The latest post on the StackOverflow blog says that badges are there "to encourage positive behavior".

So, why not giving each user some reputation points for each badge? Maybe with differences: a "woot" badge would mean 100 points, while a "scholar" badge would give 10 points to the user.


Edit: someone pointed out that you already gain some reputation implicitly when you get a Badge. That's false for 90% of badges:

Woot -> no rep earned
Autobiographer -> no rep earned
Beta -> no rep earned
Citizen Patrol -> no rep earned
Civic Duty -> no rep earned
Cleanup -> no rep earned
Commentator -> no rep earned
Critic -> no rep earned
Disciplined -> no rep earned
Editor -> no rep earned
Fanatic -> no rep earned

  • Can you share which badges are accompanied by reputation gains? Commented May 3, 2017 at 20:10
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    @ChayaCooper I believe what is meant is that certain badges are earned through actions that correlate with earning rep, e.g. getting a certain # of upvotes on a question, etc. Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 23:51

4 Answers 4


Most of your badges you achieve are for things that you normally gain rep for anyway. I don't see any reason to have a "bonus" of rep for badges, as that would likely encourage more negative behavior to precisely achieve the bonus (such as going about the trying to game yourself a taxonomist badge).

The badges themselves are the reward for the positive behavior. You don't need a reward on top of a reward.

  • I sense a suplex in your future. Commented Jul 13, 2009 at 19:10
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    I'm far too fat for Atwood to suplex me.
    – TheTXI
    Commented Jul 13, 2009 at 19:12
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    +1 for speaking the undeniable truth.
    Commented Jul 13, 2009 at 19:13

This would make it much more desirable to game badges. Since badges currently aren't worth anything, it is really not worth it to game the system.

Tie rep to that, and open another can of worms entirely.

  • Doesn't that also mean that badges don't matter all that much? I'd like to think that they mean more than just a virtual pat on the shoulder :( Commented May 3, 2017 at 20:06

The badge should be enough on its own to encourage the positive behavior. And most of them come to you after activities that result in a good deal of rep already. And if there isn't gaming for the badges now (like the Taxonomist badge, Jeff!), there will be if there's rep attached.

  • 2
    I SUPLEX You For Massive Damage
    – TheTXI
    Commented Jul 13, 2009 at 19:03

Because you already earned reputation on your road to achieving the badges and because why would you want to encourage badge collection? You want to encourage good contributions to the site; reputation and badges provide this incentive but providing one for the other just incentivises the incentives which doesn't actually add any value.

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