I don't know if this has ever been part of the site and then deleted or what, but I think that badges should be worth something, preferrably reputation or maybe something new. I know that some new users don't even read the Informed badge page. That makes them post badly written questions and that leads to many questions closed as off topic or others.

  • The badges are used by Stack Exchange to collect usage statistics. Their only real function in our world as users is to show how engaged you are in the community.
    – Burgi
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 16:15
  • 2
    "That makes them post badly written questions and that leads to many questions closed as off topic or others." - This isn't the reason people post poorly written questions. People ask poorly written questions because they don't put the effort into writting a acceptable question, and feel that because their question is in an online format, they don't have to actually ask a question another human being can understand. Case in point, nobody would actually ask another human being, to do their homework or work for them, but that happens here all the time. I am not even talking about grammar btw.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 16:54
  • Actually, isn't it a thing that bully's will force others to do their homework for them, or does that only happen in movies? Eitherway, yes - if someone is going to ask a badly formatted question, they'll either ask it here, we can improve it maybe and it'll be useful in the future, or they'll go elsewhere and ask it badly there instead. Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 17:40

3 Answers 3


Most badges reward behavior that's not directly reflected in the reputation system. Reputation points are gained by contributing via posts (mostly by creating posts, but sometimes by editing them), while badges are gained by doing other helpful things like reviewing. Making badges be worth reputation would muddy that distinction. Relevant MSE.

I do agree with you in that many people tend to post their first question without understanding how the site works. There should definitely be more encouragement on the asking page to go look at the help center, especially How to Ask and the on-topic page, which are both super important. Relevant MSE.


This is a bad idea.

Reputation is a measure of how much you help people who have problems, be they regular community members or new users who are getting their bearings.

Badges are used by the community to judge how well you help the community itself, be it by reviewing or by doing other community related tasks.

Essentially one says you help people, the other says you help the community.

These two things are closely related but are not the same, they should not be rewarded in the same way because to do so would muddy their core use and value.


I think its worth understanding this in terms of gamification. Reputation is XP. You occationally have in game XP rewards (bounty). Badges are achievements. They're often a consequence of many of the same things that get you XP but are designed to encourage specific behaviours (like setting people on fire, or posting questions for specific tags).

Badges compliment reputation. I'm currently trying to get a legendary badge. Essentially in the process of it I'd earn 30,000 reputation. No real advantage in awarding any other reputation.

know that some new users don't even read the Informed badge page.

And some who do post bad questions anyway. Badges reinforce behavior (reading the rules) but at the end of the day, awarding reputation for that has no point. Some might be silly enough to skim through just for that badge.

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