Why are the requirements for the Silver Reviewer badge so much higher than those of the Gold Electorate badge? Isn’t this a bug?

  • Silver Reviewer: 1000 reviews, over 200 actioned
  • Gold Electorate: Voted on 600 questions and 25% or more of total votes are on questions

Reviewing is certainly harder than voting. You are trying to get people to do a good job here, including things like editing. Why make it so hard for so little reward? There are over 26,000 low-quality posts on StackOverflow right now.

Isn’t this the wrong sort of incentive, given the scope of what it is trying to address? I propose that this be brought more in line with other Silver badges, and that a Gold badge be made.

  • 1
    200 actioned reviews isn't all that much, is it? I have my silver reviewer badge since ages. Don't have the electorate badge yet. Not even sure if I'm close. (Ah, 68% I see)
    – Bart
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 17:29
  • 4
    @Bart That’s two hundred out of a thousand, but you still have to go through a thousand. And there is no incentive as things stand for anybody to actually put any real work into it. Count mine here. I don’t pass. I action each of them. It seems nutty.
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 17:32
  • Perhaps you have a point. I guess I just don't get all that motivated by badges to begin with, but if that's detrimental to the amount of people putting in effort, it might be worth adjusting. (p.s. 26 more to go I see. That should be doable today ;) )
    – Bart
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 17:34
  • Seems like the review process is working. There were 72k Low Quality Posts when the beta review process started. Now it's already down to 26k. :-)
    – Bo Persson
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 18:02
  • 1
    I actually don't see that much difference. I'm up to 8k rep on SO. I've reviewed 946 posts and voted on 426 questions (just off 1k total votes). Looks like I'll be getting the reviewer badge before the electorate one. In fact it looks like it'll be a toss up between Electorate and Marshal, which sounds about correct. Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 19:44
  • 4
    Reviewing also used to be a hell of a lot easier with the old review panel...
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 20:11

4 Answers 4


I guess I have to disagree with the proposed reasoning in David's answer.

The thresholds only work for three-odd huge old sites. There are only a couple hundred posts left to review on ELU. The only person who ever managed to look at more than a 1000 is tchrist (the OP right here), and he still doesn't have the badge. For everyone else it's all but unattainable because there is nothing to look at.

And in fact ELU is not exactly a tiny site, either — top 7 by traffic, top 8 by the number of answers. So I take that to mean that on most sites of the network, nobody will get the Reviewer badge for years to come. At the same time, everybody and his dog can get a gold Fanatic badge with zero effort (I have 40+ myself, and that's without using a cronjob).

ELU review stats

  • +1 That's a very interesting perspective, relating it to the non-trilogy sites!
    – Gaffi
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 12:26

You can just go to the hard facts to support this question. Is the gold Electorate easier to get than the silver Reviewer?

Lets look at 4 sites across a variety of user numbers:

Gaming: 55 Electorate, 6 Reviewer

User Experience: 11 Electorate, 1 Reviewer

Programmers: 47 Electorate, 4 Reviewer

Bicycles: 4 Electorate, 0 Reviewer

These were just the first 4 SE sites that I chose, all of them have a significantly higher number of electorates than reviewers.

So yes, it does appear to be harder to get the silver reviewer badge than the electorate one. However is that a bad thing? Voting on questions and answers are one of the core features of StackExchange, it's what is used to determine the quality of the posts. It should be rewarded if you vote a lot, without votes then the sites would be next to useless - just a forum of peoples opinions. If the content isn't reviewed then it's less of a problem - asssuming that flagging for spam / crap is still happening the truly dire posts would be removed by the moderators anyway leaving posts of varying quality, the good ones bubbling to the top due to the voting.

If you have any beef with easy to obtain gold badges then look no further than the 'keeping a browser tab open for 100 days' fanatic badge. Perhaps that one should be changed to 'actively participate by voting, commenting, asking and answering every day for 100 days' to make it more worthwhile.


Reviewing is certainly harder than voting.

Well, I don't think so.

