General Tag Discussion

Background Pony #52BA
It depends if you approach tags from the perspective of all-inclusive searching and pure fact, or as an informing and relevance-filtered feature.
Consider wings. If you tag “wings” on literally every picture with wings in them, no matter how incidental they are, then it’d be a good idea to also invent some other tag(s) to use for pictures where wings are a major point of focus either visually or in context, or for characters that don’t normally have wings - the difference between “I want to see every picture with wings” vs. “I want to see pictures about wings”.
Then consider that you’d be also tagging all the other incidental body parts, and the section for tags quickly becomes a “wall of tags” that’s tough to notice anything that’s actually of interest.*
To tag things when they are abnormal (eg. “leonine tail” only when that’s not the original design) or important (a subjective judgement) conserves tagging effort, improves brevity and excludes semi-redundant, “expected state of affairs” information.
But on the other hand, you’d then be out of luck for differentiating, for example, a bust of a pegasus where the wings are out of frame, and you’d have to remember all the other tags that often are connected with wings, like changeling, griffon, etc. etc. There are different kinds of becoming-a-mess whether you always tag facts or subjectively tag facts.
Even if you were to add a whole new feature to the site where tags could be present on an image but selectively hidden or separately grouped depending on if they are “true, but incidental or assumable” (eg. “twilight sparkle” and “female”) vs. “true, and abnormal or notable” (eg. “shining armor” and “female” a.k.a. “gleaming shield”), in order to have it both ways, that’s even more complicated and a lot to expect Anybody McUploader to do.
You can probably sense my bias toward the “don’t tag assumable things” approach…

* Strawman time!
pony, quadruped, legs, four legs, hoof, hooves, neck, body, head, one head, ears, two ears, eyes, two eyes, eyelashes, eyes open, iris, purple eyes, pupil, snout, nostrils, mouth, unicorn, horn, one horn, unicorn horn, cutie mark, magenta cutie mark, dark hair, mane, purple mane, purple hair, magenta hair highlight, multicolored mane, tail, purple tail, magenta tail highlight, multicolored tail, lavender coat, female, mare, unicorn twilight sparkle, twilight sparkle
or
unicorn twilight sparkle

As for “classical unicorn” implying all those features, even if they won’t always apply (like being out of frame) - implications aren’t perfect and may be used for things that are frequently forgotten, with the expectation that a tagger has to go back in a second step and remove any implied tags that aren’t right. As for the features themselves - “leonine tail”, “cloven hooves”, etc. they are features relatively uncommon for creatures in MLP so there’s a good chance that people would think they’re interesting or notable - though I wonder whether it ought to have been “classical unicornized”…
UnderwoodART
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Just Another Pink Pony
@Background Pony #52BA
I understand where you’re coming from, and I do agree to a degree. In the future I will ignore “invisible implications”, like tagging unicorns with horn, etc. Obviously I shouldn’t search for wings if I want a pegasus, but a winged yak needs both tags, since a name for that doesn’t exist.
However, I disagree about certain design signifiers, like coat and mane colour. Yes it’s redundant for very well known characters like Twilight, but if I want to find an OC design with a green body and yellow hair just for aesthetic’s sake, there is no other way I would find them. And what if I can’t find that one secondary character–you know the one–green maybe, dreadlocks, everyone calls her a stoner? By maximising tags, you maximise the chance people will find what they’re looking for, and that is their entire purpose.
You seem to be implying a pyramid method of “the more something is known, the less it needs to be tagged”, which I think I can support, but that inherently comes with ambiguity for anyone not privy to this information. Background Ponies will see an OC tagged with coat, mane, etc. and apply it to the screencap they’re uploading.
It’s almost like we need primary and secondary tags; primary for those overarching categories you can navigate and secondary to detail every aspect of an image for search results. But then you’re getting into Google-levels of coding.
As far as the ‘wall of tags’ goes, I kind of feel like we need nesting for implied tags, so you would see the wings tag, then hover over it for a drawer including large wings and spread wings, etc. Then you could have a pony design tag, or something, which nests mane, coat, and eye colour. And in regards to the wall of tags on derpi events, you could have included characters and included artists drawers, and suddenly its not 5 pages long anymore. Yes it would still open up a lot, but only if you want to see them.
Unrelated addition:
Is there anything in place to handle multiple characters using the same name? oc:angel is a very popular name, and it is almost impossible to find a specific artist’s OC amidst the variety. Should popular names be tagged with its creator, for example oc:angel (daimo), while still implying the greater tag?
TexasUberAlles
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Yeah, I actually wish Derpi had been doing mane/coat color tags all along like Strawberry Reef’s index-by-color, it’s a simple thing that doesn’t really clutter the tags much but makes it hecka easier to track down a character you only remember the basic look of.
