I thought we had decided to avoid the tag, for all the reasons listed there. In addition, the tag is a "meta tag", which are generally not a good idea on StackExchange sites.

Yet now that I look, I see that we have 59 questions tagged . What's up with that? And why is that OK? OK, that latter was a rhetorical question: it seems pretty clear this is not desirable.

So, what shall we do about this? Should we remove the tag from all of those questions, and delete the tag and agree to avoid its use in the future or add it to a tag blacklist? Are we all agreed that this tag is inappropriate and should disappear?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I did a little research on blacklisting tags and found this. At least it is possible. $\endgroup$
    – mikeazo
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 12:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I updated the help center on-topic section about homework to make our expectations more explicit. $\endgroup$
    – mikeazo
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ Something tells me this question could use an accepted answer since The homework tag has been blacklisted. ;) $\endgroup$
    – e-sushi
    Commented Aug 18, 2014 at 7:21

2 Answers 2


One thing I don't like as has crept up is that now (and I am guilty of this too) we often ask "is this homework?". If we get rid of we should also stop this behavior too.

Instead, we should use the criteria Ninefingers suggested in the answer on the related question.

The descriminant is whether the question is fundamentally well typed out and shows prior research/a clear problem, not whether it may or may not be an assignment.

This is true whether or not the question is homework, so we really don't need to know. At that point, it doesn't matter if the OP's question is homework.

The only problem I see with this stance is that sometimes questions are so easy that it is simpler for me to write out an answer than to comment "what research/work have you done", wait for them to update, then give an answer. So a lot of times I just write out the answer.

Anyways, I propose we:

  1. Remove the homework tag from all questions
  2. Ask SE to blacklist it
  3. Stop asking people if their question is homework
  4. Do a better job of requiring proof of some basic research so that the site doesn't turn into a question answering service
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like a plan! I like your analysis and proposed path forward. $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 18:08

I would like to revive this question and discussion. It's October/November and the beginning of semester, and the site is full of questions that are CLEARLY homework. What is wrong with marking this as homework? The site should not be about helping people with homework. Also, if someone has done research on a problem and has not succeeded: if it is for work or something they are studying and researching I think we should give them a full answer; if it is for homework then we should most certainly NOT give them a full answer. Homework that is assigned is intended to be done by the students and is at a level that the student is supposed to be able to solve themselves. So, even if they tried and failed, they shouldn't get a full answer here, and at most a hint.

Not only do I think there should be a homework tag, I think we should have Crypto StackExchange and CryptoHomework StackExchange (just like there's a separate site for Cryptography Meta). However, a homework tase is a reasonable "compromise".


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