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I don't get the purposes of the disciplined badge. Why would someone delete a good answer where he has been awarded 3 up-votes, and why should he be marked as "disciplined" for doing so?

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They seek the disciplined badge because of masochistic tendencies. –  Nosredna Jul 21 '09 at 2:21
    
Can I get a copy of this badge? –  Evan Carroll Feb 5 '10 at 21:13
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@Evan: first you have to have a post that got 3 upvotes. –  Ether Feb 5 '10 at 23:13

6 Answers 6

up vote 25 down vote accepted

It's disciplined because you delete the post even though you will lose rep by doing so - i.e. you actually care more about answer correctness and relevance than rep (or, as smackfu says, you care enough about badges that it pushes you over the line (gives you enough incentive to delete your answer, knowing you will get an extra badge out of it).

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Aha, here is the catch I didn't know. If you delete the answer, you loose the rep points. –  Stefano Borini Jul 21 '09 at 0:59
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OR, you care more about badges than rep or answer correctness, so you delete a good answer just to get the badge. –  smackfu Jul 21 '09 at 1:11
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@smackfu I like badges :) –  Tyler Carter Jul 21 '09 at 1:18
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@smackfu: I believe that removing potentially precious information for any future reader just to obtain a badge is not a good idea. –  Stefano Borini Jul 21 '09 at 1:37
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@smackfu :-))) I felt off chair laughing... Stefano, don't try to ruin an excellent joke :) –  Tomas Apr 2 '12 at 23:19
    
A lot of bronze badges are intentionally designed to be gamed. This one is probably an exception, but for a couple of different reasons, I'd say there's nothing wrong with gaming it one time like how smackfu mentioned. –  user236578 Dec 17 '13 at 14:21
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@smackfu: removing obsoleted information is a great way to not waste future readers' time. –  Dan Dascalescu Feb 14 at 0:42

Here's a scenario I've been in many times: I post a quick answer to a question. It's accurate and reasonably helpful, and therefore collects several up-votes. Then someone else posts their answer... The extra time they spent on it clearly shows: it's comprehensive, easy to read, links to tangential-related information, includes good code samples...

And so I delete mine and up-vote the new answer. Maybe edit it a bit, to include something from mine that I feel would benefit it.

End result: the question gets a single, solid answer. The other guy is rewarded for the extra effort he put into it. I'm rewarded with... the satisfaction of a job well done.

And maybe a badge...

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Another scenario: a poll type question receives two (or more) answers which are (almost) exactly the same, posted about the same time and both getting upvotes. Now, as keeping both adds absolutely no value at the end of the day, the "disciplined" thing to do for the poster of the less popular answer would be to delete his post, and upvote the other instead. –  Jonik Jul 21 '09 at 7:43
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Uh, here's a perfect example of an answer that should be deleted, and which would earn the badge for its author: superuser.com/questions/1191/must-have-mac-os-x-software/… –  Jonik Jul 22 '09 at 19:45
    
Sometimes a shorter answer that provides less information still provides some of the important information clearer than a longer, more complete answer. In these cases, it makes sense to keep your shorter, less awesome answer--it is useful to the community even in the face of a longer, overall-better answer. (This is not always the case--sometimes it does make sense to delete an answer, of course.) –  Eliah Kagan Feb 14 '13 at 14:50
    
@EliahKagan: perhaps best to offer an edit to the longer answer with the short one as the TL;DR/summary at the top? –  Dan Dascalescu Feb 14 at 0:43
    
@DanDascalescu Occasionally that may be best. But a very short answer that really answers the question (rather than just summarizing or outlining an answer or telling someone how or where to find the answer) should be an answer, not an edit. –  Eliah Kagan Feb 26 at 18:44

Because supposedly if his answer got some up votes, which gets him reputation, but the answer is irrelevant, he is disciplined by doing the right thing and deleting it.

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Except then you can undelete the answer and keep the badge. –  AndyMcKenna Jul 21 '09 at 3:02
    
Would you get the Rep back though? –  devinb Jul 21 '09 at 15:25
    
@devinb: maybe if you undelete before the rep recount –  Shiraz Bhaiji Sep 21 '09 at 14:44

Here's my story. I've just deleted an answer of mine with 4 upvotes (while all other answers on the page were at 0 or 1) after the OP made grave edits to his question that rendered my answer totally asinine.

At worst, my answer now suggests that I just can't read. At best, it now looks like I mixed things up and posted an answer to a totally different question. Which, in point of fact, I have, but any new visitor to the page would have trouble to understand the situation. He would just see the question "how to do X", then my top answer "here's how to do Y", and conclude that I and those who upvoted me must be a bunch of morons. He would then probably proceed to downvote my answer (and rightfully so).

Of course, I could still just leave my answer sitting there, since it would take a whopping 21 downvotes to make it a net loss for me. However, not being considered a moron is well worth giving up 40 points IMHO.

Lesson learned: always keep an eye on the questions you recently answered. They can get edited in ways you'd never imagine.

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well... this can happen at any time, on any question, and it's basically impossible to prevent. If a reader finds this situation and considers you a moron, the moron is actually him who does not check the history of the answer. –  Stefano Borini Feb 6 '10 at 8:22
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@Stefano: If you don't have the rep to edit, you don't see anything other than original posting time and author, and latest edit time and author. –  David Thornley Feb 24 '10 at 22:21

I deleted one after I misread the question and gave the wrong answer, but somehow got five upvotes anyway...

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Even though this has (at least) 3 upvotes, to me it doesn't answer the question. Deleting it, of course, should give you the badge in question... Hmmm, what a dilemma. –  Werner Feb 14 at 5:54

It incentivizes deleting an answer after it is no longer relevant. That's why I deleted the one that got me the badge.

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