The following user on SO has a reputation of 91 (from one question) but still has a yearling badge. This seems to go against the description of the badge which says you have to have 200 rep per year.

  • 5
    You used to get +10 for an upvote on a question so that would have left them on 180. Maybe they had another 20 rep from a since deleted question or answer that would have taken them over 200 at the time of the badge issue. Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 13:13
  • 2
    although it's not a true bug, this is a great catch on your part. +1!
    – Pops
    Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 19:08

3 Answers 3


The other answers and comments cover this in bits and pieces, so here's a comprehensive answer. Maybe too comprehensive... but I'm hoping to use this as a template of sorts for future reports of this issue.

The behavior of the Yearling badge was changed in December 2009. (It's my fault.)

Until March 2010, upvotes on SO were worth +10 to rep, not +5 as they are now. This caused a global rep recalc.

The user in question, @screepnick, registered on Sep. 18, 2008, the same day he posted that question, and he hasn't really had any activity outside of that question. Per @mmyers, he has no deleted posts. I can't verify this, but it looks like all of the activity on the question took place well before his first anniversary. Currently, the question has 18 upvotes and no downvotes.

With those 18 upvotes, @screepnick would have had 181 rep on his anniversary, well over the 100 he needed. This would be true even if a handful of changes in votes came later. And there was roughly a three-month window between his anniversary on the site and the time the badge's rep requirement was changed, more than long enough to account for any delay in the badge awarding cronjob.

Badges, once awarded, are never taken away solely because of changes in the requirements or conditions. (EDIT: this rule, too, has an exception; Beta badges were unawarded at one point when the requirements changed.)

In summary: it's not a bug, it's a valid badge! Hurrah!

See also Yearling badge bug for Sneakers O'Toole? and my answer there.


I would expect that the criteria changed over time. This user has been on SO for almost 2 years, so the badge was awarded some 11 months ago. I recall that at that time only activity was requested, not a certain amount of reputation. Any long standing SO members to confirm this?

Recalcs and rep changes (5 instead of 10 points for questions) might have caused this too.

Anyhow, wait another 16-17 days and I assure you that this person will not have a second yearling badge, unless you just pointed enough people interested in MSIL and Java byte code to his question, or he gets busy.

  • 1
    The Yearling badge used to be awarded to users with 100 rep Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 13:20
  • @Barry so with 10 points to the upvote he would have had qualified, good catch (do you have a reference to the 100 rep old limit?).
    – Motti
    Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 14:59
  • -1 for "only activity was requested"; @Barry had it right. I've added an answer with more details.
    – Pops
    Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 16:04

One thing to note is that before the rep recalc the user would have had 181 rep plus any rep from deleted questions.

So at one point he has been eligible, and as you know, once you gain a badge you don't lose it again, unless it's deleted by jeff.

  • 2
    No deleted posts on that account.
    – mmyers
    Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 14:50

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