A tag is a keyword or label that categorizes your question with other, similar questions. Using the right tags makes it easier for others to find and answer your question.

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keywords or labels that categorize and group your question with other, similar questions.
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For questions about, well, questions: how to ask, whether specific questions are appropriate, and so forth.
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for questions regarding off topic questions, including whether a question is on topic and what to do with off topic questions.
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for questions about answers: how to answer, whether specific answers are appropriate, and so forth.
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a core, fundamental Stack Exchange value; we allow editing by registered and unregistered users (if peer reviewed).
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for instructions and guidance on closing or migrating questions, and the reasons for those closures.
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small addendums to each question or answer, intentionally limited in size and formatting. Comments are second-class citizens.
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for questions about tag synonyms (how they work, who can create them) and for tag-synonym requests.
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when examining what is on-topic or off-topic, and why.
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for questions about the /review path where users can view and act on posts by other users that the system thinks may need attention.
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"Design" refers to front-end elements, such as page layout, coloring conventions, etc. For questions about database structure, algorithms in the code, please use "architecture" instead.
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the process by which users can vote to close a question if it is off-topic or otherwise disallowed by the FAQ.
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For questions about (links to) external resources. These are (generally) discouraged on the main site, as they attract opinion-based answers and spam, but on Meta some lists of external resources are …
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used to query the community on the specifics of a particular question asked on the main site or the meta site.
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for general questions about questions that have been closed because they are off-topic or otherwise do not meet the criteria defined in the FAQ.
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the primary way users gain reputation, and also how many items are sorted to the top.
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the process of migrating off-topic questions from one Stack Exchange site to another.
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Questions about diamond (♦) moderators, their powers, and actions they have taken.
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the process of bringing a post to a community moderator's attention for any reason.
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the answer the question owner thought best met their needs. This tag is for discussing issues related to accepted answers, not indicating that a question has an accepted answer.
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For questions about "question titles"
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keywords or labels that categorize and group your question with other, similar questions.
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an editable page that briefly summarizes the topic of the tag and that may provide links to existing questions that are often useful to many people.