I have identified an anomaly in the awarding of a Taxonomist badge in Gardening.

This fortunate user was awarded Taxonomist for tomatoes. This is doubly fortunate because this user has never added a tomatoes tag to any question I can find (select * FROM PostHistory where Text like '%<tomato%>%' and UserId = 80)

Note that Question 2 on the site, was tagged with tomatoes from the very beginning....

This is all in relation to a query I am building on Stack Exchange Data Explorer which identifies who 'created' tags (assuming the originally tagged question was not deleted). This issue is causing some odd results....

So, why was taxonomist incorrectly awarded, and, if it was done correctly, what am I missing?

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    I see there's a synonym. If a tag merge took place at some point, it's very possible that a question asked before the tag was even created could end up with the tag. A tag merge just replaces all occurrences, like it had that tag all along. Hard to investigate stuff like that. I'd be curious what the tag creation date is listed as. – animuson May 24 '14 at 0:07
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    Has the badge been created after the Question 2 was created? What if the questions which were tagged by this user has been deleted? Do they still appear with this query? – A.L May 24 '14 at 1:55

I did some rummaging on the site.

The recipient of the badge used the [tomatoes] tag on a question on 2011-06-11 and deleted the question about 90 minutes later after it was pointed out that it was a duplicate of an earlier question.

The tags [tomato] and [tomatoes] were merged on 2011-09-09 when the synonym was created.

Given that the title of question #2 refers to a single tomato plant, it's likely that it was originally tagged with [tomato] too, so the OP wouldn't get a Taxonomist badge for it after the merge.

  • Thank you. That explanation makes sense. It describes a situation that would not show up in the Data Explorer (which does not contain deleted content). I'm not ready to accept this answer yet because I still consider this to be a bug... if tags were merged then the taxonomist should still be awarded to the first post of either of the merged tags, not the first post of only the target, which is likely what happened here. – rolfl May 24 '14 at 12:44
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    @rolfl That doesn't really make sense. The user didn't create tomatoes, they created tomato. Just because it later got renamed doesn't mean they should receive credit for it, nor is it worth SE's time to modify the merging script to look at creation dates. I merge really stupid tags into better ones all the time. Just because the stupid one happened to be created first, that user should receive credit for the better one? I don't think so. – animuson May 24 '14 at 14:58

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