Someone stole my Stack Overflow silver badges a few minutes ago. Four of them!

Snapshot from a tab I had open from a few hours ago:

alt text

Snapshot from after the criminal deed:

alt text

I'm pretty sure it was 4 Enlightened Badges that went missing. I hope I don't find them for sale on ebay and craigslist!

I also see that @waffles has been messing with the Enlightened Badges code. Maybe we have a suspect?


Ok, I audited my accepted answers with 10 votes or more, and came out with this:

1.  https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3670831/how-does-google-instant-work/3670855#3670855
2.  https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2164179/am-i-suffering-divitis-css-especialist-needed/2164191#2164191
3.  https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2019500/how-can-google-chrome-isolate-tabs-into-seperate-processes-while-looking-like-a-s/2019556#2019556
4.  https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2005079/absolute-vs-relative-urls/2005097#2005097
5.  https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3130197/using-mysql-can-i-sort-a-column-but-have-0-come-last/3130216#3130216 (not sure)
6.  https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2026970/matching-similar-city-names-in-sql/2027025#2027025
7.  https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2142184/is-it-okay-that-i-sometimes-sink-my-exceptions/2142199#2142199
8.  https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2260367/stack-overflow-like-watermarks-in-forms/2260376#2260376
9.  https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2947440/foreign-keys-vs-joins/2947450#2947450
10. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1910095/reading-web-config-from-javascript/1910140#1910140
11. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1990475/how-can-i-retrieve-the-favicon-of-a-website/1990487#1990487
12. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2117933/is-it-considered-bad-practice-to-use-non-standard-html-attributes/2117950#2117950 (not sure)
13. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2479351/why-do-comments-work-in-stylesheets-but-comments-dont/2479364#2479364
14. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2446475/is-there-a-tool-like-phpmyadmin-which-can-be-configured-to-access-just-a-single-d/2446504#2446504
15. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2458735/using-in-a-scripts-source/2458787#2458787
16. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2465954/how-to-get-the-root-path-in-javascript/2465966#2465966
17. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2890220/find-the-character-in-a-like-query/2890223#2890223
18. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2123310/should-i-code-for-browser-or-pc-fleet-management/2123343#2123343
19. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2786595/what-is-the-correct-http-status-code-to-send-when-a-site-is-down-for-maintenance/2786603#2786603
20. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2989669/can-i-validate-with-javascript-and-then-process-with-php/2989697#2989697
21. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3287500/why-arent-these-two-bits-of-javascript-equivalent/3287522#3287522

These all seem to be legit enlightened answers1 :) ... And that's 21 and not 17 as shown in my trophy cabinet:

alt text

1 Not 100% sure about 5 and 7, but I remember seeing somewhere on meta that receiving an enlightened badge after an older answer is deleted is intended behaviour.

  • 1
    Why is the first screenshot blurry? Oct 1, 2010 at 6:15
  • @George: I think because it happened to be a bit wider than what I am allowed to insert in the question. Oct 1, 2010 at 6:20
  • Ah, I see. Well, good job having a tab open as evidence for this. Oct 1, 2010 at 6:20
  • @George: It was actually 1 pixel wider than 640. Removed the blur :) Oct 1, 2010 at 6:22
  • +1 I lost 2 and got them back :-)
    – Andy E
    Oct 1, 2010 at 9:18
  • -1 for abusing the 911 system (go ahead and jump to 4:09)
    – Pops
    Oct 3, 2010 at 1:47

2 Answers 2


That would be cause you got them due to a programming error on our side. I just ran the following globally:

delete u 
from Users2Badges u
join Posts p on p.Id = ReasonId and p.Id <> (select MIN(p2.Id) from Posts p2 where p2.DeletionDate is not null and p2.ParentId = p.ParentId )
where BadgeId = (select Id from Badges where Name = 'Enlightened')

This removes any enlightened badges that you got for answers that were not the first answer on a question.

We fixed the bug with enlightened badge a few months ago, but having these invalid badges was causing weird issues

  • 1
    @waffles: Hmm... Thanks waffles for the clarification. The strange thing is that I don't remember receiving any illegitimate enlightened badges. I know I had a couple of posts for which I received the badge that got migrated or deleted, but this was being handled properly when I would have received the next badge. Oct 1, 2010 at 6:29
  • 1
    @Daniel it was really subtle, there were quite a few times where two answers were really close and you practically have to hover over the time to see the mess up. It would be totally easy to miss
    – waffles
    Oct 1, 2010 at 6:34
  • 1
    also see: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/24621/…
    – waffles
    Oct 1, 2010 at 6:35
  • 1
    @waffles: Should I have received an enlightened badge for this question: stackoverflow.com/questions/3130197/…? Because if I remember correctly, I did. Note that there were two answers posted a few seconds before mine, but eventually got deleted.... It also looks like your SQL query would have deleted this badge (not sure). Oct 1, 2010 at 6:39
  • 2
    @Daniel ... hold tight for badge grant to run, you should have at 21 elightened badges when it rebalances stuff.
    – waffles
    Oct 1, 2010 at 6:50
  • 1
    @waffles: Cool... Thanks for finding my four missing badges :) Oct 1, 2010 at 6:56
  • 1
    @Daniel note, the badge grant job only gives out one badge per user per badge type per run, it will take a few more runs for you to get all your badges back ...
    – waffles
    Oct 1, 2010 at 7:35
  • 1
    @waffles: Thanks. In fact I received back one badge :) Oct 1, 2010 at 7:37
  • 1
    Might that also explain why I just received an enlightened badge for an answer that was accepted months ago? Oct 1, 2010 at 9:18
  • 1
    @Farseeker: yes, it does. I thought this had decided that I wasn't the first answer on this question, where David Hedlund and I posted at exactly the same second. I just got it back, woohoo :-)
    – Andy E
    Oct 1, 2010 at 9:24
  • 2
    @waffles: Yikes. I've just lost about 200 silver badges. How often does the run occur? (I've still got 311 of them, so I don't know whether I'd really received 200 inappropriate ones...)
    – Jon Skeet
    Oct 1, 2010 at 9:44
  • 1
    @Jon your legit count is 525, we assign a badge out about every 50 minutes so I would expect your count to be back to normal in about 7.4 days ... we assigned out 200 badges to you for the wrong reasons (so basically your enlightened list was linking to the wrong questions) we did not however assign you too many badges.
    – waffles
    Oct 1, 2010 at 10:06
  • 1
    @waffles: Okay, so I should be back up to about 800 or so silver in total soon. Goodo. I thought my efforts to reach 1000 silver badges had taken a major setback!
    – Jon Skeet
    Oct 1, 2010 at 10:28
  • 1
    @Jon I accelerated the process stuff should be back to normal ... gist.github.com/606052
    – waffles
    Oct 1, 2010 at 10:59
  • 1
    @waffles: I confirm, I just got all my badges back :) Thank you.
    – VonC
    Oct 1, 2010 at 11:24

I got all my missing badges back within a few hours. Thanks @waffles.

It looks like other members received their missing badges back as well: @VonC and @Andy E's head confirmed in this thread. @Jon Skeet lost so many badges that it will take the server 7.4 days to grant them back to him!

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