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I love the gold Reversal Badge

enter image description here

An outstanding answer to a bad question is something not seen on a daily basis.

I enjoyed reading those answers, and I was even able to provide one.

But the questions are awful, and SO is a Q&A site ... so they are getting deleted.

Sixty-four enter image description here badges have been awarded, and only twenty of those questions are alive. The rest have been deleted.

I think those deletions do not hurt the usefulness of the site, as it is improbable that anybody comes searching for a bad question. But I feel the history of the site is severed, and good content is lost forever.

So, is there a way to keep pointers to those questions somewhere?

Restrict access as much as you want, or make that content accessible (via links) for nK users as a prize, but preserve history.


As a side effect of those questions being deleted quickly, that prevents getting more than one Reversal Badge, as when you fulfill the requirements for the second you already have "one more than you should".


Today we have 153 Reversal badges awarded and 49 questions which were not deleted (32% ratio of non-deleted status Reversal questions).

The below statistics retrieved from reversal page can show that with time, none of these answers will remain:

page_3 (newest): 60 questions and 33 remaining (55% non-deleted questions);
page_2         : 60               14           (23%                      );
page_1 (oldest): 33                2           ( 6%                      ). 
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"Restrict access as much as you want, or make that content accessible (via links) for nK users as a prize, but preserve history.". Well, technically this already happens, since 10k users can see the questions if they have links –  Michael Mrozek Apr 25 '11 at 6:26
@Michael I am aware of that. But the "if they have links" part is the issue here –  belisarius Apr 25 '11 at 6:27
Ooooh, yummy! A well organized list of train wreck questions. I'll get to work on those, thanks for the heads up! –  Tim Post Apr 26 '11 at 9:36
Certainly "more than you should" should also count deleted content in this case. Maybe in all cases? I say it as a proud owner of reversal here on meta ;) –  Mołot Sep 12 '13 at 14:04
The page lists all the links one would need... –  Deduplicator Nov 21 '14 at 21:00

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Here is some from Google cache. (Still need to update)

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Do you mind to share the google query? –  belisarius Apr 25 '11 at 6:29
@Wether - webcache.googleusercontent.com/… –  YOU Apr 25 '11 at 6:30
@You Thanks a lot! –  belisarius Apr 25 '11 at 6:33
even in Google cache, it will be deleted some day. –  Hoàng Long Apr 26 '11 at 7:20
@Hoàng I feel we should try to keep those pointers ... perhaps here? –  belisarius Apr 26 '11 at 15:24
@Wether: I don't know. Maybe a "StackOverflow" museum is needed ^^ –  Hoàng Long Apr 27 '11 at 2:29
@HoàngLong: There's a proposal meta.stackexchange.com/questions/122120/… –  Mechanical snail Dec 7 '12 at 0:55
Maybe use web.archive.org instead? –  Cole Johnson Sep 20 '13 at 4:49

The @YOU's answer is a good alternative. The only problem with it is that some of the provided links are broken right now and it still needs manual update.

Like the O.P., I believe it is a pity to have such great answers removed from the site.
Actions toward Reversal threads could be focused on the answer, not the question (anymore).

The way it is, I think the badge purpose is unbalanced, in the sense of having more benefit to the answerer than the community (at least, I understand badges serve the purpose to motivate quality improvements upon this site).

My answer supports some other ideas when Reversal status is reached:

  1. Lock the thread, not allowing the question to receive more downvotes;
  2. Make the question community wiki, so others could edit in a way it stands more reasonable and can even get some upvotes (which will not add rep) and make the thread even more valuable.
  3. Create a Meta thread, like a museum, to have the links of such deleted questions available. Pretty close to @YOU answer, but making the process automatic (I do not know if it is possible, but what is not possible for SO programmers?).

Maybe I am skipping something very crucial and obvious, but I am blind in understanding why do we let valuable answers (which we favour with a gold badge) to go away.

A more subjective complement:

I was thinking of there are many answers with score > 20 on SO, but an additional argument to support the Reversal ones is that they lift a spirit of friendship (like being sincere that the question was not good but trying to help anyway with an answer). I have a feeling most of the OPs of such questions would feel uncomfortable with downvotes and would make more effort the next time, but also feeling grateful to have been helped.
Some guys will just keep asking bad questions. In this case Reversal candidates could just look into the users question history (many bad questions --> no Reversal answer).

PS: This is not an attempt to give a bounty to myself (it makes no sense). I know I can't do that too. Because there was no new ideas (answers), I decided to share mines. Thanks

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Nice answer. More than two years have passed since I posted this question, but I still feel almost the same about the issue –  belisarius Sep 20 '13 at 2:23

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