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When looking through questions today, I noticed the following user has only 382 rep, but a gold badge, which is unusual to say the least:

Looking at his user page shows that something funny is up. He has a gold "Great Answer" badge, but the highest-voted answer of his shown on the page has only 13 upvotes. Is this a bug? Or did he have a highly-upvoted answer that was later deleted? If so, shouldn't the badge have been rescinded?

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FYI: You can actually click on that badge on the users profile, and it will show you the question it has been granted for: – fretje Jul 11 '11 at 13:49
I see it as 1,382 rep – user221081 Jul 22 '13 at 12:42
up vote 10 down vote accepted

He had an answer with 101 upvotes that was deleted along with the question What is your best programmer joke? That answer is near the middle of the third page of answers, so there should be dozens of lost badges there.

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Amazing they didn't just migrate that to Programmers and Protect it. – Lance Roberts Jul 11 '11 at 14:46
@Lance: Jeff made an executive decision on that one. Probably because it was from 2008, and the Programmers community has already said that they don't want our ancient unwanted questions. They'd rather reask the ones that are on-topic and have current active users from that subset of the community give fresh answers. – Bill the Lizard Jul 11 '11 at 14:55

Given that the user has been around since Oct 2008, suspect they've had a high scoring answer to a question that's been deleted or moved to another site (i.e. Programmers). Some of those early questions are being deleted/moved. Badges don't get recalculated, so it'll sit there forever. If the user were to earn that particular badge in the future on another answer, it won't be awarded again for that instance.

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Whatever happens, badges are never revoked unless the user has been cheating.

So probably deleted thread, migration or such.

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