For example, the populist badge is awarded when an

Answer outscored an accepted answer with score of more than 10 by more than 2x

This can obviously fluctuate. For example, if the accepted answer has a score of 11 and a competing answer has a score of 23, then the populist badge is awarded. If the accepted answer is then upvoted, the badge criteria no longer applies (until the popular answer gets two more up votes). Does the badge get lost at this point? Is it lost only if the criteria no longer applies at some later date (e.g. in a reputation recalculation)? Once awarded it's never lost?

The same applies to a other badges, like electorate (voting ratio goes below 25%), taxonomist (tag gets removed from questions), reversal (question vote rises above -5), and even really to any that involve a score (i.e. down votes cause the score to go below the threshold of the badge).

3 Answers 3


Not unless it’s a tag badge or foul play was involved.

From the Meta SE FAQ How do "badges" work?:

What can cause a badge to be lost/revoked/taken away after it is awarded?

The Stack Exchange administration has stated repeatedly that “regular” badges never go away unless they were obtained by heinous cheating. […]

Tag badges, on the other hand, disappear immediately if you ever cease to meet their criteria, which could happen through deletion or downvotes.

Regular badges, however, once earned, are yours to keep. Even if the criteria by which you earned a badge have changed (the post was deleted, you got downvoted, etc.) you get to keep your badge.

The thread has some examples of what is counted as “heinous cheating”, but in general, if you apply common sense and don’t do anything stupid, you should be fine. Devs and moderators occasionally step in to remove badges when foul play is involved, but I think this is quite rare.

The reason tag badges are different is because they come with certain “superpowers”: for example, the ability to one-click close as dupe questions which are tagged with something you have a gold tag badge in.

  • Are there any other "superpowers" associated with tag badges? According to that Meta SE post tag badges have been handled differently to regular badges for at least a couple of years, but the one-click close as dupe ability was only introduced two and a half months ago. Jul 26, 2014 at 15:52
  • 1
    @AnthonyGrist - none that I'm aware of. I hold a number of bronze and silver and just got my first gold (and the site's fourth), but have never noticed anything special about the bronze or silver and have yet to (ab)use my powers granted by the gold.
    – user8719
    Aug 8, 2014 at 6:45

No, you don't lose the badge if the conditions are no longer met.

This was covered on MSO quite some time ago.

  • The makeup badge rule was removed some time ago, so I pulled that out Feb 2, 2016 at 5:29
  • @JasonBaker: Thanks for that, I hadn't realised the rule had changed.
    – Richard
    Feb 2, 2016 at 7:17

It is also worth noting that most of these badges are awarded sometime after the conditions are met ( a week or so ). And I think that the conditions have to have been met bith at the start and end of that period ( I am unclear on the precise requirements ).

The reason for this is, I think, that it indicates you "deserve" the badge, and it is not just a brief blip. Just achieving this for a few seconds on an active question does not qualify.

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