# Let's eliminate [tag:check-my-proof]

The tag has the following description in its tag wiki:

Questions which also contain a proof or a solution that needs to be checked for correctness and completeness.

There are currently 22 questions tagged in this way.

Unfortunately, this risks leading users to the (incorrect) impression that it's OK to ask a question where you present an exercise, show your solution, and ask whether the solution is correct and complete. (Apparently at least one user seems to have drawn this inference.)

Given the existence of this tag, it'd be completely understandable if users drew that inference -- but in fact, posting your solution to an exercise and asking others to grade it is out of scope for this site. It could be OK to ask a specific question about a specific aspect of your answer to an exercise (though even then it is often better to see if you can extract a more general conceptual question that's more likely to be helpful to others, if possible), but it's not OK to post your problem, post your solution, and ask others if your solution is correct and complete.

So, I suggest we eliminate the tag.

(If you agree with my proposal, I'd suggest a procedure along the following lines: I suggest we review all of the 22 questions currently tagged with that, evaluate them to see if they are in-scope for this site, close them if not, and in either case, remove the tag. While we're at it, let's look for other opportunities to improve those questions. Then, once we've eliminated all questions tagged that way, we can blacklist the tag.)

But before we start that, I want to ask for your opinions. Do you agree with me that the tag could give a misleading impression? Do you agree we should do something about it? Do you share my sense that it would be useful to eliminate the tag, or would you suggest some other remedy?

• Note that there is also check-my-answer; I guess you'll want to apply the same reasoning?
– Raphael Mod
Nov 15 '13 at 22:51
• @Raphael, yup, same reasoning for check-my-answer. Good job spotting that one.
– D.W. Mod
Nov 16 '13 at 0:22
• Gosh, there's even check-my-algorithm. By the way, see also here and here.
– Raphael Mod
Nov 16 '13 at 16:59

I agree. Let's finally get rid of this tag. It and its siblings are meta tags — they don't help people decide whether they might find the question interesting.

A question with just a proof or algorithm and no question other than “is this correct?” can usually be closed as too broad. A question with a proof or algorithm and a specific question (“Is this a valid application of Smith's theorem?” “Does this loop terminate for negative values of $n$?”) are fine, and they don't need any special tagging — just tag them for the domain and techniques involved like any question.

• +1 Agreed, these tags are not helpful.
– Juho
Nov 21 '13 at 18:13
• +1 Such questions should be restated as more genuine questions that are useful also for others, not just their author. Nov 23 '13 at 21:56

Sometimes a there is a valid "check my proof" question; for example, if someone has a seemingly-trivial proof of something obviously wrong, the question is "where is my mistake".

I am not sure we need to get rid of the tag; the target people who are commonly asking the questions you do not like don't look at or use the tag as justification. It is just the season of homework and lots of students come around; these types of questions are inevitable, and they don't need a tag to justify themselves: they do it anyway. Additionally, sometimes, "check my proof" is not out of hand (if it was a great result, you'd love to have it in the site ...); it is really the quality of questions that you aren't liking (i.e. that it is homework-like questions) , not that it is "check my proof".

Bottom line:

• Such annoyance questions are inevitable this time of year
• Taking the tag away will not be effective
• Sometimes the tag is valid, such as finding the mistake in an obviously wrong proof, or in a too-good-to-be-true result
• Getting rid of the tag is good in itself. It's a meta tag: it doesn't say anything about the content of the question, it doesn't help people decide whether they might find the question interesting. Nov 17 '13 at 18:36
• @Gilles dunno, I happen to enjoy finding errors in bad proofs. Nov 18 '13 at 3:00
• But how does the check-my-proof tag help you do this? It isn't applied consistently to all questions containing a proof, and doesn't let you find answers containing a proof. Nov 18 '13 at 10:10
• I disagree that we would like any check-my-X question around. Even if result and proof (attempt) are interesting, "check it!" is not a good question for SE. Having a (populated!) tag invites such questions, so it's clearly counter-productive to have the tag.
– Raphael Mod
Nov 18 '13 at 11:52
• @Gilles I think you are just shooting yourself in the foot by getting rid of the tag; at least now, you can peruse through all of the questions with the tag and decide individually; imagine if there was no tag, this issue would not come up, and you would have to decide whether to keep these questions ad-hoc. If you really don't like these questions, there is a reason to subscribe: if you are hell-bent on closing them. Nov 21 '13 at 13:15
• @RealzSlaw You've described how having the tag is advantageous to a position that I disagree with. I want to judge each question on its own merits (specifically here, whether it's too broad); therefore I don't want a tag that gives me a useless binary characterization. Nov 21 '13 at 13:47

Disagree!!! I did not knew about existence of such wonderful tag. I surely will use it in the future. And I am not doing home work. Its for my own studying. This can help me understand thing I am currently learning, or trying to implement.

So I am the reason you should not eliminate it.

• Sorry, but I have to be blunt: you have posted lots of bad questions. They don't serve to justify a tag; if anything, the other way round.
– Raphael Mod
Nov 23 '13 at 12:46