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Community Tagging Overview

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Posted by Matt

16 August 2015 at 17:05:31 MDT

Hey again, everyone!

Here at Weasyl, one of our core features is community tagging. This is because we’ve chosen to use tagging as a replacement for old-style category systems that limit classification of your work to a predefined range of choices. Our Search feature relies entirely on these tags, so comprehensive tagging is essential to making sure that the system is as effective as it can be.

Community tagging has a number of benefits for all different users, whether their focus is creation or consumption. The system is in place to make works more easily discoverable for people knowing what they want to see while not knowing who they might be able to see it from. It’s to increase visibility without leaving the entire effort of tagging solely on artists.

Creators are the best positioned to accurately tag their own work. That’s why we have an optional setting to prevent other users from removing tags you place on your own content. You can find it under Site Preferences in your user settings. Tags placed by a submission’s owner will also appear in a different color: green if you have permission to remove it, and red if you do not. Tags are the only persistent way for your work to be easily found by new viewers after it passes through the front page, so taking a moment to tag thoroughly can really help get your work noticed!

Consumers can more easily find content they’re looking for. Also, if there is content they know to find disturbing or subjects they simply prefer not to see, they can proactively filter that content out. The same tag that can bring a viewer to a submitter’s work specifically can better allow others to tailor their experience on the site to one they’d find most comfortable.

Now, we understand that some of our users take issue with our tagging system in its current form. We also feel that it needs some work to become what we’d like it to be. We are currently looking at various ways to make tagging more robust and appealing. We’ve got a few ideas, but we really want to make sure that we find a solution that’s ideal for both creators and consumers alike. So, if you have any ideas along those lines, we’d love to hear them in the comments!

One thing we do want to make clear is that despite some similarities to how some archive-style sites handle tagging, we do not have a “Tag What You See” policy. We want creators to retain the ability to define the content of their work. We ask that before you tag someone else’s submission, to please read the attached description to ensure that your tag additions accurately reflect the content. If they are removed, please take the hint and do not engage in an “edit war” with the owner. At the same time, we ask that content owners respect the need for our tagging system and to not reflexively revert the addition of accurate tags.

One common concern we hear is the idea that other users could redefine or damage the presentation of one’s work through abusive or deliberately inaccurate tagging. We realize that there is the potential for petty levels of harm from more preoccupied users. However, the same moderation stance we take on comments is applied to tags as well: abuse is not tolerated. Beyond that, purposefully inaccurate tagging is considered a violation as well.

If you’re having issues with abusive tagging, please report it to our staff. You can file a ticket by reporting your own submission (feels weird, we know), selecting “Perpetual incorrect tagging” as the reason, and pointing out the harmful tags and taggers in the comment field. Repeat offenders can have their tagging privileges removed.

This system is still in progress to its best state. If anyone has any suggestions please let us know in the comments. Also, we do understand if some people feel this system is not for them. However, the reason that community tagging is such a core feature to Weasyl is that our Search feature is entirely dependent on it. Tags are how your art gets found, and community taggers are helping your art to be found.

Thank you for taking the time to read this through. We look forward to hearing from you in the forum thread. We would also love to hear from people interested in joining our development team. If you’re at all interested, please let us know by contacting us here!

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