Recently there's been some contention regarding whether or not questions are on-topic. Actually, It seems this topic has come up a lot in the past.

As we're on a bit of a tag-cleaning bender, perhaps it's time we removed the tag entirely. Burn it. Completely. Gone. Maybe even blacklist it. This should help slow the influx of off-topic Android questions in the future.

But what about the questions asked in the past, or questions which are on topic? Well, for starters lets take a look at the off-topic reason:

and it is not about
- electronic devices, media players, cell phones or smart phones, except insofar as they interface with your computer
On-topic help page

Emphasis mine. I Bold this point because it emphasises how these questions should be tagged:

  • If a question is asking how to interface with a computer, then tag it with the OS and any relevant interfacing technology tag (like terminals, SSH/RDP clients etc) and remove from them.


  • If a question is asking an off-topic question, but it would fit/be on topic at Android.SE*, flag it for attention.
  • If Super User or Android.SE mods disagree with the migration, delete it.

* Use some discretion when flagging for migration. If a question is just terrible, flag for removal, or cast a delete vote if you have the permissions to do so. Also make sure to check Android.SE's on/off topic list!

  • 1
    I also considered "It's time we usurped our [android] overlords" for the title – Robotnik Nov 20 '14 at 0:52
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    I'm not convinced. windows+usb doesn't tell me the question is about connecting an Android phone/tablet which I may know nothing about. Also note that the presence/absence of a tag doesn't define it's topicness for a site – Sathyajith Bhat Nov 20 '14 at 10:39
  • @Sathya - On your first point, there's always the title/body for people to explicitly state they're connecting an Android device. Secondly, Of course it doesn't, but removal of the tag will go a long way to stopping new users from autmatically assuming that having a tag==ok, which is where a lot of the issue lies. – Robotnik Nov 20 '14 at 10:59
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    Couldn't we just change the tag to Android-OS or something along those lines indicating the operating system itself instead of the devices or is that thinking expanding the rabbit hole that is Android devices? All I know is the majority of the questions I see, tagged as Android, are questions I would expect on a Android SE website.. Very few are about trying to communicate that device with a computer except the few questions about the drivers required to do so. – Ramhound Nov 20 '14 at 12:20
  • @Ramhound - that might be a better solution.. If we're keeping it I'd rather the tag(s) be more specific to help define clearly what is allowed/on topic and what isn't. Would you care to add that as an answer? – Robotnik Nov 20 '14 at 14:33
  • I wouldn't even know where to begin how to write an answer to explain my thought honestly. – Ramhound Nov 20 '14 at 15:26

I am strongly objecting the removal this tag. If title and body contain important (non-meta) information about the topic of the question, then there should also be a tag for it—especially with "big" things like Android. This is the case for any question that deals with a topic of reasonable importance. Which Android definitely has, even if it's just about interfacing it with a computer.

Tags help users with specific expertise follow topics. Syncing an Android device, for example, is something mostly Android experts will know a lot about. Removing the tag would mean they can no longer follow a topic of interest.

Of course it doesn't, but removal of the tag will go a long way to stopping new users from autmatically assuming that having a tag==ok, which is where a lot of the issue lies.

At the same time, removal of the tag would not automatically mean that people would stop posting off topic questions here. Conversely, they may actually also stop posting on topic questions here, i.e. those about interfacing an Android device with your computer.

Likewise, we have plenty of tags where you could easily phrase an off-topic question. This is a problem with the assumption that existence of a tag implies on-topicness. This assumption is what needs to be dealt with, not the tags themselves.

And what's the big issue here anyway? If a question happens to be bad and off topic, we'll close it with a pointer to the help section. If it's a good question but off topic, it can be easily migrated over to the Android site—it's even a default migration path. And if it's a good question and fine to stay here, well... then let's keep it.

Going even further, what you see as an issue is just a few users who aren't able to read the tag excerpt or the help page before posting. We can correct that very easily, as explained in the previous paragraph. Removing the tag and the whole explanation of how to ask Android questions here would confuse a much larger number of people.

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