Throughout the Stack Exchange network, are earned by receiving upvotes on answers to questions with the relevant tags. This is (IMHO) the way it should be for the main sites – each of those badges (bronze, silver and gold) implies a level of expertise in the tag's subject. Further, attaining a gold tag-badge confers a very useful privilege: the ability to single-handedly close questions (with that tag) as duplicates.

Note that upvotes on questions do not count towards tag scores; again, I have no issue with this (for the main sites), as one needs little or no expertise in a subject to ask a very popular question.

This system is currently the same for both the main sites and their meta-sites. However, on meta sites, it is very often a good question that deserves recognition and reward – and, as there is no 'real' meta-reputation (save for the ability to earn the Mortarboard, Epic & Legendary badges), such contributions go largely unrecognised. What I am suggesting here is that we also count scores on questions to be included when awarding tag-badges.

To add some justification examples: Consider the tag: Without the poster of the question raising the issue, it would never have been discussed, and it requires a distinct level of expertise about the main site to start a good discussion on its meta. So, why should the posters of highly upvoted answers to that question be recognised and rewarded but not the 'founder' of the discussion?

Similarly, for the tag. A user who has made the effort to post a good bug report (which is suitably upvoted) has contributed significantly to any possible future resolution of that bug … but only the staff member who comes along some time later – and reports that they: (a) caused the bug due to an oversight; and (b) have now fixed that bug – makes progress towards the next level badge.

Of course, this wouldn't be a one-way street: Negatively-scored questions would remove progress made towards the question's tags. Whether or not that would have an undesirable effect on the willingness of moderators and staff to make announcements of controversial changes is, I accept, a matter of concern and/or debate (although mods and staff don't really need the gold tag-badge privilege, of course).

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    Honestly, I consider this to be an XY issue. Meta is...very bad being what it is supposed to be. The systems and functionality carried over from the main site doesn't always (or maybe even often) make sense. Tag badges are an example. What does it even mean to have a gold badge in [bug]? You're really good at...answering bug reports? Taking a step back, why would a bug report be a Q&A? Yes, because that's the only format, however, does it even make sense? What does it mean to answer a bug report? Provide more information? A solution? Status report? These are different things.
    – VLAZ
    Sep 19 at 15:33
  • @VLAZ Well, the only really significant thing that tag badges do - even on the main sites - is confer the dupe-hammer when gold status is reached. That can certainly help in curation, on both main and meta sites. Sep 19 at 15:46
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    Gold tag badges being one of the reasons Meta fails the Q&A model. Discussion is a huge other problem, too. A "dicussion" implies more than "something" -> "response". This is where the chain ends with the Q&A model. You cannot respond to the response. And no - comments don't really work for that. Sort of but it's a hacky workaround, rather than what comments are for. Moreover, they are are ephemeral. Another issue is announcements which aren't even questions but that's the only way to be represented in a Q&A. Meta is a Q&A-shaped hammer.
    – VLAZ
    Sep 19 at 15:53

1 Answer 1


I'm not necessarily opposed to this idea, but here are some thoughts, too long to fit in a comment:

  • IMHO it should exclude questions; those are most comparable to main-site questions, in that one needs little or no expertise in a subject to ask a very popular question.
  • I'm 50-50 on – yes, there have been great discussion starters which show profound insight in the topic, but I've seen a lot of 'shallow' questions with high scores as well.
  • For some s, knowledge of the Stack Exchange system can be really helpful, or even required to properly report them, but at other times, it's just a matter of "who saw it first" (and yes, this includes many of my own reports).

While we're at it, I think sites like Puzzling and Code Golf & Coding Challenges might be interested in this feature as well for their main site.

  • Yeah, I agree. For sure, there are some tags that would be good candidates for 'exceptions' but that would likely be a rather more complex thing to implement. IMHO, the majority of meta tags would benefit from this. And tags related to audit failures, and the like, are unlikely to earn lots of upvotes for any individual user(s). Sep 19 at 15:22
  • Perhaps a better example (I'll consider an edit) would be burninate-request (particularly on SO). Sep 19 at 15:24

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