I love the gold Reversal Badge

enter image description here

An outstanding answer to a bad question is something not seen on a daily basis.

I enjoyed reading those answers, and I was even able to provide one.

But the questions are awful, and SO is a Q&A site ... so they are getting deleted.

Sixty-four enter image description here badges have been awarded, and only twenty of those questions are alive. The rest have been deleted.

I think those deletions do not hurt the usefulness of the site, as it is improbable that anybody comes searching for a bad question. But I feel the history of the site is severed, and good content is lost forever.

So, is there a way to keep pointers to those questions somewhere?

Restrict access as much as you want, or make that content accessible (via links) for nK users as a prize, but preserve history.


As a side effect of those questions being deleted quickly, that prevents getting more than one Reversal Badge, as when you fulfill the requirements for the second you already have "one more than you should".


Today we have 153 Reversal badges awarded and 49 questions which were not deleted (32% ratio of non-deleted status Reversal questions).

The below statistics retrieved from reversal page can show that with time, none of these answers will remain:

page_3 (newest): 60 questions and 33 remaining (55% non-deleted questions);
page_2         : 60               14           (23%                      );
page_1 (oldest): 33                2           ( 6%                      ). 
  • 3
    "Restrict access as much as you want, or make that content accessible (via links) for nK users as a prize, but preserve history.". Well, technically this already happens, since 10k users can see the questions if they have links Apr 25, 2011 at 6:26
  • 4
    @Michael I am aware of that. But the "if they have links" part is the issue here Apr 25, 2011 at 6:27
  • 6
    Ooooh, yummy! A well organized list of train wreck questions. I'll get to work on those, thanks for the heads up!
    – user50049
    Apr 26, 2011 at 9:36
  • Certainly "more than you should" should also count deleted content in this case. Maybe in all cases? I say it as a proud owner of reversal here on meta ;)
    – Mołot
    Sep 12, 2013 at 14:04
  • The page lists all the links one would need... Nov 21, 2014 at 21:00

2 Answers 2


Here is some from Google cache. (Still need to update)


Update: The reversal badge is now retired. See: Adios to Unfriendly Badges: Ahoy, Lifejacket and Lifeboat. It was replaced with similar badges which incorporates the concept of 'reversal' in question score. This way everybody gets happy and the post is not deleted.

This other answer was an alternative, but one problem with it is: because post were deleted the provided links are only visible for >10k users. Another caveat is the links need to be updated manually.

Like the OP, I believe it is a pity to have such answers removed from the site. Actions toward Reversal posts could be focused on the answer.

The way it is, I think the badge purpose is unbalanced, in the sense of having more benefit to the answerer than the community (at least, I understand badges serve the purpose to motivate quality improvements upon this site).

My answer supports some other ideas when Reversal status is reached:

  1. Lock the post, not allowing the question to receive more downvotes;
  2. Make the question community wiki, so others could edit in a way it stands more reasonable and can even get some upvotes (which will not add rep) and make the posts even more valuable.
  3. Create a meta post, like a museum, to have the links of such deleted questions available. Pretty close to YOU's answer, but making the process automatic.

It is odd for me to let valuable answers (which we favour with a gold badge) going away.

  • 3
    Nice answer. More than two years have passed since I posted this question, but I still feel almost the same about the issue Sep 20, 2013 at 2:23
  • There are no broken links in YOU's answer. Instead, all those questions were deleted! May 29, 2016 at 7:48
  • Works for those of us who has 10k rep on stackoverflow May 29, 2016 at 13:52

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