I noticed some strange behavior regarding the Populist badge. Here is the question where it happened for reference, link. Disclaimer: I'm not out to get anyone and none of these people did anything wrong, I just want bring this behavior to light in case it's should be changed.

Normally what happens is that someone accepts an answer and it's ok, then someone else comes along and have an amazing or more general answer and get voted way past the accepted answer and gets the Populist badge. At least to my understanding.

What happened here though is that this one person got over 30 votes quickly, however I didn't accept his answer because reasons. Later that day I got and accepted an answer which had no votes yet. Currently that accepted answer has 76 votes to the other guy with only 54. So the accepted answer is currently bigger by about 40%.

What's weird here is it that the guy with 54 votes got the Populist badge. The behavior makes sense from the description, however it still feels wrong. The reason he got it is that when the accepted answer was on its way up it had to pass 11 votes anyway giving the current top-rated answer (which was above 22) the Populist badge. But he wouldn't be the populist here, he was just early. This wasn't over a long period either, just 2 days.

Maybe there should be put a time limit like a week or a month on how long the top-voted answer have to stay ahead of the accepted answer to gain the badge?

  • "as I recently discovered, if you have a high-scoring answer and a new answer is added, then accepted while it still has a low score, you will get Populist even if that answer quickly ends up outscoring yours.)" meta.stackexchange.com/questions/268180/undeterred-badge Feb 9, 2016 at 16:28
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    @KateGregory Ah, I see this has been noticed before. Still keeping this question though. Yours is more about promoting a new badge rather than putting the behavior of this badge into questioning and having a discussion around it.
    – Christer
    Feb 9, 2016 at 16:50
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    Agreed! Just letting you know. Feb 9, 2016 at 16:59

2 Answers 2


This is most probably intended behavior. Once earned, badges are not revoked, as far as I'm aware (for example, if you get a Nice Answer badge for a +10 answer that, two weeks later, gets downvoted to +9, you won't lose your Nice Answer badge). Except in cases of fraud, maybe.

The +54 answer existed, and then someone posted another answer, which soon become accepted and hit +10. From this moment until the accepted answer hit a score of +27, the +54 answer qualified for the badge. If that time frame covered one of the periods in the day where badges are awarded, then the +54 answer would have rightfully earned that badge.


It is by-design.

The Populist badge is awarded when you have an answer that has a score that is double of the current accepted answer at any given time. This means that if you accepted the new answer before it got over a score of 28, then the answer with the highest score with no accept would earn its OP the Populist badge. Nothing wrong here.

Now if that newly accepted answer jumps up really high like what you said, that's fine. Badges are not removable at all and it would be sad to lose your badge. A badge is awarded when you complete the objective at any time, not complete the objective and still have it completed to this day.

  • Still feel this badge would lose its meaning if this was how the majority obtained this badge. At least with the accepted answer jumping ahead so quickly.
    – Christer
    Feb 9, 2016 at 22:12
  • Well accepted answers with competing answers with scores that high will attract a lot of upvotes Feb 9, 2016 at 22:14
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    Small nitpick: the badge description says "by more than 2x" (emphasis mine), so the accepted answer's score would disqualify the other answer (had it been newer than the accepted answer) at 27, not 28.
    – TylerH
    Feb 10, 2016 at 3:49

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