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I suddenly got four Steward badges re-awarded on SFF. I actually earned these between 2016 and 2020, but now they're awarded twice (?), and the old ones say:

for 1000 reviews, over 200 actioned in the old review system

There's an "old" review system???

A glance at the "Recent Badges" sidebar on the badges page shows that dozens of Steward badges are suddenly being re-awarded.

This hasn't happened on all sites, apparently - e.g. on Puzzling there are no new Steward badges today - but the root cause is presumably something network-wide rather than an SFF-specific phenomenon, so I'm posting this on main meta.

What happened? Is someone messing with the badge system again? :-)

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  • Maybe it has to do with meta.stackexchange.com/questions/359973/… – Kodos Johnson Jan 28 at 16:35
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    @KodosJohnson Maybe, but I didn't see any mention there of Steward or review badges. Underlying cause might be the same, who knows, but this feels more deliberate: the mention of an "old review system" suggests that someone planned this and has taken the trouble to write some new text to appear on the badges page. – Rand al'Thor Jan 28 at 16:36
  • @KodosJohnson Not related at all. There's supposedly an announcement about review updates coming out today, if it hasn't been published somewhere yet. Seems the code is getting ahead of itself. – animuson Jan 28 at 16:37
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    From CM Catija on a dupe of this question: "we're changing it so that it can be awarded multiple times - once for every 1k reviews... but I wasn't expecting that to go live network wide... now." – Rand al'Thor Jan 28 at 16:42
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    This is my bug, caused by a temporary issue with and old batch job running after a migration took place. I have a fix I can roll out in a few. – Brian Nickel Jan 28 at 17:01
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    The reason pointed out by Catija can't be it. It's not an award of new badges, it's a complete re-award of all the existing ones. I got an extra copy of all my existing Stewards, but I have 3k close reviews and 1.3k Suggested Edits reviews. – E.P. Jan 28 at 17:09
  • Possible dupe to the official announcement (buggy network-wide, but expected in the future): Visual design changes to the review queues – Meta Andrew T. Jan 28 at 17:35
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This has been fixed. All the duplicate badges have been deleted. If you are still receiving extra Steward badges at this point, it is because you earned them.


This was caused by a temporary issue related to the rollout of Visual design changes to the review queues.

As part of that project, we are changing steward badges from being awarded once per queue at 1000 to be awarded per queue every 1000, so users with 5000 reviews would get 5 badges.

The problem we ran into is that badges are expressed as unique tuples of (UserId, BadgeId, ReasonId). ReasonId is an abstract object which could represent a post ID, a review queue, or really anything. In our case, it was simply the review queue ID, making it possible to award the steward badge exactly once per queue.

I originally had the idea of having the badge be awarded as ReasonId = (count(*)/1000 - 1) * 1000 + ReviewQueueId, so your first badge at 1000 would be ReviewQueueId, your second at 2000 would be 1000 + ReviewQueueId and so on, but it was rightfully pointed out that this would be confusing.

Instead, I decided to award badges with ReasonId = (count(*)/1000) * 1000 + ReviewQueueId, so your first badge is 1000 + ReviewQueueId, your second is 2000 + ReviewQueueId, and so on. This required a migration to increment all of the ids by 1000. Both solutions required that any code that got the review queue from the badge would have to do ReviewQueueId = ReasonId % 1000

During the time between when the migration ran and when the code deployed, I expected two things to happen:

  1. We'd experience a brief window where code that read the review queue id from the reason ID would fail. These all had fallbacks, like the "for 1000 reviews, over 200 actioned in the old review system" message you saw, so I wasn't terribly concerned.
  2. If the SQL job ran, some users might get the Steward badge awarded with the low reason ID. I figured this would be rare and easily remedied with manual deletions.

Unfortunately, I was way off base with #2. The code ran on at least 30 sites and re-awarded all the steward badges there.

The fix here will be to run a query deleting all Steward badges with ReasonId < 1000 as I've confirmed that they are all erroneous.

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  • The "old" review system is news to me as well. This must have been something that existed a decade ago. – Brian Nickel Jan 28 at 18:52
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    Thanks! The only thing I don't understand is what "over 200 actioned in the old review system" meant? As far as I understand, 200 isn't a significant number either before or after the changes to the review system, and Steward badges are still measured in kiloreviews rather than bihectoreviews. – Rand al'Thor Jan 28 at 18:55
  • I also got awarded badges, but how do I delete them? I'm not familiar with running a query? – AliceD Jan 28 at 20:21
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    @Randal'Thor I did a little digging and there used to be a "Reviewer" badge associated with the old review system, which you earned it by looking at 1,000 reviews taking 200 actions. I'm guessing that when the new system was created, those earned badges got merged in with Steward. When the system sees a steward badge that it can't associate with a queue, it assumes it's one of those and displays that message. – Brian Nickel Jan 28 at 20:36
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    @AliceD There's nothing to be done on your end. I'll be running the query to clean things up. The details here are just explaining my mistake and how I plan to fix it. – Brian Nickel Jan 28 at 20:38
  • @Randal'Thor Actually, it's still reviewer. We just show the message for any review badge where we don't know the queue. See stackoverflow.com/help/badges/1478/reviewer?userId=479512 for an example of it being displayed correctly. – Brian Nickel Jan 28 at 20:44
  • @BrianNickel Very interesting, thank you for the information. I guess I'm not active on any sites old enough that Steward badges were awarded before this changed :-) (on SFF, the first Steward badge was in 2013) – Rand al'Thor Jan 28 at 20:46
  • I've got 8 Steward badges on Ask Ubuntu. So, in total I have 12 Steward badges. :) – Kulfy Jan 29 at 19:07
  • @Kulfy Now you're getting legitimate ones that you've earned via this change: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/360279/… – Brian Nickel Jan 29 at 19:47

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