I am not sure if this is a bug or a design error, but I came across this issue on Robotics. I assume that the same code is employed across the various SE sites, so I am posting my question here.

I submitted an answer to a question at 16:26.

Answer submitted

I then suggested an edit to the question at 17:03. However, it was not until 20 hours later, at 13:03, that the edit was approved, so I appear to have missed out on the "Explainer" badge, as the edit should be done within 12 hours.

Question Edit

I don't know the reason for the delay, as I do not have a low approval rating:

Approval rating

I'm not bothered about missing out on the badge, nor am I criticising the reviewers - after all, we all do this in our free time. However, it does seem that the algorithm for the badge relies on the approval time, in lieu of the submit time, which does not seem to be correct, as the badge then becomes dependant upon the reviewer's availability/responsiveness, rather than upon the actions of the answerer/editor.


Should the badge also check if the edit was caused by a suggested edit and, in those cases, look at the time it was suggested rather than the time it was eventually approved?

  • 4
    It wouldn't have helped you here (the delta being just too large), but on sites where I don't have edit privs, I always try to submit my edit suggestion before starting an answer to give an extra margin of maybe half an hour or so. Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 2:59
  • 12
    The issue here, I think, is that earning badges shouldn't be a gamble. Badges are supposed to reward helpful behaviors. "Submitting a helpful edit to a question that you answered that gets approved within 12 hours" is not a helpful behavior. "Submitting a helpful edit to a question that you answered that gets approved" is. Commented May 26, 2020 at 18:48

2 Answers 2


This has become a more widespread problem since the top bar redesign in October 2017: the top bar notification for suggested edits became a mere shell of what it used to be. As such, of the 1,747 cases of this happening on Stack Overflow, 1,291, or about 75%, occurred in October 2017 or later.

I agree with Robert Columbia's comment: earning badges shouldn't be a gamble. It's not within the control of the user as to when their edit suggestion eventually gets approved, and it shouldn't matter that the edit is approved within 12 hours of the answer. The current model encourages <2k rep users to either go and ask users in chat to approve their edit (which is frowned upon), or to hold off on posting their answer until their edit is approved (denying other readers from a potentially helpful solution). I don't think these behaviors should be encouraged by the badge criteria; they should only encourage helpful behaviors.

Can we please have this implemented? I think it was deemed not to be a problem at the time this was filed as it was rare at the time for a suggested edit to take a long time to be approved, but due to the top bar redesign in October 2017, it's much more common now.


Thanks to @Sonic and others for bringing this up. I'm not happy with this too, but unfortunately don't have enough time to dig into SE databases for the first time.
I've fixed the query and there are actually 2 924 cases, with 2 984 more answers potentially becoming such.

I'd like to add that to fix this problem it's enough to set the edit date equal to suggestion date. It would be more correct, because this is when the user actually made an edit.

Also it would be nice to fix all the existing and potential cases (answers with 0 score which may contribute to the badges if they get upvoted) and award the missed badges.

  • 2
    If we set the edit date equal to the suggestion date, the post wouldn't jump to the top of the active page when the edit was approved - it'd just jump to the spot it would have been in - which would make these edits somewhat difficult to review for people who didn't review them in the suggested edits queue.
    – Catija
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 14:22
  • Thanks for pointing that out, @Catija, I missed this thing... While I agree that this would be worse to some extent in general, on Stack Overflow in particular this will make almost no difference, because posts leave the home page in a few seconds and the tag's active page in a few hours. On sites with low activity, on the other hand, they will stay visible for a few hours / days.
    – EvgenKo423
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 15:00
  • @Catija To be fair, on other sites I don't see any effect from (mostly old) questions with my answers being bumped. They almost never get upvoted on the same day, although I always write them to the best of my abilities.
    – EvgenKo423
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 17:26

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