Assuming that questions have on average at least one answer, active voting explained below involved in 600 questions required for Electorate is in terms of Reviewer badge equivalent to 600+600=1200 posts "reviewed and actioned". This is six times more than Reviewer requirement (200 actioned).

Voting is easy. Unless you vote a lot.

It takes time

Reading and evaluation of posts to decide on what vote to cast takes time.

If you vote a lot, expect this to take a substantial amount of time. How much? It depends on how good you are at reading and it of course depends on the content you read.

The more you practice, the less it will take on average, but still, it'll take time.

As an example, I typically spend half an hour or even an hour daily. Your mileage may vary.

Look back

Don't limit yourself only to recently posted/updated questions. Don't stay on the first page, read through and study older posts and vote.

At lower traffic sites/tags, voting on older posts might be your only option to be an active voter. Be active, learn and practice as much as you can - even at low traffic site you can have much practice if you don't ignore older posts.

Try to vote on everything

Learn to be attentive to posts even when they don't catch your attention immediately. Practicing this will help you make faster voting decisions.

In any question you look at, try to vote on every answer and of course, on that very question.

  • Sometimes, you might find yourself reluctant to vote on particular post. Don't just skip it - take a break and try to figure why is that - this makes a useful practice in evaluating post contents. Oh, and if after thinking about it, you still feel you don't want to vote - don't vote, it's OK.

Resist pack mentality

You may find that highly voted posts have a certain appeal that kind of makes you compulsory follow the "majority vote". Resist that appeal, because making a habit of blindly following the score may damage your ability to evaluate content.

When you see a highly voted post, don't just click the up or down arrow - don't even limit yourself to quickly skimming it. Stop, take a deep breath, carefully study the post, form your own opinion - and only after that, vote as you find appropriate.

You aren't required to answer immediately

At some questions, you would want to post your own answer. This is great, but as an active voter, you better take into account that this may break the voting flow.

If you find flow breaks to be a problem, make a habit of postponing your answers. Bookmark or favorite the question and return to it after your voting routine is completed. Don't make it a hard rule though. If you strongly feel that you can make a real hit of an answer - just go for it and post immediately.


Since you already invested some effort into studying the post, make it easier for future readers and voters. Any mistakes you notice, edit and fix these.

Looking at the post "through editing screen" might also help to improve your reading skills and make voting decisions faster.

Serialize on questions, not on not users

If you do a lot of voting, you'll likely follow some systemic, serial approach in walking through the posts.

There are plenty ways to do that - pick any you're comfortable with, newest or votes or active or tags, whatever.

About the only "system" you better avoid is voting by user.

  • This user is so awesome (awful), I'll go through all their posts and up(down) vote - don't do that.

Serial voting is not welcome at Stack Exchange sites, your votes may even get reversed.

Above is slightly adapted version of Active voter tips posted at Workplace meta.

  • How does that have any bearing on the question of why Reviewer at Silver is more work than Electorate at Gold?
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 18:16
  • @tchrist did you read the quote at the top of my answer? "Reviewing is certainly harder than voting." My point is, this is not so. In case you're interested I have a couple of Copy Editor badges (about 3000 total revisions at SO + Programmers) so I likely know something about reviewing
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 18:17
  • Are you saying that you think Electorate is harder to get than Copy Editor?
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 18:26
  • @tchrist I am saying that Electorate is not easy to get. At SO, Electorate certainly felt harder than Copy Editor: editing crap out was soo much simpler than deciding on how to vote
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 18:33
  • I do just happen have two Electorates, so I think I may know something about it.
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 18:38
  • 2
    @tchrist so do I don't you think? I've got more than two. To me, 90+% votes take noticeable effort to cast (see tips). As opposed to edits which in 99% cases just flow in and out effortlessly
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 18:40

I totally agree with what you said, however, maybe due to sheer the amount of low quality posts and in general all those that need editing, How can you give a person a Gold badge for editing 200 posts with 100 actioned or whatever when in comparison to the amount of posts that need editing out there its minuscule. Thats why I think they might have done it like that

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