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Wikipedia:Tag bombing

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Tag bombing is a form of disruptive editing

Tag bombing is the unjustified addition of numerous tags to pages or unjustified addition of one tag to multiple pages. Tag bombing is a form of disruptive editing. Editors who engage in tag bombing after being asked to stop may be blocked from editing Wikipedia. Adding tags to articles should be accompanied by sufficient reasoning on the tagged article's talk page (or in a "reason" parameter where one exists) to explain why the tags are needed. While some tag bombing may be a well-intended request for clarification, tag bombing can be used as a way to promote a point of view.

Tag bombing does not apply to the moderate use of tags that are self-explanatory; having the same information on the talk page is a redundancy. For example, the tag {{unreferenced}} says "This article does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed." There is nothing more to say about an unreferenced article. The article either has sources or it does not have sources. Tags like {{cleanup}}, on the other hand, say only a little more than "This may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards" and direct an editor to the Manual of Style, which contains myriads of possible issues. The use of these tags may be enhanced by the use of an argument of what points in the Manual of Style need to be addressed.

When several tags do apply to a single article, consider using the {{Multiple issues}} tag to group them together. This is one thing that robot-assisted tagging does. This should not become a "check-all-that-apply" exercise, in which the human operator checks off every single tag that applies, even if some of the tags apply only tenuously. {{Multiple issues}} can still be used to tag-bomb.

Avoiding problemsEdit

To avoid tag-bombing:

Consider applying only the most specific, helpful tags
For example, don't put on {{cleanup}} if you're also putting on {{copy edit}} and {{cleanup-list}}; they might be enough. Avoid vague and redundant tags.
Improve it yourself
If you can tag an article, you can also edit it in other potentially more helpful ways. Maybe you don't have the scientific expertise to edit an article on rocket science, but surely you can do something to fix the spelling of plain English words?
Focus attention on the most important problems
If a page needs significant work, especially if it's a new page, then don't tag a page for every single problem. Add a tag for the one or two most urgent problems. When those have been resolved, then future editors can look for less urgent issues. Don't distract from major problems by adding tags for trivial ones.

How not to do itEdit

This is what tag-bombing looks like. Does this "bomb" your screen with maintenance tags?

To tag-bomb, simply get a bunch of useless maintenance templates and place them right at the top. You may group them into a {{Multiple issues}} template or you may not group them. You can also spread inline cleanup tags like {{Citation needed}}, {{Unreliable source?}}, {{Better source}}, {{Or?}} and {{Self-published inline}}. Once you press the "Save page" button, you can find that the screen is exploded full of maintenance templates. Just make sure the admins don't find out about this.

See alsoEdit