In a recent discussions about spam in users' profile on MathOverflow Meta I noticed the comment saying that recent badges appear not only in the help-center. (I did not notice that until now.) I will quote the comment here:

This problem lately seems to affect MO and four other StackExchange sites (Stack Overflow, Server Fault, Super User, and Ask Ubuntu). What seems to be a particular problem for MO is that these spam users show up on the main page under Recent Badges; I for one don't see Recent Badges on any other SE site. And while I don't lose sleep over it, it is a nuisance, and I dislike the idea of such users getting free advertising on MO.

Indeed, if I go to https://mathoverflow.net/ I see the list of recent badges. (I have added screenshot below.)

Question. Which sites in the network show the list of recent badges on their frontpage (or in some place different from the /help/badges page)?

I am asking partly out of curiosity and partly before on such sites the spam in users' profiles seems slightly bigger problem. (This problem has been discussed before, for example, the question "Spam Profiles are getting my goat. Could we have better tools for mods to deal with profile spam?" and other posts linked there.)


  • If i'm not mistaken, that's shown when there's not enough other stuff to display
    – Kevin B
    Apr 14, 2021 at 18:52
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    You see that list if you have HNQ disabled. Doesn't MO have HNQ permanently disabled?
    – Mithical
    Apr 14, 2021 at 18:57
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    @Mithical That is correct, the HNQ list is not shown on MathOverflow.
    – Martin
    Apr 14, 2021 at 19:01
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    @Martin source for that claim
    – Luuklag
    Apr 14, 2021 at 19:07

1 Answer 1


Both the Recent Tags and Recent Badges sections in the sidebar are only shown to all users on a site if the Hot Network Questions sidebar block is disabled on the site. It is not possible to see them in combination.

Currently, the following sites have HNQ disabled and show those two lists instead:

  • MathOverflow
  • Stack Overflow in Japanese
  • Stack Overflow in Portuguese
  • Stack Overflow in Russian

Additionally, on other sites, those two lists are shown to users who've disabled Hot Network Questions in their preferences.

  • I presume that it was also disabled on Stack Overflow in Spanish. Was there a relevant discussion on that site of enabling it there? Or was it not ever disabled there? Apr 14, 2021 at 19:14
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    @Sonic I am not sure. It is not disabled on SO in Spanish as of now though.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Apr 14, 2021 at 19:15
  • I propose that the usefulness of the Recent Badges panel is not what it used to be, if it is being clogged by people making spam accounts. It would surely be possible just to turn it off completely. I understand the nature of the gamification of badges, and maybe people pay attention, and it's a potential 15 seconds of fame if one gets a gold badge and maybe amongst all the spam autobiographer badges someone recognises the username. But somehow ... I suspect this is not happening much. Apr 16, 2021 at 2:22
  • If it's a matter of trying to use otherwise empty space, well, that's a design philosophy that I recall from pre-Google search engines. Apr 16, 2021 at 2:24
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    @DavidRoberts I would support just dropping that list. I don't think "filling the space" is really the reason more than it was a legacy list that has just not been removed. The Recent Tags list tends to take up more space than the HNQ list ever would.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Apr 16, 2021 at 2:39
  • I think a recent tags panel would be much better, yes! Apr 16, 2021 at 7:41

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