Background Pony #52BA
However, I disagree about certain design signifiers, like coat and mane colour. Yes it’s redundant for very well known characters like Twilight, but if I want to find an OC design with a green body and yellow hair just for aesthetic’s sake, there is no other way I would find them. And what if I can’t find that one secondary character–you know the one–green maybe, dreadlocks, everyone calls her a stoner? By maximising tags, you maximise the chance people will find what they’re looking for, and that is their entire purpose.
You seem to be implying a pyramid method of “the more something is known, the less it needs to be tagged”, which I think I can support, but that inherently comes with ambiguity for anyone not privy to this information. Background Ponies will see an OC tagged with coat, mane, etc. and apply it to the screencap they’re uploading.
Yep, that’s exactly the strength and weakness of my opinion on it - theoretically it’d account for things like tagging colors on less-known characters and omitting them on well-known characters, but who decides what information is more or less known?
If there are rules set up, for example, to always tag design facts, then there’s no decision to make and it’s clear how things should be. But the way I see it, even those rules necessarily have subjectivity somewhere - for example, when deciding if the rules say that “unicorn horn” should be tagged, but the number of twists of the spiral on that horn should not be tagged. Rules could also be set up defining “well known characters”…or, it could be left up to taggers to make the decision at the moment they’re tagging images, which turns the judgement into a sort of organic process that reflects the state of knowledge of the people doing the work.
Unrelated addition:
Is there anything in place to handle multiple characters using the same name? oc:angel is a very popular name, and it is almost impossible to find a specific artist’s OC amidst the variety. Should popular names be tagged with its creator, for example oc:angel (daimo), while still implying the greater tag?
Splitting off a tag with the name of the OC owner in parentheses is how it’s been handled in the past, but I haven’t seen them imply the original name.
It’s not as convenient, but that still lets you get results if you know the site’s search syntax: oc:angel* would let you find any OC whose tag starts with “angel” (eg. “oc:angel” and “oc:angel (daimo)” and “oc:angelwing”) or a search oc:angel || oc:angel \(* would find exactly “oc:angel” or “oc:angel followed by a space and an opening paren then anything else” (the backslash indicates the paren should be used in the text, not as search syntax that lets you group parts of the search).
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Lincoln Brewster time
@☬ ᏝᏆᏁᏨᎾᏝᏁᏰᏒᎬᎳᏕᎿᎬᏒᎱᎯᏁ ☬
Uh, well that’s weird. Something sure looks like it got messed up. I don’t remember the tag’s description being like that at all…like the other markings tags are, y’know, complete sentences with capitalization…
Anyway, it looks like it’s trying to talk about mealy mouth (coat marking) or mealy muzzle
I think it should be the first tag you mentioned (as most other coat marking tags have the parentheses following) but maybe it was linked wrongly.
Also mealy muzzle should probably be aliased into mealy mouth (coat marking).
Background Pony #7C7A
@UnderwoodART
RPG-7 is a specific type of rocket launcher. It should imply rocket launcher, not be aliased to it. We have separate tags for weapon models, not just weapon categories.
UnderwoodART
Princess of Love - Extra special version for those who participated in the Canterlot Wedding 10th anniversary event by contributing art.
Elements of Harmony - Had an OC in the 2022 Community Collab
Non-Fungible Trixie -
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Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
An Artist Who Rocks - 100+ images under their artist tag
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Just Another Pink Pony
@Background Pony #52BA
Given that someone could theoretically search down canon character names outside the booru, those colour descriptors could be limited to OCs alone. I do like TexasUberAlles’s suggestion; it makes me think of those small hex colours on the mlp wiki. If we could have a dropdown panel including metadata and manual descriptors, which you could perhaps filter searches by, that would be the best of both worlds. Fewer tags, more specificity.
It’s not as convenient, but that still lets you get results if you know the site’s search syntax: oc:angel* would let you find any OC whose tag starts with “angel” (eg. “oc:angel” and “oc:angel (daimo)” and “oc:angelwing”) or a search oc:angel || oc:angel \(* would find exactly “oc:angel” or “oc:angel followed by a space and an opening paren then anything else” (the backslash indicates the paren should be used in the text, not as search syntax that lets you group parts of the search).
It’s this markdown that I think is the biggest hindrance of the site, as it is both unintuitive and requires exact wording. This is why I think we need auto-fill suggestions, so you could type in “angel” and pick from “oc:angel” “angel bunny” “angel”, and other such variants. e621 has that functionality, so it’s certainly possible on a site structured like this. No reason to reinvent the wheel.
