This is partly related to Remove the 25% requirement from the “Unsung Hero” gold badge question.

I ran some queries on odata for my work on Stack Overflow, and I have found that my statistics are the following ones:

Accepted answers: 148
Zero score accepted answers: 36
Percentage of total: 24,3%

I probably fit the idea of the Unsong hero badge, as I've mostly been active in questions, from when it only had around 200 Questions until now.

To get the badge I could either try to get one of my accepted answers downvoted once, that would give me a 25% accept rate; I could also delete 4 of my accepted answers with 1 or more score. That would also give me the badge, but this just seems wrong: You are actually encouraging me to either try to get a down-vote on a good answer, or delete good answers.

So, should I delete good answers to receive a gold badge?

It's not that I care much if I get a badge or not, it's only a badge after all and not why I spend time on Stackoverflow anyways. But it's not ideal [read: problem] that I'm encouraged to delete accepted answers or try to get downvotes to achieve a badge.

  • 7
    Maybe yo should stop thinking about it. If you get it, nice, if you don't get it: so what? Jul 15, 2010 at 14:04
  • 7
    I don't think you can delete accepted answers.
    – mmx
    Jul 15, 2010 at 14:07
  • 12
    You are truly an unsung hero! Now ... quit worrying about it :)
    – user50049
    Jul 15, 2010 at 14:11
  • 5
    I could upvote some of your zero score answers?
    – devinb
    Jul 15, 2010 at 15:06
  • 19
    The percentage is definitely a bad idea, hope they fix it someday. Jul 15, 2010 at 15:22
  • 3
    Want me to downvote one of your answers? (Of course, that'll put me a bit farther from the Electorate badge, which is why I haven't been upvoting many answers.) Jul 15, 2010 at 19:34
  • 3
    I didn't think this would get much attention, I was even serial upvoted on my accepted answers with 0 votes, thanx I guess... :)
    – googletorp
    Jul 15, 2010 at 21:19
  • So, the "Unsung hero" badge is in other words nothing perfect, do I understood it well? It was invented just as a booby prize, am I right? So it is a kind of prize that shouldn't be chased, because making yourself 'unsung hero' is nothing much positive. Am I right?
    – Tomas
    Aug 9, 2011 at 15:58
  • Badges should be given for some achievements, but not accidentally. I mean, if want to get some badge, I should be able to make some concrete steps for it. If I need more zero score accepted answers - I should give more answers, some of them would be zero-score answers. Please remove percentage. It's really frustrates.
    – Andrei
    Jan 17, 2014 at 22:13

3 Answers 3


The whole idea of badges is that you gain them naturally for everyday use of the site. Of course, realistically everyone puts a little bit of extra effort in if they're close to gaining a particular badge.

The Staff replies in the question for removing the % requirement indicated that they're quite convinced this badge is awarded fairly, so doing anything other than what you usually do on the site should be considered "gaming" the badge. For instance, if you delete answers when they get an upvote before they get accepted, you're gaming the badge. FYI: you can't delete an accepted answer.

If you don't get the badge naturally, then you're not really an Unsung Hero, no matter how close you were to gaining the badge before you decided to make the extra push. Just like registering a sock puppet, gaining 15 rep and upvoting to gain the nice answer badge is wrong.

  • 8
    This "whole idea" fails miserably when doing natural things in everyday use of the site pushes somebody away from a badge. The Staff may be convinced that the Unsung Hero badge is fair, but others of us may not be, and gaming the badge might make the argument against these stupid percentages more convincing. Jul 15, 2010 at 19:34
  • 1
    @David Thornley: I made no bones about the fact that I'm against the current implementation of the badge - I think it rewards "young" members more than it does heroes. But several of the team have made it clear that the badge's current requirements are here to stay, and a few people gaming the badge won't change that any more than those gaming other badges.
    – Andy E
    Jul 15, 2010 at 19:44
  • "everyone puts a little bit of extra effort in if they're close to gaining a particular badge" This blanket statement, like most of them, is not true. I would actually bet that the majority are like me and ignore badges unless we get some kind of notification about earning one, at which point you are like "cool" for a couple of seconds before forgetting about them again.
    – kekekela
    Aug 9, 2011 at 20:43

The authors of the badge will probably suggest that you should concentrate exclusively on the drupal tagged questions. If you bump into other questions on popular topics, you are not encouraged to answer those:

"because there are more than enough folks already answering the popular stuff!"

"For many people to actively try and attain the badge now we'd have to concentrate solely on answering obscure questions." which is EXACTLY THE INTENT OF THE BADGE. QED

(Quoting @Jeff Atwood's comments)

In my opinion, the behaviour that this badge encourages is partially flawed. It's not sour grapes. We just want to make SO more awesome.


Don't delete good answers.

You could add a few answers with a short comment not to upvote for a week or so. Once you got the badge just remove the comment.

  • 9
    Asking people not to do something on Stack Overflow almost always encourages some to do it, so this will probably not work.
    – Andy E
    Jul 15, 2010 at 15:02
  • @Andy From my experience this is not true. But maybe it is different for you, so no idea :)
    – mafu
    Jul 16, 2010 at 8:10

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