According to Why haven't I earned the Guru badge? self-accepted answers don't count toward badges.

What is the reasoning behind this? On the surface it would seem to me that knowing a popular question and a good answer for it that merits 40+ votes qualifies one for a "guru" badge as much as another 40+ accepted answer.

On Mathematica.SE:

(Several of these answers are not presently Accepted by the author.)

Why shouldn't these community-valued answers be eligible for the badge?

3 Answers 3


The obvious answer as to why self-accepted answers don't count is that they're less difficult. It's a higher bar for someone else to select your answer as the most useful than for you to do so.

Self-accepted answers are still eligible for the nice/good/great answer badges. The guru badge is meant to be distinct from those, and so has the extra requirement of being accepted by someone else. (That it's also a silver badge despite having strictly more difficult requirements than a "good" answer is a different discussion.)

  • Getting 40 upvotes and an accept is not strictly more difficult than getting 100 upvotes, I'd say. Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 19:42
  • @DanielFischer Oops, I meant "good answer" (also silver, 25 upvotes), one second while I fix that.
    – blahdiblah
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 19:46
  • 1
    I can see the logic in this. What if instead of (or in addition to) self-accepted was the requirement that it is the most highly rated answer to the question?
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 19:52
  • 1
    @Mr.Wizard At some point all the badge requirements are somewhat arbitrary. (Why is 40 the magic guru number instead of 35 or 45?) You make a feature request that the guru badge requirements be changed, but it would have to be pretty compelling. New features start with -100 points so if there isn't some major benefit, it's not likely to change.
    – blahdiblah
    Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 20:03
  • As you pointed out to @Mr.Wizard badge requirements are arbitrary, but it feels wrong. If 40 some odd people have said "yup this answer helped me" at that point who cares if the user has accepted their own answer? How many self accepted answers have 40 points with a competing answer with more points? I'm off to sip coffee. :)
    – ahsteele
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 16:23

Currently there is no incentive to accepting your own answer

  • You don't get 15 points for getting your answer accepted (answer side)
  • You don't get the 2 points for accepting it (question side)
  • You can't get Enlightened or Guru badge
  • You can't get a Tenacious badge or Unsung badges

This is clearly because it would create an incentive to not accept competing answers.

  • And, of course, the answer isn't automatically shown first, either. Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 16:20

Logically, acceptance is something within the gift of the question asker and is therefore open to abuse by said person; they can accept their own answers to get a badge.

Upvotes on their self-answer are not something they can influence (other than by posting good answers) and so getting badges based on votes alone is not open to abuse.

Not sure this is the "real" answer but it makes sense.

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