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Able to earn 'Taxonomist' badge on own posts?

I went back over my posts here on and added version-specific tags to each one where applicable.

When I came back to the homepage, I noticed that I had earned the 'Taxonomist' badge ("Created a tag used by 10 questions").

Should the requirements for the badge be changed to exclude a user's own posts and edits from counting toward the total?

There are two ways to "game the system" and acquire this badge without doing that much work:

  1. Simply add a new tag to 10 of one's own questions. Since there is no karma requirement for a user to edit her own posts, it is trivially easy to acquire this badge if one is reasonably active.
  2. Re-tag 10 questions posted by other users to add the new tag. This takes a little more work since it requires a certain amount of karma to retag others' questions (500 by default), but again, a reasonably active user could abuse her privileges to acquire this badge unjustly.

In what I would consider to be an ideal world, a user should only gain the Taxonomist badge if:

  1. She creates a new tag, and
  2. 10 other users then use that tag in at least one question each.

The description of the Taxonomist badge would then be changed to "Created a tag used by 10 other users" (or "10 other people", perhaps).

todofixthis's avatar
asked 2012-04-14 15:49:51 -0500, updated 2012-04-14 15:51:40 -0500
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Is there not a possible "good" case where a user tags their own posts and it's of value to other people? Shouldn't the tagger be rewarded for doing this good?

Also my feeling is that people who find the need to game the system on a Q&A site really need to get out more.

powlo's avatar powlo (2012-04-17 05:08:25 -0500) edit

The concern I have about gaming the system is that I'm planning on offering financial incentives for certain behaviors (e.g., free membership on a paid community).

todofixthis's avatar todofixthis (2012-04-17 08:21:03 -0500) edit
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1 Answer


The condition "x other users apply the tag" sounds interesting, but is harder to detect.

IMO "gaming for badges" is not very common. Many people tend to ignore them altogether.

Possibly (if this indeed is a serious problem) a better solution is to increase the number of required use count of the tag (it's available via the live settings)? Then the intent of the user will be more clear - posting just to get the badge or not. In the worst case the admin can intervene.

Evgeny's avatar
answered 2012-04-15 16:40:56 -0500
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I see what you mean, and perhaps my wording was a little vague. Assuming Askbot already keeps track of which user created each tag, could it not then only count questions that were not created by the same user that created the tag?

todofixthis's avatar todofixthis (2012-07-28 10:47:16 -0500) edit

All that is possible to implement, but I think of this as of a lower priority, compared to other issues. I bet you've noticed this just because you own a site.

Evgeny's avatar Evgeny (2012-07-28 11:58:31 -0500) edit

It is possible to, for example store a list of unique user id's on each tag up until the use count reaches the "X" number and after that stop accumulating that info. This way we can achieve the "strong" solution without eating up a lot of DB/CPU time. This will come at a cost of adding one database field to the tags table - just for that one badge... It would definitely increase value of the badge:). Is it worthwhile?

Evgeny's avatar Evgeny (2012-07-28 12:02:48 -0500) edit
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