I've seen this question but I'm still not convince about the usefulness of those tags. The meta Question itself recognize that the tag could not survive alone in any question which is specifically prohibited by the tag creation page:

... tags that cannot stand alone as the only tag on a question, are not allowed.

so, why should they exist? Also, isn't more useful if the tag instead of identify the symptoms try to identify the causes?

This tag represents an abnormal state of (any) software, something that should not occur or that is not reproducible (unless it's a bug). A crash is simply a result of an error (in loose terms, a problem) and the cause/solution is relative to the technology at hand (meaning that other tags would be more relevant). Error represents another problem... either cause by the user or the program itself but it's more relevant to tag the question with the piece of software causing the error rather than just informing that I had an error.

To put it in simple terms, let consider the following:

Now lets say:

Each permutation tells that it vaguely describe the problem but I could already find that in the question body/title itself.

BTW, most of SE sites are trying to get rid of those tags:

3 Answers 3


Since no one has answered and others have also upvoted, I may as well post an answer.

So, no, I don't think these tags are in any way useful, they don't impart any information and seem to add complexity rather than clarity. So, let's burninate them!

enter image description here

Update 2016-06-10

The tag has now been blacklisted:

enter image description here

  • There's this thing as silent agreement. 4 votes out 31 views is ok-ish.
    – Braiam
    Feb 6, 2014 at 23:06
  • Yeah, I was expecting a mod to step in eventually but we may as well have a "No!" answer.
    – terdon Mod
    Feb 6, 2014 at 23:07
  • No downvotes. So, everyone agrees.
    – Braiam
    Feb 7, 2014 at 0:20
  • 1
    Can we blacklist /error, now that Anthon has successfully cleared it out?
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Jun 6, 2016 at 15:52
  • 1
    @JeffSchaller done.
    – terdon Mod
    Jun 10, 2016 at 16:49

I've seen your question but I'm still not convinced by the uselessness of . Ok, maybe it should be renamed . The tag means “this question is about investigating a crash”. It has a clear meaning, so it isn't a meta-tag. It's useful in a search: “Apache crashes” isn't the same problem as “Apache isn't doing what I want it to do”.

I do agree that is too unspecific and should be burninated. Unlike crashes, errors are pervasive, and they're ambiguously defined (what messages count as errors as opposed to normal diagnostics?). Before burninating we should review the uses, as some questions should be tagged or or perhaps others.


I came across this question after I noticed that did not have a tag description, and after viewing some posts that it might be a good candidate for burnination.

I added a description to error, so it is less likely to be used again, burned ~285 tags changed ~15 into , , and some others (for the two questions with only the )

From the original 303 posts with there are now two left that are merges and that I cannot edit. That also solves the problem of how to keep the tag from disappearing (with its description) and then being recreated without its current excerpt:

THIS IS NOT THE TAG YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. The tag [error] is so generic that it has no value in identifying questions. Please don't use this tag. You might be looking for [error-handling] or [return-status], otherwise tag with the name of the program or the action that caused an error condition or error message.

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