((The second picture in a series I’m making, starting with this. The statement was suggested by @fallendecepticonheir, and it fits in with her #defrost starscream posts. The background text is taken from Exodus. Here’s why this is important:
I’d like to go ahead and address one piece of misinformation posted by branch as part of the massive “omg don’t use chatty tags” post that’s been going around. I’m posting this separately because it’s not really about branch but about broad misconceptions about the tagging system on the AO3.
First, let’s establish some things:
Unlike tags on Tumblr, tags on AO3 can have different states. I’ll be talking specifically about canonicals and unfilterables in this post, with a toe-dip into metatags.
Canonicals = tags that have been marked by wranglers as being useful for filtering, so they appear in the filters and auto-complete.
Unfilterables = tags that have been moved into a fandom, so they’ve been checked by a wrangler, but haven’t been connected to any other tags or marked canonical. Most freeforms are unfilterable.
Metatags = canonical tags that have other canonical tags nested under them, so the results from those other tags show when you filter for the metatag.
I am not a coder (abbreviated from here on as “IANAC”).
Why does this matter? Well, because the code that tends to strain the archive is the filtering code. Works disappearing? From the filters. Reindexing strain from bookmarks? Reindexing is done on the filters. Filters pulled for months in 2012? Needed upgrading to deal with the sudden influx of people and works that year. (Disclaimer: oversimplified, IANAC)