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I think I got a necromancer badge after answering a recent question, getting 5 upvotes, then that was later merged into an old question as an exact duplicate, so my upvoted answer was moved to the old question. I'm not sure, but I can't figure out what else could have happened. Is this a bug?


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I'm afraid at least 10 % of necromancers got the badge from merge questions. –  YOU Jun 11 '10 at 9:15
Related situation: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/47465/… –  Gnoupi Jun 11 '10 at 9:18
+1, just happened to me too. I'd call it a bug. To be honest, it wasn't even an exact dupe - the questions covered very similar ground but with a different emphasis, so 75% of my answer was irrelevant to the older question. See for yourself - purely by chance I happen to have quoted the newer question in my answer: stackoverflow.com/questions/393462/defend-zero-based-arrays/… –  Steve Jessop Jul 25 '10 at 23:14
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1 Answer

It does seem a little too easy to get a necromancer badge if you're answering a dupe and it's merged. I think it's fairly difficult to get the necro badge if you go and answer a question that was asked a year ago, but it's not hard to get 5 upvotes on a new question because they have much higher visibility. Another important point to note is that answering a question over a year old requires that you bring something new that's not in the other answers, whereas when answering a dupe your answer is probably a dupe of an answer in the other question, so if you'd posted it on that question in the first place you would be unlikely to get the votes.

I don't think it could be classed as gaming, that's where you act intentionally to gain something whereas in this situation you probably didn't know the questions would be merged.

I would, personally, consider this a bug. On the other hand, technically, you answered a question that was a year old, it's just that the question was reposted by someone else. It depends on how easy it is a fix too, but it seems like during the badge cron it would just have to check the post for merges. Either that or remove the upvotes, but that seems a bit harsh.

Another possible solution could be to merge old questions into new questions, replacing the body of the new question with the body of the old question and bringing all the answers in. I'm not really sure how feasible that is (I think it would create more confusion).

On a side note, I got my first necro badge a few days ago, by answering an old question the right way ;-)

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Not really all that difficult. I earned mine unintentionally after answering a year old subjective CW question. –  Tim Post Jul 12 '10 at 2:52
@Tim: Yeah, I got my second two weeks after posting this by answering an old javascript question that had other less efficient solutions. –  Andy E Jul 12 '10 at 8:38
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