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A while ago one of my questions got closed. Today it hit 1,000 pageviews, awarding me the "Popular Question" badge out of the blue.

Is this intended behavior; should badges still be awarded for activity on questions after they are closed? It sends a confusing mixed message — "this question is off topic but you get a cookie for it" — although I can see how we might not want to penalize people out of the achievement system just because a question was closed.

I'm not concerned about the closure itself (wasn't getting the answer I needed anyway). I'm just making sure that this is by design and not a bug.

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So, you don't want the badge? Can I have it please? :) Seriously now, we don't penalize people. The only action that might fit that description is suspensions, and that's reserved for people actively and repeatability abusing the system. Closing a question it's not a penalty, it just our way of saying "darn, good question, but it doesn't fit the Q&A format" or "darn, good question, but it's outside the scope of the site". –  Yannis Jan 16 '12 at 1:58
    
@ZaphodBeeblebrox Froopy! Plz to put that in an answer so it's more visible. –  Crashworks Jan 16 '12 at 2:03
    
Done! Now can I have your badges please? :) –  Yannis Jan 16 '12 at 2:48
    
@ZaphodBeeblebrox Well, I went and viewed all your questions. That should help by 0.1% at least! –  Crashworks Jan 16 '12 at 7:23
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2 Answers 2

Closed doesn't mean not useful.

I believe these badges are for the number of people who found your question (viewed) and/or were helped by it (i.e. upvoted).

Yes, I think that closed questions should still earn vote/viewcount badges.

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Particularly Duplicates which when linked are still quite useful to users. It's just a separate way of searching for the same information. –  davidsleeps Jan 16 '12 at 3:21
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It sends a confusing mixed message — "this question is off topic but you get a cookie for it"

Badges are there to encourage positive behaviour, and nothing about them should be negative because:

  1. We don't penalize people. The only action that might fit that description is suspensions, and that's reserved for people actively and repeatability abusing the system. Otherwise penalizing people goes against the philosophy that draw all of us here.
  2. Badges are a fun way of signifying some largely unimportant achievements. They are not supposed to be taken seriously (badges and achievements).

Now closing a question it's not a penalty, it just our way of saying "darn, good question, but it doesn't fit the Q&A format" or "darn, good question, but it's outside the scope of the site". Yeap, it appears we say "darn" a lot.

I saw from your profile that you are a user on Programmers.SE, but you might not know about the chaotic early days. I don't want to go into detail, as a quick summary:

  1. Programmers was originally supposed to be something else,
  2. But in less than a few weeks it became apparent that didn't work as expected,
  3. Rules changed, and Programmers became what it is today.

Now, what's the point of that history lesson? Well, if you take a look at our list of highest voted questions, you'll be amazed of how many of them are closed. Most of them are from that early era, and when posted they where perfectly on topic. They might be closed today, but you can't deny that quite a few people invested their time in them, and most of them are still and always be extremely useful (and some are fantastically fun).

Should we somehow penalize those people, because at some point the rules changed?

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