As the subject indicates, should and be merged?

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I don't think so

can be about encoding any binary data stream. For example encode a JPG file using Huffman encoding, or encode a video file using some codec. There are a lot of questions about video encoding in that tag

OTOH is specifically about the encoding of characters, which is a subset of the other tag

I think the tag wiki for should be edited. Currently it only talks about character encoding

The fine art of converting letters into numbers. ASCII, ISO Latin-1, Unicode, EBCDIC… There are dozens of currently used encodings and converting between them is now a witch craft.

The tag wiki for is correct

A character encoding system consists of a code that pairs each character from a given repertoire with something else — such as a bit pattern, sequence of natural numbers, octets, or electrical pulses — in order to facilitate the transmission of data (generally numbers or text) through telecommunication networks or for data storage.

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