As the subject indicates, should encoding and character-encoding be merged?
I don't think so
encoding 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 character-encoding is specifically about the encoding of characters, which is a subset of the other tag
I think the tag wiki for encoding 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 character-encoding 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.