6

In contrast to usual badges tag badges which have already been awarded can be lost. This does not make a lot of sense to me.

Even if your skills within a certain tag are historic and some of the old questions have been deleted once you have been great enough to earn this badge.

Is there any particular reason why tag badges can be lost / are re-calculated every day?­­­­­­

  • 4
    IMO, it is a mistake to put the tag badges and ordinary badges together in the counts. Historical mistake which cause lots of confusion such as this. They should have totally separated it from the beginning, but they didn't. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Jun 27 '17 at 14:06
  • Yeah that would probably have been better. – Blackbam Jun 27 '17 at 18:06
10

It's because without it it would be trivially easy to game in order to get all of the gold tag badges you wanted. Or, if you're only interested in bronze badges, it would super trivially easy to get.

  1. Have a highly upvoted question (or several) (or just an answer with a single upvote for a bronze badge)
  2. Edit the question(s) to have the tag you want a badge for, even if it has nothing to do with the question
  3. Wait for the process that awards tag badges to run; receive a badge
  4. Remove the extraneous tag from the question
  5. Repeat

Granted, you still have to have a minimum number of answers for that tag and some highly upvoted questions, but otherwise it's an easy exploit that is now thwarted by the fact that you can lose your tag badges.

Here's a question about how this was exploited: Tag-badges exploit

This change appears to have been put in place at the same time the minimum number of answers requirement was put in place. See: Proposed changes to tag-based badges

  • Ok I see that makes sense. Thanks. – Blackbam Jun 27 '17 at 14:08
4

A nice example given by ale. Another one -

Currently, on Mathematics Stack Exchange, I have 54 votes in the tag probability. Now, what I do is, I create a new fake account, then go and upvote all my answer in that tag (After achieving a minimum reputation to upvote answers, that isn't hard to do). Wait the next day to get a bronze badge.

Now, even if the voting is corrected/reversed, I have the 'tag badge'. It's very easy to game the system if the badges are permanently there, irrespective of voting reversal/correction.

To do this, you don't even need high voted answers, you only need many answers, or many fake accounts.

This probably a big reason for re-calculation of tag badges, everyday.

3

Gold tag badges provide a significant moderation ability - closing a question as duplicate in that tag is instant, and doesn't require the usual 5 votes to close.

As such, this moderation ability must be removed when the tag badge is, for whatever reason "un-earned".

Further, this tag badge is unusual in that it doesn't suggest a user attained a certain goal at one point - it means they currently, actively are experts in those tags, at whatever level they've earned it.

So while most badges are earned once and then remain with you even if the conditions that caused you to gain it change, these badges show your current level of expertise in a tag, and as such are removed if you no longer meet the qualifications.

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