I was nicely surprised to get Unsung Hero badge much sooner than I expected. Someone downvoted my post with score 1, so it got score 0.

However, I believe this behaviour is not correct. The badge tries to encourage help to beginners and/or low traffic tags, i.e. in cases when your answer doesn't get enough attention to be rewarded by upvote. In both cases you most likely end up with an unscored answer.

Whereas if your post has got +1 and -1, it actually did got some attention, so it should not count towards the badge! The badge was not meant to encourage low quality answers, but low attention answers!

I believe only unscored (and not all zero scored) answers should count.

1 Answer 1


According to Nick Craver, the reason for not switching away from the current behaviour is because it performs much better than the alternative. I assume this is because the badge process for Unsung Hero checks the denormalized post score from the Posts table, instead of going to the actual Votes table.

However, I entirely agree that this approach would make far more sense if it were technically practical. In spite of that, I was hoping to point to a query that suggested this wasn't really an issue anyway, but it seems like quite a few users with the badge have one or more answers that had an even +/- split as of the last Data Explorer update (December 22nd) and were posted before the user received the badge.

To be clear, this does not mean that those posts necessarily contributed to them being awarded Unsung Hero, since the query does not factor in the date of each of the votes. Additionally, it's entirely possible that the users had enough other zero-score answers at the time, or would have gotten more shortly thereafter, that the presence of these answers is irrelevant. Still, I imagine it is likely that for some users these answers played a part.

  • thanks Tim, thanks for the link to the Nick Cravers response, I just posted a comment there! I'm not persuaded by the performance argument...
    – Tomas
    Jan 19, 2012 at 20:29

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