2. x16

No usage guidance; same as ?

3. x29

For questioning closures or closing questions? Its usage guidance:

[...] what subjects are considered off-topic for the site

Maybe they're on-topic, so isn't that the same as ?

Deciding whether something is on- or off-topic fits neatly under . The other two just add confusion and make it harder to browse the topic. Should they be merged under or have I missed something?


2 Answers 2


The decision for off-topic or on-topic is really the same thing and should therefore be under the same tag. Since we already have the tag, we should keep that one as the main tag.

I would suggest making and tag synonyms of , otherwise they will surely re-appear as their own tags in the future.


When a new site is created on SE, a number of tags are automatically generated for the site's meta. The tags you mention are included in that set.

On other SE sites, these tags are sometimes used with slightly different meaning.

is used for more general discussion about the ethos of the site. The sort of questions that appear during the private beta.
is used for a discussion about a specific topic within the scope. The sort of questions that come later in the site's life.

For example, to quote from the tag-wikis on Retrocomputing:

For questions and discussion regarding the range of subjects encompassed by the scope of the site, as defined in the Help Centre.

For questions as to whether a particular subject is on-topic for the main site. Use in conjunction with

While the difference is subtle, there is a difference. The issue boils down to whether this distinction is required or useful. That may be decided differently by different sites.

  • $\begingroup$ I see that [off-topic] is not one of those tags. Interesting insight, thanks. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Apr 7, 2022 at 9:15

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