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There seems to be a bug in the Area 51 badge counting mechanism:

  • On a proposal page, the top bar mentions a bronze badge count of six.

  • However, on a discussion page, an additional Editor badge is taken into account, totaling the number of bronze badges at seven.

  • On both top bars, the reputation count is the same.

proposal top bar discussion top bar

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discuss is the Area 51 Meta site.

Like all other Meta sites except Meta Stack Overflow, you share reputation between the main site and it's meta, but not badges. You earn badges on Meta sites independently.

The Area 51 software stack is really showing its age here; it is slated to be updated for a while now, but documentation about this kind of detail is indeed lacking.

The new help center for the current software stack has this to say:

Votes on meta do not affect your reputation; your meta reputation is the same as your reputation on main site name (synchronized hourly), though you earn separate badges. You must have 5 reputation to participate on meta.

See the page about meta on Programmers help for example.

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  • +1 I was wondering about that as well
    – user226423
    Jun 28, 2013 at 9:44
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    @MartijnPieters That explains the logic behind it. However, from an Area 51 user perspective, it really gives a defective impression. This impression is strengthened by the fact that there unlike launched sites, there are almost no visual clues to distinguish between the main and meta sites. Jun 28, 2013 at 9:52
  • I quite agree that Area 51 has many aspects that are severely broken. An overhaul was in the works over a year ago, I have no idea what the status of that overhaul is now. Jun 28, 2013 at 9:57
  • The last public post discussing the update was in Jan.
    – asheeshr
    Jun 28, 2013 at 10:37

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