Can someone explain exactly when this badge is awarded?

Highest scoring answer (a) that outscored an accepted answer (A) with score of more than 10 by more than 2x

I understand that (being a the most upvoted answer):

  • a > [2 * A] + 1
  • a > 10

if that is correct, if A < 5, an answer a with 11 votes should get the badge if there is no higher score?


here a = 38 > 10, A = 20, a < (2*20+1) 41

does that imply that when the badge was awarded A was < 17?

  • $\begingroup$ As I read that, the accepted answer A must have 10 or more net upvotes. So, for example, if score(A) = 12, answer (a) gets the badge if score(a) > 24 $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2015 at 14:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Wow, did we all read this at the same time? Must be a slow morning... $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2015 at 14:21
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Both of the inequalities are strict. That is the smallest number of votes that your answer can have is 23 being 11*2+1. It's a fairly hard badge to get. $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2015 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee, indeed. $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2015 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ I see that I wrote 10 or more instead of 11 or more. Sigh... $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2015 at 14:58

2 Answers 2


The way to parse the condition is

Highest scoring answer that outscored (an accepted answer with score of more than 10) by more than 2x.

This means that the conditions for an answer of score a to be awarded the populist badge is for there to be an accepted answer of score A, where

  • a > 2 A,
  • A > 10, and
  • there are no other answers with score > a.

In turn, this requires that a≥23=2(10+1)+1.

If you are trying to dissect the history of a given post or badge, a useful tool is to use the post timeline*, which is of the form https://physics.stackexchange.com/posts/1234/timeline. For the particular post you mentioned, the conditions were fulfilled at the end of June 3, with Ooker's answer accepted at score A=+11 and JamalS's answer at score a=+25. It is often the case that badge-awarding scripts run daily in the wee hours of the UTC morning, which seems to be the case here.

Another nice tool for exploring this sort of things is the Stack Exchange Data Explorer, where you can pose all sorts of SQL questions to the site database. To explore the populist badge, for example, you could use this query, freshly baked by yours truly, which turns up the posts which currently fulfil the badge criteria. It comes up, at the moment, with 16 rows, with two extraneous results (1, 2) that can be easily detected as outscored duplicates on the list. This is six posts short of the 20 badges currently awarded, and these no longer satisfy the conditions (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), for various reasons that can be investigated via the post timelines. Just as an example of ways to test how the site works (and get some SQL practice along the way).

* Not particularly accessible or well documented. See here for an explanation and/or to complain about it.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No, it requires a>22. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Feb 2, 2015 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ So, "score > 10" refers to A and not to a? if so, the caption is ambiguous $\endgroup$
    – bobie
    Feb 2, 2015 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ @bobie see response in post. $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2015 at 15:13
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, Emilio! So, if the accepted answer is bad and never gets 11 votes, a can get over 100 votes but never gets a badge, that's too bad! $\endgroup$
    – bobie
    Feb 2, 2015 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, that's about it. After 100 votes you get plenty of other recognition, though. $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2015 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Jim Yeah, sorry. There's me being stubborn. $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2015 at 21:31

Using your notation, the requirements for the populist badge are

  • a > 2 * A
  • A > 10

Not as you have it. So if A <= 10, the badge cannot be awarded. At bare minimum a would need to have 23 upvotes to A having 11.

does that imply that when the badge was awarded A was < 17?

From the timeline page, it seems Jamal's post was upvoted 25 times to ooker's 11 on the first day (in which ooker's was also accepted then). So it seems to have just barely met the qualifications for the badge on the first day, and yes, A < 17 appears to be the case here.

  • $\begingroup$ To summarize the above, the earliest one can get this badge is when there is an accepted answer with score of $A=11$ and your answer with score $a=23$ $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Feb 2, 2015 at 15:05

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