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Basically, are the badges that a user can be awarded on StackOverflow the same as the badges that can be awarded on any of the StackExchange sites?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Not always. For example, this badge comes with 4000 rep bonus attached to it :) Area 51 has some specific badges too.

But usually, there's little reason for site-specific badges.

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Not that I'm aware of. Of course, there are two kinds of badges: the "regular" badges (for specific "feats"), and the tag-badges. Those are of course (somewhat, there's overlap) site-specific.

In case you don't know what a tag-badge is: you get them for upvotes for answers on questions of that tag. To get the "discussion" bronze tag badge, you need 100 upvotes for answers given to questions tagged "discussion".

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