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Badge for editing a negative vote post that goes on to be a positive scoring post

I think it would be nice if there was an incentive for improving posts with a negative vote count.

For example a badge named "Gifford" awarded for a change of vote count from negative to positive on 5 questions after editing.

William Gifford is claimed to be the editor of the works of Jane Austen, whose hand-written prose featured “a powerful counter-grammatical way of writing” and “a limited range of punctuation” quite unlike the beautiful prose we know and love today.

Sometimes perfectly good questions get negative vote counts simply because they are poorly written, or have the wrong question in the title. I therefore propose an incentive for improving such.

  • 4
    I think the name of this badge is extremely fraught and likely to offend a not insignificant number of folks.
    – Kirk Woll
    Jul 25, 2012 at 15:30
  • Sorry, it is a dupe, but I didn't spot it. I think I'll leave it though, I like the name :P.
    – jhoyla
    Jul 25, 2012 at 15:30
  • @KirkWoll I don't follow.
    – jonsca
    Jul 25, 2012 at 15:35
  • @jonsca See the Wikipedia entry for Gifford. Someone is claiming that he edited Jane Austen's work, although that seems to be up for debate. Some people might be offended at the idea that Jane Austen wasn't responsible for her own work.
    – JimmyPena
    Jul 25, 2012 at 15:40
  • @JimmyPena: It's true that it's up for debate, but even if it's not true, it's still a fun name. I take your point though.
    – jhoyla
    Jul 25, 2012 at 15:43
  • 3
    @JimmyPena Lots of the badge names are tongue-in-cheek, I don't think naming it that would be asserting any actual facts about Jane Austen.
    – jonsca
    Jul 25, 2012 at 15:43
  • @jonsca I wouldn't even have known about the "controversy" unless it was mentioned. So I'm not one of the people who would be offended. I was just explaining Kirk Woll's point.
    – JimmyPena
    Jul 25, 2012 at 16:21
  • @JimmyPena Well, how can we offend you, then? ;)
    – jonsca
    Jul 25, 2012 at 16:27
  • 3
    Isn't there also a Senator Gifford that got shot recently?
    – jcolebrand
    Jul 25, 2012 at 16:40
  • @jcolebrand No, that was a Giffords, with an s.
    – jhoyla
    Jul 25, 2012 at 16:41
  • Just pointing out how quickly people will get confused by this one.
    – jcolebrand
    Jul 25, 2012 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


Problem is, what is a "substantial improvement" and how will the system decide it? Is it based on how many characters are edited? How many tags are changed? Something else?

And how does editing correlate to upvotes? Is the fact that a post was upvoted after some edits were made, constitute evidence that the upvotes were a result of the edits? This feels like the 'post hoc' fallacy.

And how will the badge be awarded? Will everyone who edits a question that is subsequently upvoted get the badge? Or only the people who made "substantial" edits?

Sorry, I'm just not seeing it.

  • The title change was an edit. The improvement in question is turning a negatively voted question into a positive one, excluding ones own votes. And yes, whilst the upvotes are a posthoc fallacy, it's also the case that Gifford's edits to Austen's works did not necessarily make them more popular, only more pleasant to read.
    – jhoyla
    Jul 25, 2012 at 15:47
  • Also, usually only minor edits are enough to rewrite a question nicely. The goal of this badge is not to have an extra badge per se, but to incentivize in a non-mercantile (i.e. reputation based) manner the improving of bad questions, as decided by voters. A question with negative votes is by definition a bad question, wheras one with positive votes is a good one, again by definition. Given that a questions character only changes when the text is changed i.e. the same text remains bad/good over time, a change in vote parity is in fact a guarantee of an improved question.
    – jhoyla
    Jul 25, 2012 at 15:55
  • In this case, worrying about getting every false positive and false negative seems unnecessary to me, though I do admire you for trying.
    – Pops
    Jul 25, 2012 at 16:10
  • @jhoyla The improvement in question is turning a negatively voted question into a positive one -- again, this is a big assumption.
    – JimmyPena
    Jul 25, 2012 at 16:23
  • As I said above, I don't think it is a big assumption, although I concede that it requires more thought if there are multiple editors in the intervening time. Furthermore it's irrelevant, as badges have no intrinsic value, unlike reputation, catching every edge case is unimportant. Secondly, wouldn't it be wonderful to be in a position where we have so many edits to negatively voted posts that we didn't know who deserved the badge? Badge hunters would have to get their edits past a mod, who by virtue of their stature likely has this badge anyway. Let the mods decide if it's a worthy edit.
    – jhoyla
    Jul 25, 2012 at 16:34

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