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I recently earned a "Nice Question" badge here on Meta. Yay! I clicked on the question to see what new insights I might gain from answers and comments. Here's one: I have a score of 9 for the question. No being able to split the vote count, I deduced from my reputation changes that at some point after I received the 10th up vote, a receive a down vote. But I still get the badge? It seems that one of two things should have happened:

Option 1: A badge based on score should instead be based on the number of up votes.

Option 2: If a badge based on score is awarded and the score subsequently drops below the threshold, the badge should be stripped away.

Otherwise, things are too order dependent. For instance, had the person who voted my question down done so before the 10th person who voted it up, I never would have been given the badge. That seems a bit silly (unlike badges, which totally rock and please don't take mine away:).

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I believe this evens itself out when might next qualify for the same badge. Your earned-unearned badge isn't taken away, the system simply doesn't award you the next one. –  Anthony Pegram Jun 7 '11 at 21:13
    
When I click on the badge, it still lists that question as a badge winner. Perhaps this also goes away over time? –  PengOne Jun 7 '11 at 21:14
    
Keep in mind you are at a score of 10 on your most recent question (other than this one). So you have the badge legitimately. No score to settle, you're in the clear. –  Anthony Pegram Jun 7 '11 at 21:17
    
@Anthony is right. Badges are not taken away once awarded (except in rare cases). Much discussion of this exists on MSO. –  squillman Jun 7 '11 at 21:25
    
badges are monotonic by design. –  Adam Davis Jun 7 '11 at 21:50
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

In order to prevent gaining, losing and then regaining badges like Nice Answer, the awarding of the badge is based on the instantaneous reaching of a vote threshold like ten votes. If the answer then dips below ten votes it doesn't change the badge that you were awarded. In other words, the awarding of the badge itself means the answer at some point had a score of ten net votes."

However, to handle the case that an answer briefly hits ten net votes and then drops below that permanently (due to downvotes or any other cause), when the badge is next considered to be awarded, all the answers that meet the question threshold are rechecked to ensure that another badge is warranted. Put another way, the total number of Nice Answer badges is always retroactively correct when you are actually awarded another new badge.

Afterward, it can become out of date if some answers fall below the threshold. So your badges will never be taken away but the next badge might be withheld until you catch up.

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oh boy. the system must be doing a lot of checking for jon's answers. –  Lorem Ipsum Jun 7 '11 at 22:07
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