Do we really need the first badges?

Hello!

This is purely subjective but maybe there is other peoples here sharing my point of view:

I realize there is a huge amount of useless badges. Do we really need the: “Congratulation, you’ve created your first post!”… You can have a lot of “Earned 'First ’ badge” message when you start on the forum.

There is some good arguments having a forum with a badges system (specially for novice web users). I personally consider the “like” system a good way to promote quality content. But does a developpement langage really need so many “First/10/100 badges”?

What’s your perspective on this? Maybe this as already been discussed.

Keep the good work! This forum is very helpful indeed! :smile:

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It’s just the defaults of Discourse, they weren’t added for any good reason, it would take work to remove them. And they don’t really harm anyone.

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I suspect the “badge” stuff is just the default for Discourse and nobody has bothered to change them. For example, I’m a moderator and I never even knew we had badges! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Personally I think they are rather fun. They motivated me (a little bit) to interact with the site ever so slightly more after I first joined.

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Better jump in late than start a new thread about the same thing. The badges are starting to be really annoying. I just “earned” a badge for my first emoji. :man_facepalming: (Will I get a silver badge for facepalming at my previous bronze badge?)

This is clearly a design that was made without thinking about what's the goal. The badges that are in the system were clearly chosen only because they are easy to implement, not because they encourage meaningful participation.

In my experience that is unfortunately not true. It's just a popularity contest. Generally posts that are short and easy to read are liked by more people than posts that are well-researched and describe a topic in depth. I would welcome a system that actually encourages quality posts.

Generally it’s better to start a new thread. AFAIK, these old thread are only not closed because there wasn’t a default “thread closes automatically after x amount of time since last post” setting at the time they were created.

You mean like, e.g., in this topic where – if I haven’t miscounted – 2 of the 3 most liked posts are among the 3 longest posts? (One of them is your own.)

Note: this was actually fixed upstream this spring:

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Is flagging a topic supposed to be anonymous? Now everyone can see that I've earned a badge for “First Flag” and that I earned it at precisely the same time as I was interacting with a particular thread. This indicates that badges may not just be useless, but downright treacherous.

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Feels like a bug, https://meta.discourse.org/ is probably the right place to report it.

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The timing leak has been reported in the past and dismissed as not of great consequence: on any forum where someone is malicious enough to care about when you first flagged something, you're likely to raise more than one.

Getting rid of the “First Flag” badge entirely would also not be of any negative consequence, so it's sad to hear that the timing leak has been considered less important than keeping a badge which serves no purpose whatsoever.

@mbrubeck Is it possible to just disable badges altogether? Like, I guess they're cute, but if they're causing any kind of anguish, then maybe they're not worth it.

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Yes, there’s a setting to disable the badge system. What do people think about turning it off?

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I'd be into it! I made my first reply on the forum yesterday and was inundated with notifications about badges mixed with notifications I actually cared about :slight_smile:

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To offer counterpoint, I enjoy perusing the badges section for metrics on user engagement on the forum, although I admit the notifications are annoying.

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Please don't disable the badge system. It's really only the "First ..." badges that could - potentially - be annoying, (but even those can be useful, e.g. as some form of information what kind of features this forum has).

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Okay, I found where to change settings for individual badges, and I disabled all of the "First X" badges, and others that mostly serve to spam new users’ notifications.

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I only have IRLO to compare to now so I'm wondering, is the "Basic" trust level badge removed or was that never a thing here? I think that a badge for trust level is super important because it signals to the user that they got new privileges as well as to others what trust level they are.

Note that "Basic" is not the lowest trust level.

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Okay, I have re-enabled “Basic.”

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