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The excavator has been awarded to... many users just some time ago. What a... bug? Certainly it is, too many unavailable posts :D

Seems to affect Marshal and Excavator.

screenshot of many badges in quick succession, all for deleted posts

Also looks like it's everywhere. SO's got a similar problem a couple of minutes before.

Moreover, I can has THREE X marshals!!!

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    We're investigating.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:15
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    I expect this is going to spread for a while, and to other badges. Further updates in comments here on which sites are affected will probably be noise.
    – user206222
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:15
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    @Emrakul Reports of affected sites aren't needed, but if there are other badges that have issues, that'd be helpful.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:16
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    Related: meta.stackoverflow.com/q/325689/2415822
    – JAL
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:19
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    Here I was, assuming that this was an intentional change to allow it to be earned multiple times for multiples of 500 flags (that matches the number I've just been granted).
    – Jeremy
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:23
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    The question on everyone's mind: after all of this is fixed, do we get to keep the badges?
    – JAL
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:25
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    @JAL Resounding no.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:25
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    @JAL Badges that were awarded due to a bug are not badges I would want to keep ;-)
    – Tim
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:26
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    @animuson There are more old ill-gotten badges in this query. Jun 7, 2016 at 20:27
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    @ryanyuyu Where does it mention that the Marshall badge should only be awarded once?
    – matt.
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:36
  • Yeah looks like just caching to clean up. My inbox and usercard need updating, but my profile page has the correct badge information (included my most recently earned badge)
    – ryanyuyu
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:36
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    @ᴉʞuǝ I just read the badge list FAQ
    – ryanyuyu
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:37
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    @ᴉʞuǝ meta.stackexchange.com/questions/67397/…
    – TylerH
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:38
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    @ryanyuyu Thanks, not in the actual list of badges.. Perhaps they should add that to the badge page instead of making people track that type of info down.
    – matt.
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:39
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    @ᴉʞuǝ yeah it's a bit inconsistent in the badge list from the help center.
    – ryanyuyu
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:42

1 Answer 1

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We just did a major revamp of how badges are awarded behind the scenes to drastically reduce the load on SQL Server. It now takes advantage of some pre-compute work we're doing to track badge progress in the profile.

However, I screwed up 2 queries, specifically the text names of the badges that prevent duplicate awarding. I was thinking to myself earlier "hey, maybe we should pass these in" as part of the rewrite - but it's not quite so simple. I'll take another look at this soon but when we're not fighting fires from a SQL Server upgrade. The cardinality changes which hosed some of the bigger badge queries needed urgent attention here, which ended up as a major revamp and introduced the 2 errors reported here.

Apologies for all the bad grants here - that certainly wasn't the intention. Due to how badges get tested, it's also not a symptom that shows up locally. If I can change this to a param exclusion passed by the code then things like this become far less likely to happen going forward.

I have cleaned up all achievements and grants associated with the bad code. User badge counts (on user cards and flair) will sync up tonight as part of a regular process.


Edit: If you're wondering why I had to address this quickly on the SQL Server front, here's the effect it was having and you can guess when the fix went out:

enter image description here

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    Not a bad mistake to make, we all felt quite happy :)
    – user310756
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:39
  • Looks like there's some tests you can create. :)
    – hichris123
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:45
  • At least we can see the server will be quite happy from this point forward. This looks like a great fix, after the initial problems have been fixed.
    – Mast
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:49
  • Is this a problem that only appeared in SQL Server 16?
    – TZHX
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:50
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    @TZHX Yes, in SQL 2016 on compat 130. I have been fighting fires the past 2 days and trying my best not to let users notice anything is happening. I failed here :( Jun 7, 2016 at 20:51
  • Can we have some stats on how many people this affected as a payment for our troubles?
    – Quill
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:57
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    @Quill I don't have unique user counts, but there were 9,102 total grants in play across all sites. 3,420 were on Stack Overflow - the rest were a batch cleanup I wasn't looking at numbers on. Jun 7, 2016 at 20:58
  • @NickCraver, which reminds me a question I asked on your blog a week or two ago. You wrote you don't have Unit Test on Stackexchange (besides on Careers), so how do you avoid bugs...?
    – gdoron
    Jun 7, 2016 at 20:58
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    @gdoron This wasn't a bug! We just decided to reconsider our recent generosity expansion. Jun 7, 2016 at 21:00
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    Just in case you missed it, side effect bug: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/280040/… Jun 8, 2016 at 6:22
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    Just FYI, this is still not completely fixed on Cross Validated & "tonight" should have passed. On my userpage, only 1 marshal is listed under the badges tab, but the counts of gold badges at the top of my screen & on my flair / usercard are still incorrectly inflated (21 instead of 19). Jun 8, 2016 at 14:11
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    Indeed as @gung said: while the profile page count is now correct card is wrong with a +2 golds for the wrongly awarded medals. :D
    – BaCaRoZzo
    Jun 8, 2016 at 16:34
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    @NickCraver Please take a look at this related bug about cleaning up the awarded badges: meta.stackexchange.com/q/280089/245360 Jun 9, 2016 at 9:05

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