Take an account without the "Critic" badge, upvote a question, immediately downvote it, then immediately cancel the downvote, and you get the critic badge.

  • 16
    This will also happen if you don't upvote the question first. Commented Aug 17, 2009 at 20:30

9 Answers 9


Awarded badges are not removed, by design.

Jeff Atwood has mentioned this on a few occasions: "Badges are almost never removed. You do not lose the badge once you have it."

So if, for example, you left 10 comments (Commentator badge) and then deleted one, you would not lose the badge.

  • The exception being ... ? The woot one ? Commented Jul 3, 2009 at 16:59
  • I believe the Woot badge will be merged with or become the Enthusiast badge... unless someone knows better. Commented Jul 3, 2009 at 17:40
  • 2
    @rcar There was a blog post (blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/06/enthusiast-and-fanatic-badges) about how the Enthusiast badge was temporarily renamed.
    – Margaret
    Commented Jul 3, 2009 at 23:18
  • why not remove the woot badge?
    – Benny
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 5:06

Well, you did downvote it...

  • 1
    Point being, by accident, I was expecting the behaviour in my answer, below (where below is chronological order) Commented Jul 3, 2009 at 13:18
  • 3
    How is the system supposed to be able to guess your intent?
    – TheTXI
    Commented Jul 3, 2009 at 13:21
  • 5
    Because I didn't navigate away / cancelled almost immediately. Commented Jul 3, 2009 at 14:38
  • I just pressed the wrong button by accident.
    – James
    Commented Jul 9, 2009 at 18:28
  • 2
    You guys have clearly never used StackOverflow on a mobile phone. It will happen to you eventually.
    – Mikel
    Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 3:53
  • @James,@Mike,@et,@al- I know I'm like 5 years behind on this one, and I don't even expect you to read this, but pressing that button when my mouse is jittery, immediately pressing the up-button as I realize (immediately) that I missed the STAR, and then discovering a dubious award later, and then not even being able to find where I mistakingly clicked the down arrow sounds like "the implementers" need some remedial programming courses in timers - personally, I think the Klingon Salt Mines would be too good for them, but I digress... Now, I feel better. Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 6:12

I guess the solution would be to require the downvote to be in place for more than 'x' minutes or something, or require loading of a full page (rather than just an XML callback which is presumably what caused it, even though I was just trying to cancel my upvote)

Whilst on the subject, why not have it such that clicking downvote on an upvoted question should just cancel the upvote, and not give you the downvote without a second click? (analogous to a spinner control)


I felt guilty enough about the "extra" badge when it happened to me at SU, that I went looking for a suitably crappy question or answer to down vote for real... and wasn't surprised that I found one before I got bored ;-)

I don't think its a big deal though, just a quirk. The description does say "first down vote" and the erroneous click was on a down arrow so it did make sense in hindsight.


I know this badge is trivial, but so is making it work right, so why not do so? It appears that the application of this badge is currently controlled by a flag that gets set to true the first time a down vote button is clicked. It can never be set back to false even if the user immediately undoes their down vote.

Do away with this flag and have the code that checks for application of this badge examine the down vote count instead.


I had this happen and I did not intend to downvote anything. I upvoted an answer, realizid I had upvoted the wrong one and clicked the downvote arrow as if it were a numeric up/down control. I then immediately corrected the resulting -1 by clicking the control again leaving the question back at 0.

The next day... Critic

Perhaps this should be treated as a bug

  • 1
    It's the same behaviour -- if you click downvote, you get the badge.
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented May 26, 2010 at 16:26

It is so easy to get this badge that it isn't worth introducing any extra code to govern it. If you can be a "critic" with one click... so what if you can do it with two too?


You probably don't want to make it too hard to get the critic badge otherwise you might encourage needless down-voting just to get the badge. Which would be in contravention to the purpose of badges and rep.

  • yes, this means that for someone who just wants the badge and downvotes something at random, they get the badge immediately and they can undo it, or at least not hurt the site by downvoting other answers.
    – Kip
    Commented Jul 20, 2009 at 3:58

This confused be enough that I came here, worked out that it was the right place to report bugs, did a search to see if it was already reported and came here. In other words it not expected behavior and therefore it probably should not be what happens.

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