This guy apparently just gamed himself a Taxonomist badge by adding the completely useless "regex-literal" tag to just enough questions. I've been wiping them up again, and it occurred to me to wonder if that will have any effect on him. Will he lose the badge because it's not on fifty questions any more? Probably not, but could it be made to work that way? Should it?

I've seen several mentions of this problem, particularly in regards to the Taxonomist badge, but nothing was ever resolved because nobody could point to a real-life example. Well I don't think there can be any doubt that this guy is gaming the system. And it's working, too: as of this moment, he does have the Taxonomist badge, and it was awarded for the "regex-literal" tag.

I'm not interested in punishing the guy, but I would very much like to discourage this kind of thing in the future. He put a lot of work into this, and I'm sure he wouldn't have done it if he had known the badge was likely to be taken away again very soon. But, as much as I like the idea of perishable badges, it seems like there should be a better mechanism in place already; I just don't know what it is. How are we supposed to flag this kind of thing for moderator attention? He's not doing it by posting questions or answers, just editing tags.


4 Answers 4


We have removed badges and suspended for this in the past.

Tag 'telematics' is a new tag but is currently synonymous with 'gps'?

I'll take a look.


Perhaps if the taxonomist badge did not take into account retags-- or at the very least, did not count retags by the tag creator. I don't see any reason why you should get credit for promoting your own tag (retags) if other people don't use it of their own volition.

That would make it much harder to game the badge.


Badges are forever (until the next rules change at least).

What's important is if it's a good tag or not. I'm not sure what a 'regex-literal' is, so I wouldn't know on that one, but he obviously thinks it's a good tag, and that's what the taxonomist badge is there for; to encourage the creation of good tags.

  • 1
    That's the problem: he obviously (to me, at least) doesn't give a hoot if it's a good tag. It's a legitimate topic, but none of the questions I looked at were specifically about regex literals, and none of the solutions hinged on a greater understanding of regex literals. And he seems to have quit retagging questions as soon as he got his badge.
    – Alan M
    Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 8:26

This is not the case you have in mind, but answers the question:

During the recent migration from Guitar.SE to Music.SE, particular badges did disappear, because they were linked to specific characteristics of a site: the "beta" badges (linked to the private beta process) and the "enlightened badges" (the accepted answer status was not transfered - or not transfered yet, I do not know if it will change), perhaps a few "taxonomist" badges (as not all questions were imported).

  • Yeah, I think that's the biggest problem with this idea. There are too many situations where, through no fault of their own, a user can lose enough points to drop them below the threshold.
    – Alan M
    Commented Jun 3, 2011 at 12:40

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