This post will always contain the latest Bronibooru Tag Policy. Generally speaking, the policy generally tries to document current undocumented best practices, rather than dictate new ones, but as new policies are decided, they will be added to this document.
Nicknames and "Short Names"
Generally speaking, the complete name of a character or series should be used as long as the subject to which the name refers is clear. For example, the great and powerful trixie is used rather than simply "trixie", as it is obvious to whom the longer name refers. (On the other hand, "vash_the_stampede" should be used instead of "valentinez_alkalinella_xifax_sicidabohertz_gumbigobilla_blue_stradivari_talentrent_pierre_andry_charton-haymoss_ivanovici_baldeus_george_doitzel_kaiser_iii" since the former's meaning is much more intuitive.)
In general, this can be summarized as The Principle of Least Surprise:
The Principle of Least Surprise: The average brony searching for a tag on the Booru should generally not be surprised by the results of their search nor should they be surprised by the meaning of any given tag.
If at all possible, tags should be specific enough to be unambiguous for the foreseeable future, but short enough to be "intuitively" searched for. (If a tag is ever unclear, the meaning of the word which is more likely to be searched for may be non-parenthesized.)
Aliases may exist to make it easier to tag longer names if the short-form is unambiguous (if less specific). "trixie" is aliased to "the_great_and_powerful_trixie", for example, just as "rd" is aliased to "rainbow_dash", and so on.
If a name has been used in the show for a pony (or is present in promotional material, such as Derpy Hooves), that name shall be used on Broni. Otherwise, if the pony has a toy of the same type (earth/unicorn/pegasus), with same mane and coat color, and same cutie mark, then the toy name shall be used. Otherwise, the common fan name shall be used in most cases (subject to general consensus [Milhorse] and possible spelling differences).
In short, preferred names (from most preferred to least) are:
In-Show > Elements of Harmony Book > Comics > Book > Enterplay > Toy > Blind Bag > Gameloft > Fan Name
In the case that a toy name or in-show name shows up after a fan name has been given, the fan name shall be aliased to the toy or in-show name. Likewise, if a toy name is overridden by an in-show name, or alternate fan names exist for a pony, those names shall be aliased to the primary name.
Thus, Lyra -> Lyra Heartstrings and Blues -> Noteworthy, but not Berry Punch -> Berryshine or Fleur -> Fleur Dis Lee (different type), Daisy -> Flower Wishes ("Daisy" is a canon in-show name), or Derpy Hooves -> Ditzy Doo (the association was never made explicit, and nowadays, "Derpy" is canon). An extreme example is Bon Bon -> Sweetie Drops (blind bag) -> Bon Bon (Enterplay) -> Sweetie Drops (Elements of Harmony book), making Sweetie Drops the preferred name.
In short, the name in the Friendship is Magic Wiki shall be used, although exceptions may be made for non-bold names in limited circumstances (e.g. "milhorse" instead of "noteworthy" [as FiM Wiki would have it, due to mane and coat color] or "donny swineclops" [as Ponibooru would have it, but that is a stupid name])
If at any time a more-preferred name should be specified by Hasbro or the show (e.g. when Lyra received a blind-bag toy named Heartstrings or when Sweetie Drops received her blind-bag toy), Bronibooru will alias the previous name to the new more-preferred name.
Current Exceptions to the Preferred Fan Name Rule:
- milhorse instead of noteworthy (FiM wiki) or donny_swineclops (Ponibooru) [ONLY for the glitched pony, otherwise use noteworthy]
- vinyl_scratch instead of dj_pon3 (commercials) or dj_pon-3 (toys; Enterplay, although the 2013 NYCC exclusive does mention "Vinyl Scratch" in the flavor text)
Generally speaking, tags which conflict should be differentiated following the Principle of Least Surprise. For the purpose of choosing parentheses, this principle would be as follows:
The Principle of Least Surprise: If there is a much more "intuitive" meaning of the word which is more likely to be searched for, that meaning may be used for the tag bearing no parentheses. Parentheses should be used to enclose a short descriptor of any alternate meanings.
If no meaning is particularly intuitive, then NO tag should exist without the parentheses. For example, it is not particularly clear whether a person searching for "donatello" might be looking for Donatello from TMNT or the artist Donatello. Thus, art featuring the character would be tagged "donatello_(character)", while art by the artist Donatello would be tagged "donatello_(artist)" (leaving the tag "donatello" unused).
Particularly common examples of the Principle of Least Surprise follow:
EXAMPLE: MLP Character Names
Some preferred pony names conflict with other possible tags (e.g. flower names). In this case, the principle of least surprise would state that, as this is a -booru about PONIES, people are likely searching for the pony. Thus, the pony may claim the non-parenthesized slot, while anything else must use parentheses. For example, rose vs. rose (flower). This also goes for non-pony MLP characters. For example, tank vs. tank (vehicle).
A special case applies to pony names which are reused in several generations. In this case, ponies which appear in different generations ARE DIFFERENT CHARACTERS and it is likely that people searching for a given pony name are looking for the G4 version, if one exists.
Thus, non-G4 ponies should be tagged with the generation number whenever it is possible that two ponies with the same name could be confused. For example, applejack (g1) is used to distinguish between the G1 Applejack and G4 Applejack, while minty unambiguously refers to the G3 pony. Should Minty ever be depicted in "Friendship is Magic", however, all images currently tagged "minty" will instead be retagged with "minty_(g3)" to distinguish the two characters.
EXAMPLE: Other Character Names vs. Their Series vs. Artists
If a character and the series a character is in share the same name, the character may claim the non-parenthesized slot, as it is more likely for people to be searching for the character rather than the series. For example, batman vs. batman (series).
Artists sometimes take their name from a character or series. Since the character/series is usually better known (to the point of driving the artist to take a particular name), the character or series may take the non-parenthesized slot. For example, feferi (the Homestuck character) vs. feferi (artist), although technically, based on the rule under "Nicknames and 'Short Names'" above, the former should probably be aliased to "feferi_peixes."
EXAMPLE: Common Nouns
If a non-pony character or series shares a name with a common noun, the common noun should claim the non-parenthesized slot, since, generally speaking, people will be less likely to search for the common term with parentheses. For example, bubbles vs. bubbles (ppg).
Common parenthesized expressions
- (series) is used to denote series [usually with the copyright: prefix]
- (character) is used to denote characters [usually with the character: prefix]
- (artist) is used to denote artists [usually with the artist: prefix]
- (g#) is used to differentiate previous generations of ponies, except for (tales) for My Little Pony Tales.
- (game) is used to denote a video game
- (show) is used to denote a TV show
- (movie) is used to denote a movie
- One-word series names may be used to differentiate similarly named characters (e.g. "mom_(futurama)", "rogue_(xmen)", etc.)
Updated by ComradeCosmobot