What about negative badge catagories:

  • Rust (corresponds to Bronze)
  • Earth (corresponds to Silver)
  • Grave (corresponds to Gold)

or something like...

  • 8
    Again, you're rewarding bad behaviour. Badges are meant to reward good behaviour (or at the very least be some sort of consolation).
    – ChrisF Mod
    May 5, 2010 at 12:08
  • Again, not rewarding - WARNING others...
    – Yaneeve
    May 5, 2010 at 12:09
  • 5
    If you would like a personal warning, flag one of your posts asking for a suspension on your account.
    – random
    May 5, 2010 at 12:13
  • 1
    You get a dedicated trophy for an action, it's a reward. So people would try to get them. Badges are used to educate good behavior. Your idea is to point out bad ones so that others can avoid them, instead of educating them.
    – Gnoupi
    May 5, 2010 at 12:15
  • @Gnoupi: yes, that is my idea. I guess most of you don't like it, but I think that it could make the community slightly more stable.
    – Yaneeve
    May 5, 2010 at 12:16
  • @Yaneeve - how is it unstable, currently?
    – Gnoupi
    May 5, 2010 at 12:17
  • @Gnoupi: not saying it DEFINITELY is, just saying, that in the real world people are not all good, or all bad. At the workplace, I think one should get credit for good work and reprimanded for bad work. I think the same should apply here.
    – Yaneeve
    May 5, 2010 at 12:19
  • @Yaneeve - you don't teach by reprimanding. Having a "bad badge" would then stick with you. Your idea is indeed implying that people making mistakes should be stained with them, and stay "all bad" to the eyes of others.
    – Gnoupi
    May 5, 2010 at 12:22
  • I give up, have it your way...
    – Yaneeve
    May 5, 2010 at 12:24
  • 1
    currently the most voted down question has a mark of -35. Do you think I can surpass it?
    – Yaneeve
    May 5, 2010 at 12:29
  • No. And you should know that on Meta, people vote down suggestions that they do not feel should be implemented. They aren't saying that they don't like you, and they are not saying that the quality of the suggestion is bad. They are simply saying that they do not want it implemented.
    – devinb
    May 5, 2010 at 13:21
  • @debinb: Thanks. I know (or keep on telling myself) that it is not personal. I have already been made aware of this voting policy on meta, when... surprisingly... another question of mine had been heavily downvoted :)
    – Yaneeve
    May 5, 2010 at 13:25
  • @Yaneeve never mind the downvoting, it's simple disapproval with your idea(s). It happens all the time here, is definitely nothing personal.
    – Pekka
    May 5, 2010 at 14:05
  • No one's yet pulled out the duplicates where this has been discussed before?
    – Ether
    May 5, 2010 at 14:51
  • possible duplicate of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5089/…
    – perbert
    May 5, 2010 at 16:07

2 Answers 2


Nah. Nobody wants a "bad" badge. A "bad" badge would be a reprimand for unwanted behaviour. Would you want to continue to participate in a community that has singled you out like that? I don't think so.

SO works largely without reprimands (except for a very small number of users getting banned) I'm pretty sure it is one of the reasons why the tone is so friendly there.

  • First off, that is a good answer. Second, everybody bumbles now and again. Take a look at me - and I am still here. But if someone does it all the time, the rest should be warned, I think...
    – Yaneeve
    May 5, 2010 at 12:12
  • 1
    @Yaneeve I don't think it's necessary. There are a few users here on Meta that sometimes show trollish behaviour (i.e. asking extremely stupid/malicious/frivolous questions). When they make such a contribution, they get downvoted and their questions sometimes closed. If they ask a serious question, there will be a certain amount of snickering and the occasional downvote (because people know each other) but the content of the question will be taken seriously in general. I like that very much about a community, and I'm pretty sure it prevents a lot of hate and conflict.
    – Pekka
    May 5, 2010 at 14:08

This has been discussed before

negative / embarrassing badges [closed] Additional Badges

The consensus is that negative badges are not desirable at all by the community.

  • It encourages (reinforces) bad behaviour by malicious users. We are actively giving them goals.
  • Badges are permanent, so it means that you would have a permanent black mark on your record that nothing could get rid of, this is a huge punishment for what could have been a one time offense or mistake
  • Negative badges could end up being awarded to someone who hasn't done anything wrong. This depends on the badge criteria.

Furthermore, this adds more focus on users and not answers. SO is primarily about the content.

If a user is problematic, we can flag them, but we don't want to stigmatize someone based on an arbitrary algorithm.

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