The community seems to be eyeing up the tag for removal/burnination.

Since PLDI's still a new beta site, what will be the burnination process for this tag (if we decide to burninate it at all)? Will we be using this set of burnination criteria?

Does it describe the contents of the questions to which it is applied? and is it unambiguous?

Is the concept described even on-topic for the site?

Does the tag add any meaningful information to the post?

Does it mean the same thing in all common contexts?

How will the burnination process/removal process work for PLDI?


2 Answers 2


In order for a request to move from proposal to accepted, there needs to be some sort of objective statistic-based criteria. I propose the following:

  • The question post has minimum +10 score (representing roughly 10% of meta users approving). This minimum score would be open to be changed as needed (e.g. higher percentage/higher or lower score).
  • The question post has at least twice as many upvotes as downvotes (to avoid a situation where you have x users agreeing and x - 10 users disagreeing). This ensures that the consensus is actually a consensus. This consensus method has been used over on code golf for things like loophole definitions.
  • If there is an opposing answer, and it has a higher score than the question post then the burnination request won't be approved.

If criteria #3 is met, the request won't be , but it won't be either. Basically, it's a block rather than a definitive no.

Additionally, I suggest the following time criteria:

  • The proposal can't be accepted in the first 7 days to allow for people to actually view the proposal. This doesn't mean guaranteed acceptance after 7 days - it's just a waiting period to make sure no one is jumping to any conclusions.
  • The proposal has 6 months to be accepted. After that point, it will be declined (as to not leave it open forever)

All of these metrics are subject to change and can have completely different values. They serve purely as a way to guide community members and moderators on which stage a proposal is up to. Further, this proposal list is not binding either - if the community wants a different system, then that's completely fine. Further, they can be overriden as needed, subject to the context of the burn request.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I disagree with criterion #3, for a few reasons. First of all, what if nobody posts an answer agreeing with the burnination request? (since why would they?) In that case the only answers would be opposing. How would that work? Or, since you can upvote multiple answers, what if there's one answer in favor of burnination with 20 score, and five answers against it with 5 score each? It's an unlikely scenario, but an example of why summing answer scores just doesn't really have any meaningful interpretation. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ @RydwolfPrograms that's fair - #3 exists to basically say "the opposition for a tag burn is outweighed by the support". Do you have any suggestions for an alternative wording/phrasing? $\endgroup$
    – lyxal Mod
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think answer scores should weigh into it at all. If there's opposition, that'll be reflected in the question score. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ @RydwolfPrograms not necessarily - someone might think that a burn request is a bad idea but not be able to downvote. Still, I'll think about how to write something that takes into consideration opposition on a burn request that isn't question votes (context: opposition is something that is recommended to be taken into consideration when burning so says the (internal) documentation on how to handle burn requests) $\endgroup$
    – lyxal Mod
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 23:31
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe just base it off the highest voted opposing answer? Perhaps if the top opposing answer has a score higher than (or maybe half that of?) the proposal it can't go through. But then there's the issue of answers that don't take a hard stance; there could be some subjectivity to whether a noncommittal opposing answer or one just weighing the options is actually opposing or not $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ @RydwolfPrograms how does the updated 3rd criteria sound? $\endgroup$
    – lyxal Mod
    Commented Jul 15, 2023 at 0:00
  • $\begingroup$ Looks good. I'd maybe remove the 2:1 upvotes v. downvotes restriction for the opposing answer tho; otherwise an opposing answer could only defeat the request if there was at least 2/3rds support for not burninating, which is unlikely $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 15, 2023 at 2:47

Here are my burnination criteria. It must have number 1 and at least 1 of the others

  1. The community has decided to burninate the tag
  2. It’s off topic and therefore not useful, just close all questions with that tag
  3. It’s too broad to the point that it’s not useful or is large enough that it encompasses 1/3+ of all questions.
  4. It’s too narrow to the point it’s not useful or it’s never going to be useful for more than a few questions
  5. This happens very rarely, but if a tag is used solely for the purpose of hiding spam like the ocean base tag on Stack Overflow was/is
  6. Every question or nearly every question with this tag fits on of the close reasons
  7. Does it help categorize the question
  8. Could it mean different things in different contexts? Then make multiple separate tags

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