Background Pony #7C7A
@UnderwoodART, @ZONESS, @Background Pony #52BA
Tagging all facts or only unexpected facts? Should “frog” mean the animal or the part of a hoof? These are inherent problems of simple, text-based tags. To avoid them, we could use something with more structure. For example Wikidata has separate items for frog the animal and frog the hoof part. Similarly, it knows that Glock 17 is a Glock and a pistol, so you don’t need to tag “Glock 17”, “Glock” and “pistol” on the image, you just tag Q172172 (Glock 17). This also allows for tags to be translated to different languages while still being the same tag.
By the way, Wikidata already has some pony stuff modelled; see e.g. Fluttershy.
This would allow us to store default colors, features, etc. for characters in their respective items. There would be no need to tag them on each image, and yet it would still be possible to search for e.g. pictures of characters with blue manes. You could even search for characters born in Cloudsdale if such information was available for them.
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A Really Classy Artist - 250+ images under their artist tag
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Lincoln Brewster time
@UnderwoodART, @ZONESS, @Background Pony #52BA
Tagging all facts or only unexpected facts? Should “frog” mean the animal or the part of a hoof? These are inherent problems of simple, text-based tags. To avoid them, we could use something with more structure. For example Wikidata has separate items for frog the animal and frog the hoof part. Similarly, it knows that Glock 17 is a Glock and a pistol, so you don’t need to tag “Glock 17”, “Glock” and “pistol” on the image, you just tag Q172172 (Glock 17). This also allows for tags to be translated to different languages while still being the same tag.
By the way, Wikidata already has some pony stuff modelled; see e.g. Fluttershy.
That’s a good analysis :)
PUBLIQclopAccountant
Non-Fungible Trixie -
Magical Inkwell - Wrote MLP fanfiction consisting of at least around 1.5k words, and has a verified link to the platform of their choice

Pubilq Phirm
@Background Pony #7C7A
Unfortunately, most of the major tagging overhauls—especially those focused on meta-tagging—generally get shut down. The most realistic proposals to pass are the suggestions for namespace and parenthesis conventions.
It’s a bit understandable why the tag staff downvote them, too: there are already nearly 3 million images under the old tagging system. Still, it would be nice to fix things on new images. If nothing else, these discussions should be happening at the level of the Philomena project so that a future fandom can use Philomena with all the enhancements that are impractical to add on top of an active site with millions of images rather than limiting Philomena to functionality that makes sense for exactly three (3) pre-populated pony boorus.
Background Pony #7C7A
@PUBLIQclopAccountant
As a bridge solution, existing text tags could be linked to equivalent Wikidata items (or items of another such system). After all, the Fluttershy item already links to e.g. Fandom and KnowYourMeme pages about Fluttershy.
Background Pony #52BA
Tagging all facts or only unexpected facts?
Sorry, I don’t understand how that relates to the rest of your post.
Should “frog” mean the animal or the part of a hoof? These are inherent problems of simple, text-based tags.
Well, that is why there are both frog and frog (hoof) here.
To avoid them, we could use something with more structure. For example Wikidata has separate items for frog the animal and frog the hoof part.
OK, but how do they get presented to people - what shows up in the tag field?
Similarly, it knows that Glock 17 is a Glock and a pistol, so you don’t need to tag “Glock 17”, “Glock” and “pistol” on the image, you just tag Q172172 (Glock 17).
That’s a lot like Philomena’s implication system, with the exception that the implied meanings are explicitly (though automatically) added vs. being condensed into the one tag (which is pretty much what was getting discussed a few posts prior.)
I assume you don’t actually mean anyone would know to type “Q172172”, and that they’d instead get there by typing “glock” and having some suggestions offered.
This also allows for tags to be translated to different languages while still being the same tag.
Technically, I think Philomena’s tag system could be adapted the same way, because tags are also associated with a numerical ID (see on the tag page at the bottom where it lists searchable fields).
UnderwoodART
Princess of Love - Extra special version for those who participated in the Canterlot Wedding 10th anniversary event by contributing art.
Elements of Harmony - Had an OC in the 2022 Community Collab
Non-Fungible Trixie -
Magical Inkwell - Wrote MLP fanfiction consisting of at least around 1.5k words, and has a verified link to the platform of their choice
Kinship Through Differences - Celebrated the 11th anniversary of MLP:FIM!
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
An Artist Who Rocks - 100+ images under their artist tag
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
Artist -

Just Another Pink Pony
@Background Pony #7C7A
That’s all fine and dandy, as long as the data exists. It doesn’t help for original characters or locations without some kind of secondary repository for cataloguing characters, creators, and colour details. Not that it couldn’t work in tandem with a manual tagging system, but it is far from a cure-all.
You also have to consider accessibility. 99% of people will have no idea what “Q172172” is, and if you start linking together all sorts of implications (like Twilight = Unicorn), then there will be a lot of instances where that assumption is incorrect. As an accessibility feature, tags need to be rendered down to the most likely search terms, or at least recommend adjacent ones, hence my request for searchbar suggestions.
