SO is an established site and nobody can earn these badges anymore. I understand why they are displayed in the list of badges. I myself visited AREA 51 to catch some aliens, oops see incubating sites.

What I propose is to mark these badges as Closed on SO. It will make it clear that it is not possible to earn them on SO anymore. There is already precedent:

Analytical - Visited every section of the FAQ (retired) 

We can update badges description in similar way with (closed) suffix. It will not hurt anybody's feeling but it will help to clarify them.

This post is related to, but is not the same as, the following post:

Should the Precognitive badge be listed in the list of S[OFU] badges?

I'm not suggesting these badges be removed from the list, merely that it be annotated in some way.


Please change Beta badge description to "Actively participated in the private beta for this site".

  • I always wonder why people use upvotes/downvotes as kind of poll on Meta. Downvote description: "This question does not show any research effort, it is ucclear or not useful". Mar 31, 2014 at 17:15
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    I don't think "closed" accurately conveys that message. I'm not really sure what message it conveys. I don't think it makes much sense in the context of earning badges. At most, I'd go with an asterisk that mentions that the badge can no longer be earned on this site (that emphasized part is very important).
    – animuson StaffMod
    Mar 31, 2014 at 17:28
  • I would call for any improvement. It took me some time until I get it. And then, the description was clear. If there is some indication, it would help. See how many duplicates the linked question have. So it is a problem. Mar 31, 2014 at 17:31
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    @LeosLitrerak: that's why this question was posted: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/227015/… Mar 31, 2014 at 17:47
  • I do not like association between negative votes and reputation. Why am I punished when my proposal is OK but somebody does not agree with it? It is better to leave disagree comment. Mar 31, 2014 at 18:20
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    @LeosLiterak Because the voter feels it's not a useful contribution. That's what the vote means. If you read the answer to the linked post you'd see that using the term "agreement/disagreement" is highly misleading in this context.
    – Servy
    Mar 31, 2014 at 18:40
  • But if it is just disagreement, why does it cost my reputation? It is discouraging to ask questions in meta, I do not feel friendly and constructive atmosphere here. Apr 4, 2014 at 5:51

2 Answers 2


It will make it clear that it is not possible to earn them on SO anymore.

What is unclear about the current text?

Followed the Area 51 proposal for this site before it entered the commitment phase

Actively participated in the private beta

It tells you how to earn them. They aren't closed at all - they represent exactly the conditions they intend to represent, and they continue to represent those conditions.

How would putting (closed) on them clarify them any further than they already are? Who, exactly, is confused?

If anything, adding such a suffix would only cause confusion.

  • Is "Actively participated in the private beta" clear? It could be understood that you can participate in any stackexchange beta. Mar 31, 2014 at 18:41
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    @LeosLiterak Really? Then do you also wonder if the guru badge on this site might actually mean that you were a guru on another site? If so, then adding, "closed" won't help - you'll have to change the wording to include "stackoverflow" or similar.
    – Pollyanna
    Mar 31, 2014 at 19:27
  • This is a retrospectivity issue - when you know it, you cannot understand why somobody can have a problem with it. It is like cycling - once you get it, it is clear. So yes, I publicly disclose, I believed that participating in beta from Area 51 is a way to get this badge. Now I know that all SE sites are equal and independent. And not it seems evident. But should you ask newbie, you may get other responses. Ware other people shoes. Mar 31, 2014 at 20:37
  • @LeosLiterak A badge's description doesn't aim to teach you badges are not global, but very specific for a SE site.
    – apaderno
    Apr 4, 2014 at 5:41
  • The "the Area 51 proposal for this site" part is very clear: If you are on Stack Overflow, this site means Stack Overflow, not Stack Exchange.
    – apaderno
    Apr 4, 2014 at 5:42
  • @kiamlaluno "Actively participated in the private beta" - I started with this badge and later I read Precognitive description. So at least beta badge shall be modified to "Actively participated in the private beta for this site" to make it clear. Apr 4, 2014 at 5:46
  • @LeosLiterak "Actively participated in the private beta". I find it hard to find any other meaning than the current site's private beta. Maybe, just maybe, adding that extra bit would be useful, but I honestly doubt it would clarify it for many people.
    – 3ventic
    Apr 4, 2014 at 5:59
  • @3ventic try to search for this badges in meta, you will find many similar questions where askers did not understand their meaning as well. When you know it, it is hard to understand other people that do not know it yet Apr 4, 2014 at 6:14
  • @3ventic ad "the site" - english is not my native language so I do not feel it is equivalent to "this". Apr 5, 2014 at 13:21

It's ok if there is some mystery to the site, some corners you don't understand right away, some jokes that seem to be shared by those who've been here longer than you. Not too much, not so much you feel excluded, but a little, so that you explore and find out and dig into the history and character of the place. It's a delicate balance, but I think these unearnable badges are part of the charm, and should stay just as they are.

  • I am analytic person, not romantic. I see a problem, not mystery. ;-) Mar 31, 2014 at 18:23

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