Thread tag management - how are you doing it?


Well-known member
I enabled thread tagging on my largest forum a few weeks ago, allowing everyone to tag up to a max. 5 tags per thread.

Increasingly the tags have become negative and inappropriate and now I'm having to consider my approach to using them at all; and if we continue, how to manage them effectively (since my moderators cannot see which members added the tags!!).

I just wondered how you guys are managing tagging:

Do you allow everyone to tag or do you restrict it to the thread starter / mods / trusted members?

Do you allow free-form tags or limit them to a predefined list that you specify?

Do you allow tags in all parts of your forums or do you limit their use in certain areas?

Do you remove the tagging feature from people who tag irresponsibly/inappropriately or have you removed it completely (on the basis it takes too much management to keep the tags appropriate/useful)?

Shaun :D
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Daniel Hood

Well-known member
since my moderators cannot see which members added the tags!!
I have a Tag Essentials add-on which allows you to have a tab on the tag page which shows the members that have used it and how many times they used it. The add-on has other features which you may find beneficial as well.


Well-known member
IMO the key is to add new functionality that:
  1. restricts low level usergroups from adding new tags to the database
  2. see who added a tag
  3. restrict specific users from tagging anything
  4. allow bad tags to be reported
  5. easily find and merge similar tags
Also reward proper tagging.


Well-known member
1. Only allow staff to add tags (focus is only using quality keywords as tags, not everything)
2. Tags enabled in threads, gallery, showcase, ams etc.
3. Use Trending Content Tags addon
4. Use Batch Update Tags addons for old threads, and add tags based off popular keywords in titles.

Brad L

Well-known member
Is it recommended to use tags on classified type threads meant for short term consumption? Am I correct in assuming tags would be best reserved for more substantial and long term content?

Wildcat Media

Well-known member
I had accidentally left a "hole" in our upgrade where thread tagging was not disabled on one of the usergroups. (I really wish these new features would install with permissions set to "No (not set)".) Over the course of three days, we had a lot of really poor tags, some made on a whim, others totally unnecessary. I ended up disabling through the permissions I missed, then had to delete each and every tag.

If I enable it, they will use tags defined by staff. And, only thread starters can tag.

On vBulletin, I introduced it with strict instructions that it be used only to help others search for topics. But since it had no permissions attached, anyone and everyone were adding tags, some to be silly, others to be nasty, and it was such a trainwreck that we disabled it completely. It left such a bad impression that the few who have been on staff for several years still want nothing to do with tags.

I feel tags should help users find content, and then categorize it when clicked on. But some are lazy and figure it will substitute for search, when it won't. I just wish I could turn the whole tagging system completely off (especially if it saved a query).


Well-known member
@Rudy if you feel like you cant trust your community members maybe you should look at curating a culture where people who can be trusted ie admins, mods, senior members do the thread tagging to teach your community on what is accepted before slowly letting other user groups in on the act.

Curating a culture is very important to any forum.


Well-known member
@Rudy I had a similar experience when first enabling tags. I trusted my membership to use them properly and opened-up tag creation for everyone. Most people used them reasonably, but enough used them poorly / negatively that I had to disable the creation of tags altogether for members and now only allow staff to make new ones.