I have over 900 reputation and over a year of answering others programming questions on Stack Overflow, and I had a Unsung Hero gold badge about 2 weeks ago and I had just gotten it and within like a week it was gone and I got like 60 notifications of all of my badges being given to me (as if they were all taken away and given again) but the gold badge (maybe along with others) was not re-given. Can you lose a badge you earned? God bless!

Note: here is the page (just found it in my web history) of the badge I earned: https://stackoverflow.com/badges/226/unsung-hero?userid=773897

I may no longer meet the requirements for it, I don't know, but should that make a badge disappear, I feel like once you've earned something it should be yours to keep... just because I start answering more questions with different +1's or whatever makes me lose my only gold badge? In that case I should have just stopped answering questions hahahaha! :D

Here is a screenshot from my browser's (Safari's) history feature that shows me having 1 gold badge:

  • Which gold badge? It is possible, but normal badges are not taken away by any automated process.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Feb 14, 2013 at 4:05
  • 13
    (Besides not actually being able to see anything interesting in that picture, they have image editors that let you do things like... crop.) Feb 14, 2013 at 4:09
  • I didn't add it to prove to you guys that I had one and I deserve it again, I would hope that SO backs everything up and can check this... I just added it to prove to myself that I'm not going crazy and I imagined the whole thing haha! Feb 14, 2013 at 4:11
  • 2
    Did you have an account merge? I noticed that all your badges are currently awarded on February 9th. Account merges can reset all of your badges (which causes them to all be re-awarded), so if you no longer qualify for one, then you won't get it back.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Feb 14, 2013 at 4:11
  • 1
    Ah, I did merge because there was a glitch where when I set up my account with other stack exchange sites they were all shown as new accounts so I posted on here a while back about it and then I sent an eMail and then I relogged in with everything through Facebook and I lost my little gold pride. Feb 14, 2013 at 4:12
  • I just don't feel I should be penalized for trying to use the site the way the admins intended (merged accounts), I'm sure they will see it the same way. Both accounts that were merged had the same username and eMail they just weren't linked for some reason, I think it was a glitch but I posted about it on Meta a while back. Feb 14, 2013 at 4:14
  • 1
    I'm not aware of developers ever manually awarding badges. I'm afraid if the system thinks you no longer qualify, you're just going to have to try and qualify again.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Feb 14, 2013 at 4:17
  • 2
    @AlbertRenshaw The comment was saying that they're not going to manually give it back to you. My point about the picture was that we can't read it: it's too small. Feb 14, 2013 at 4:19
  • 1
    @AlbertRenshaw Please use @ replies. Why not? If they choose not to it's because it's not worth the effort: it's a gold badge. It's not actual gold; you cannot trade it in for anything interesting anywhere I'm aware of. I'm really not convinced "morality" comes in to the picture here. Feb 14, 2013 at 4:21
  • 1
    @All, in meta I would like to discuss things like what else can cause this glitch (So I stay clear of it next time) and who I should contact to have the glitch fixed and what not... if you would like to discuss what's fair and what you think should be done with my account please go here: philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/6050/… Feb 14, 2013 at 4:37
  • 2
    @AlbertRenshaw: It's really not a glitch. Badges are reset upon an account merge because literally everything on your accounts needs to be recalculated to make sure that you don't have double votes on things, reputation you shouldn't have, etc. It sucks bu there's really not anything anyone can or will do.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Feb 14, 2013 at 4:47
  • 2
    They have definitely had problems with the multiple accounts thing, but it's probably a slim chance of you getting it back. I would email them if I were you. Feb 14, 2013 at 4:52
  • 11
    -1: If you could edit your post to write "Important details are in the comments below", then you could edit your post to put the important details in your post! Feb 14, 2013 at 5:10
  • 4
    @animuson this was confirmed to be a bug here and even fixed for Fanatic, no reason why it shouldn't be fixed for Unsung Hero as well. Badges should not be taken back unless earned unrightfully in the first place. Feb 14, 2013 at 8:01
  • 2
    @AlbertRenshaw Yeah, this is a side-effect of the account merge. We're going to look at what we can do to fix this.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Feb 14, 2013 at 16:28

3 Answers 3


The fix mentioned by Sha Wiz Dow Ard was only implemented for Fanatic and Enthusiast. I have now added UnsungHero, but unfortunately, unlike the other two, we have no way to recalculate it.

Going forward, Unsung Hero will get merged - I am looking at this specific case to see if there is any way for us to re-award it to Albert.

Update: We were able to confirm eligibility, thanks to some old backups, so the badge has been restored. However, this is not something that can be expected to work for everyone who lost the badge. Sorry.

As I said, going forward, this shouldn't happen anymore.


This appears to be pretty much "by design" but was recently addressed as a bug and fixed for other badge.

As Oded (newly recruited developer on the team) says here:

The merge process was not migrating badges

He was talking about the Fanatic badge but most likely Unsung Hero falls under the same category.

He also says there:

Going forwards, such badges will be moved to the merge target. We have now also ran the queries backfilling such issues as your own.

So it shouldn't happen anymore.

  • So great, its fixed but screw the OP? It really doesn't seem fair that he looses that badge entirely because of a flaw in the code - would it be possible to manually award the OP with the badge in this scenario? Feb 14, 2013 at 8:18
  • I think it is possible, I left a comment to Oded let's see what he says. Feb 14, 2013 at 8:39
  • Question, does this work like that still? If someone merges and they have the badge on one account and not the other what happens?
    – Menelaos
    Jun 5, 2013 at 20:28
  • @meewoK as Oded said here: Going forwards, such badges will be moved to the merge target. So suppose account A is merged into account B, if A had fanatic/unsung hero then after migration B will have it as well. Jun 5, 2013 at 22:57

It's unfortunate that the badge disappeared after your accounts merger. Unlike the Fanatic badge, for which a bug was identified here, the Unsung badge is recalculated at the point of merger AFAIK.

I did a quick calculation based on your answers and you need four more zero-score accepted answers to qualify again; basically, you have either become a more "sung" hero or some questions have since switched their accepted answer.

  • Thankyou for the calculation! I just feel like recalculating makes since if you are merging two accounts on the same website because those accounts could have been used to up vote each other but I still only ever had one SO account so I don't think there should have been any recalculating at all, that's why it felt like a penalty to me for merging the accounts, at this point I would have rather not merged accounts, especially since I rarely ever use any of the other SE sites... I contacted the staff though and we'll see what happens! Feb 14, 2013 at 12:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .