If the FAQ forbids shopping questions, what is the tag for?

  • this along with software-rec are the scarlet letters of SU. Commented Sep 10, 2012 at 17:39
  • What shopping tag are you talking about? ;) Joking aside, the very few questions there have had the tag removed over time, the tag itself will disappear from the system when the daily clean-up routine runs. The reason I nuked the tag is not solely because of the top answer here, but also because it is a meta tag on its own. Shopping ain't a computer topic, and shopping (in the context of asking a question) means different things to different people, as nhinkle gave an example of. The questions work well enough without the tag... Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 16:35

2 Answers 2


There really shouldn't be a tag, because just shopping is explicitly off-topic as you mention. We rarely blacklist tags though, so it reappears whenever someone gets it into their mind to tag a question as such.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out, however, that questions realted to shopping can be OK if written appropriately. A question in the form of "what is the best x" or "I need a foo that does bar" is likely to be obsolete and very narrow in scope. However, a question that allows for a learning opportunity and that can be applied to various situations, of the form "how can I determine [for myself] which foo can do bar" has potential to be valuable.

Both the policy and the theory behind our stance on shopping questions is explained in detail on the Stack Exchange blog, if you're curious to learn more.

  • 2
    +1: A question asking for guidelines on how to shop for a particular type of hardware is on topic, while a question asking for a specific recommendation is off topic.
    – bwDraco
    Commented Sep 10, 2012 at 14:30

So that we know which questions to close, of course. ;p Flags get generated on the fly when people use them - sometimes they aren't appropriate.

It's a small enough tag that it could be taken care of. I wouldn't be suprised if this tag got killed off during a previous tag cull and has since reappeared.

  • Don't think flags are automatically generated after a tag get killed and used again, but we can however see it appear again in the new tags, although we only watch those every now and then so some skip by. Commented Sep 10, 2012 at 22:24

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