While I do appreciate the addition of the new tag as it provides me a convenient list of questions to vote to close as opinion-based, I think it's probably in the best interest of the site to not have this as a tag.

Do we need this tag, and what do we believe it is for?

  • 7
    Stop voting to close just because a question has a tag and vtc the question based on it's own merits
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 15:25
  • 5
    I am, it just makes it easy to find the bad ones.
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 15:27
  • 4
    Seems that the consensus is to remove this tag. I went ahead and did so, as I also strongly thing that way as well.
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 22:27
  • 1
    @Kilisi apparently you aren't familiar with how meta-tags work. These describe tangential question properties instead of content, could also happen to indicate if it's close-worthy. That's why vast majority SE sites try to avoid such tags
    – gnat
    Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 4:59
  • 2
    @gnat correct, I have no idea
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 5:28

2 Answers 2


No, is not a valid or helpful tag and should not be used.

  1. It's a meta tag, per https://stackoverflow.blog/2010/08/07/the-death-of-meta-tags/. It is entirely unsatisfactory as a single tag on a question. It's like having a tag of [problem] or [things-I-dont-like]. It may as well be on almost every single question on the site describing something someone finds negative about a company, employee, candidate, HR department, etc. What does it mean to be an expert in the [red-flags] tag? Nothing. Why would you search on it (other than to find things to fight about, or find opinion-based questions to close?) No reason. It covers bullying bosses and slow recruiters and employees with strange habits - it's a valueless meta tag. Also its meaning is not clear, which I'll cover next.

  2. Its definition is not uniform across its users. What does it mean to say something's a "red flag?" Something that's negative at all? Something that's so negative you shouldn't work there/employ that person/etc? Rather than encouraging people to use their words as to what their actual concern is, it encourages people to use a poorly defined/scoped term of "red flag" and move on as if they'd actually communicated.

  3. And this is closely related to the third and fatal problem - using the term "red flag" is a very accurate marker for opinion based questions on the site. "What are issues to look out for in a candidate that spent 15 years in their previous job" is a good question. "Is it a red flag that a candidate spent 15 years in a previous job" is a crap question. It's looking for a yes or no answer, and that yes or no answer is a purely individual opinion/value judgement. People may add useful information to their answer, but through no benefit of the question - or of the [red-flags] tag associated with it.

I propose @Lillienthal stop adding this tag to questions and burninate it instead.

  • 3
    Seems that the consensus is to remove the tag. I am of that same opinion. I proceeded and removed the tags from the only 3 posts that had it.
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 22:26
  • 2
    For the record: I added it to a handful of questions after it was created for a popular question and wasn't planning to add it to others. Re point 2 I think the main use of the tag would be for question where the actual question is "Should I consider this a red flag?" meaning there's no need for a fixed definition on the tag itself. I personally don't consider to be any more of a meta tag than professionalism and arguably more useful. But it seems there's clear consensus against using it so that's fine with me. We probably overtag as it is. :)
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 7:18

While I don't think this will always translate as meaning the underlying question will be opinion-based I do think it's a bad tag.

Primarily because it's a horribly over-used, too-broad buzzphrase - people throw it around as though it actually means something but can never explain just what it means or if they can it never seems to agree with what other definitions people have given. Which, effectively makes it mean nothing and making it into a tag does nothing to resolve that issue, and just makes it worse.

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