As a simple matter of curiosity, I was reading the description of the "Nice Answer" and "Enlightened" badges. The descriptions are:

Question score of 10 or more


First to answer and accepted with at least 10 upvotes

A recent experience with a question that got 10 upvotes and 1 downvote has led me to believe that "score" and "upvotes" are actually the same thing (upvotes - downvotes). My question got 10 votes and was awarded "Nice Answer" almost immediately. Then it was downvoted and I didn't get "Enlightened" until a day later (seemingly after it picked up another upvote for a total of 11 upvotes and 1 downvote -- The answer had been accepted previously as well, so I don't think that had anything to do with it).

Here's what I think happened:

  1. Answer Accepted
  2. I got vote #10
  3. Awarded "Nice Answer" because it is calculated more frequently than Enlightened
  4. Received downvote, "Nice Answer" persisted because SO doesn't take away badges
  5. Downvote, now "score" = 9
  6. No Enlightened because it actually looks at "score", not "upvotes" as documented
  7. Upvote (score = 10)
  8. Enlightented badge awarded

To be clear, I'm aware that SO doesn't take away badges after you've earned them. The question here is more about the documentation on the "Enlightened" badge.


As pointed out by S.L. Barth, the list of all badges says "score" for "Enlightened", not "upvotes" as the page I had originally linked. Apparently there is a documentation discrepancy here.

  • 1
    Probably the badge description doesn't match the implementation. score == upvotes <=> downvotes == 0. Aug 31, 2012 at 12:04
  • @DanielFischer -- That's my guess too. If there is a mismatch, maybe I should re-tag this as a bug-report? (Is there any way to actually check if there is a mismatch for sure?)
    – mgilson
    Aug 31, 2012 at 12:06
  • 2
    This is a bug in the description for the Enlightened badge. It should read "with a score of at least 10".
    – ChrisF Mod
    Aug 31, 2012 at 12:10
  • Heh, even the tag wiki for the [enlightened] meta tag says "score"... I wonder how this went so long without anyone noticing...
    – yannis
    Aug 31, 2012 at 12:16

1 Answer 1


score = upvotes - downvotes.

If you get a badge based upon your score, and your score falls below the threshold (10, 25 or 100, depending on the badge), the badge will not go away. You get to keep it, and the next time one of your posts hit that threshold, the badge will be assigned to that post.

  • I understand that part ... The thing that confuses me is that I didn't get a badge for Enlightened (until a day later when I picked up an 11th upvote) which only says "upvotes", not "score".
    – mgilson
    Aug 31, 2012 at 12:04
  • 2
    According to the List of all badges, "Enlightened" is based upon the score. Aug 31, 2012 at 12:08
  • 1
    So there's a discrepancy in documentation here. Good to know. Re-tagged my question as "bug" in that case.
    – mgilson
    Aug 31, 2012 at 12:15
  • Does the badge awarding work this way with badges that are specific to a certain question? For example, I can see exactly which questions I was awarded "Nice Answer" for. If I get "Nice Answer" for question X and then its score drops below 10, then I get "Nice Answer" for question Y -- Does my "Nice Answer" for question X disappear at that point, or does it persist since it's linked to a particular question?
    – mgilson
    Aug 31, 2012 at 12:23
  • 1
    From moderator Robert Harvey: " if you lose the requirements for that badge, your next badge earned in that badge category is a "makeup" one." ( Source ) Aug 31, 2012 at 12:50

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