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According to the badge report for the Sheriff badge here on MSE, the badge was awarded once in 2016 and once in 2017. The badge text specifies that the badge criteria is "Served as an elected moderator for at least 1 year.", but MSE, at least after the MSE/MSO split, has no elected moderators, only staff.

How did these two users earn the Sheriff badge here on MSE after the split? Are these cases of retroactive badge issuance due to errors or account merges, or have some users actually been elected as moderators here on MSE since it became independent of MSO?

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    All four of the most recent awards were previously staff. It looks like the query only looks if the user is currently staff. So once they are no longer staff, if they had the diamond for more than a year, it awards them the badge. I don't really have strong opinions on whether it should matter though. – animuson Oct 30 '18 at 15:23
  • @animuson that sounds like an answer. – Robert Columbia Oct 30 '18 at 15:24
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Your background information is right, there have not been elected moderators here on Meta SE since it became independent.

The two users you mention who have Sheriff are Horia Coman and Kurtis Beavers, both of whom are former Stack Exchange employees. My guess is that Horia and Kurtis both had moderator diamonds while they were employees. The Wayback Machine confirms this for Kurtis, at least. (It's worth noting here that employees are not automatically "diamonded"; mod status gets assigned based on need and job role.)

It's been reported that handling of employee status is a bit weird in the backend. My guess is the Sheriff award logic didn't account for the weird special case that is Meta SE, and assumed that their diamonds were due to election.

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