Unrelated question:
Should sunglasses imply glasses? I’m stuck on how to tag these coloured glasses. I feel like coloured lenses are ‘fashion glasses’ rather than the implied shading of sunglasses, but the uploader already tagged them as the latter. Which one? Both? New fashion glasses tag?
PS. Is there a fast way to reverse search an image on here without starting an upload? e621 has that feature too, it’s useful for casual moderation.
Background Pony #52BA
@UnderwoodART, @TexasUberAlles, @radpanic
And it can search from a URL, rather than uploading the image (uploading as in data, not as in posting to the site for people to see)
I find the match distance often has to be raised to around 0.4/0.45 to be useful, btw.
hence my request for searchbar suggestions.
Suggestions/autocomplete in the search bar have been previously decided against on the grounds that tags themselves have no rating and so inappropriate tags would pop up for underage users/the general public. But, your post just made me think, wouldn’t it be simple enough for that to be an opt-in feature? I’m’a go suggest that.
Background Pony #7C7A
Sorry, I don’t understand how that relates to the rest of your post.
With that method, you wouldn’t need to tag expected facts, as they would be inferred. You would only tag unexpected tags. E.g. you would tag something like: “rainbow dash (Q1234), depicted as (P456): alicorn (Q7890)”. There would be no need to tag “rainbow mane” because it would be inferred unless you indicated otherwise.
Well, that is why there are both frog and frog (hoof) here.
Yes, but “frog (hoof)” needed to be extracted manually from “frog”. And people still use the wrong tag from time to time. There are more tags with multiple meanings (especially for popular OC names) and the decision which meaning remains simple and which gets the parentheses can be a point of contention. Basically, “frog (hoof)” is a workaround, not a true solution.
OK, but how do they get presented to people - what shows up in the tag field?
When searching/tagging, the label and description show up. But we could show an image too to make the search more useful.
99% of people will have no idea what “Q172172” is
Qids like Q1234 are used internally as unique identifiers, but users see labels and descriptions. Try typing, for example, “kiwi” in Wikidata’s search bar. Other implementations could additionally show images or alternative names. They could have other fancy things like tag category colors (as we have now on Derpibooru).
That’s all fine and dandy, as long as the data exists. It doesn’t help for original characters or locations without some kind of secondary repository for cataloguing characters, creators, and colour details.
Yes, some kind of overlay would be needed if we actually used Wikidata. However, Wikidata was just an example and we could have our own smart tag system. The system could also be shared with other fandoms to share the maintenance burden. Actually, such a shared system would be interesting because you could have one booru for all kinds of art and still only see the things you want to see (MLP content), while hiding things you don’t want to see (art from other shows, non-MLP furry stuff and anime, and so on).
UnderwoodART
Princess of Love - Extra special version for those who participated in the Canterlot Wedding 10th anniversary event by contributing art.
Elements of Harmony - Had an OC in the 2022 Community Collab
Non-Fungible Trixie -
Magical Inkwell - Wrote MLP fanfiction consisting of at least around 1.5k words, and has a verified link to the platform of their choice
Kinship Through Differences - Celebrated the 11th anniversary of MLP:FIM!
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
An Artist Who Rocks - 100+ images under their artist tag
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
Artist -

Just Another Pink Pony
Completely unrelated to the discussion, but what the hell is going on with the mantis pony tag? It’s not even slightly what I expected when I added my mantis-like Chrysalis there (which is admittedly a poor tagging, given she is not a “pony”). And while I’m mentioning her, I’m surprised iridescent and membrane have never been used before… is there a synonym I’m missing? membranous wings exists, but they’re on her legs. “webbing” was a possibility (like webbed feet), but that’s been aliased into spider web.
@Background Pony #52BA
But aren’t tags how the filter system works? Surely if something is filtered out, like with the SFW default default filter, it shouldn’t show up in the suggestion bar?
@TexasUberAlles
Yeah, I knew about that, but it’s a bit cumbersome. On e621 it’s a link directly on the image you want to search.
@radpanic
Oh, is that what that is? Well, it’s a little easier to navigate to now at least.
Background Pony #52BA
[…] I’m surprised iridescent and membrane have never been used before… is there a synonym I’m missing?
membranous wings exists, but they’re on her legs. “webbing” was a possibility (like webbed feet), but that’s been aliased into spider web.
I dunno about that one.
@Background Pony #52BA
But aren’t tags how the filter system works? Surely if something is filtered out, like with the SFW default default filter, it shouldn’t show up in the suggestion bar?
Filters hide images based on their tags. But tags don’t have tags. Consider, for example, coco is an anal slut - all it implies is “coco pommel” because of a wide variety of images it could apply to, even “safe”-ish, like >>2598394. There’s no information that would keep it from popping up as a search suggestion if you type in “coco”.
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