There are (at least) two badges, which are related to a negative score.

Reversal: Provided answer of +20 score to a question of -5 score

Peer Pressure: Deleted own post with score of -3 or lower

I've read comments like this several times:

Please don't downvote below a score of -1, even if the question in it's current form needs some improvement. A score of -1 is enough to show that the question needs work, anything below that is of no use. Also, if you downvote or vote to close, please leave a comment explaining why you did so, but wait at least 24 hours after asking the OP for improvements to the question before voting to close. (by Henri Menke on https://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/150006/changing-to-a-vertical-table-in-latex#comment341490_150006)

I've even read a comment like this on a question which clearly stated that: "How to do that? I'm lazy and don't want to look for a solution." - The comment got upvoted and downvoting stopped at -2 (-3 actually, but someone gave an upvote (I don't know why)). The question was finally closed as a duplicate (as far as I can remember).

These comments usually get upvoted quickly, so I think that these two badges are outdated here. I suppose we don't want anyone to be motivated to downvote anything to make a Reversal badge possible.


Are they outdated here Are the badges the same on all SE sites? Shouldn't they be switched off (moved to inactive state)? Or: is the idea of not voting below -1 contradicting with original SE intentions?

(Should this question be tagged as [support] because "I need help with the use of one of the site's features"?)

About answering downvoted questions:

Should we answer questions which are downvoted / low quality?

  • 2
    Since Badges are universal for all SE sites, you’re unlikely to achieve a different solution only for tex.sx. I would agree that the idea of not voting below -1 contradicts the SE intentions – otherwise it wouldn’t even be possible. I’m not a fan of that policy, but I haven’t found the time to check up on previous discussions on meta and potentially start a new one, so I stick to it most of the time. It’s just that many terrible questions end up with a positive score because not every (apparently strangely-reasoned) upvote is countered with another downvote to go back to -1.
    – doncherry
    Dec 15, 2013 at 12:50
  • 7
    As the owner of one of the three Reversal badges I long for the days when vicious downvoting was the norm. :) No, such downvoting has never been the norm, and I think that the site is better off for it, honestly. Downvoting and close voting seem to attract a kind of 'piling on' behaviour which I find troubling. Maybe the SE network wants to be that way, but I think many of us have decided that we don't. If that means that the number of reversal badges will stay at 3, then so be it.
    – Alan Munn
    Dec 15, 2013 at 12:56
  • 1
    Notice also that the Reversal badge rewards a positive contribution but the Peer Pressure badge is a kind of incentive against posting crappy answers.
    – Alan Munn
    Dec 15, 2013 at 13:00
  • 6
    The norm here is different from other SE sites, and the same goes for badge earnings. Consider, for the example, the (virtually unattainable) Tenacious silver badge and Unsung hero gold badge. They fall under the same category relating to votes/score - zero that is.
    – Werner Mod
    Dec 15, 2013 at 17:11
  • 3
    For the EDIT question: Related Should we answer really bad questions? Dec 15, 2013 at 20:20
  • I wasn't sure if the badges are the some or was originally copied and not modified. I think the purpose of the badges can only be motivational/rewarding. I'm glad to see this unison about the badge system and the downvoting. I think the same about both of them.
    – masu
    Dec 15, 2013 at 23:54

2 Answers 2


I try to keep it at negative one because negative answers are not assesed for being good. Hence it doesn't even make sense to compare a -5 voted q/a with a -1 voted q/a

A negative number is enough to draw attention that it is a crappy q/a and makes a point. -17 doesn't always mean the question is wrong. Sometimes the attitude rubs people the wrong way and downvotes pile up.

If this blocks a few badges on the way, fine so be it. What do you need them badges for in the first place?

And yes I'm not a fan of following SO rules that are designed for a Q/A site with hundred questions per hour on a site that is way too cozy than SO.

  • 1
    "What do you need them badges for in the first place?"... I wanted to print them to pin it onto my chest. :) No, I don't really see the point of the badge system, but I think its original intention is to be a(n) reward/achievement. So it has a motivational purpose (for some), therefore it shouldn't motivate anyone to do things which confronts the community standards.
    – masu
    Dec 16, 2013 at 0:01
  • 1
    @SándorKazi I suggest a tattoo instead :P
    – percusse
    Dec 16, 2013 at 10:38
  • @percusse If someone actually got "Reversal" and "Peer Pressure" tattooed unto their chest in TeX.SX style, I would tattoo their name in a big pink heart on myself. Dec 17, 2013 at 1:52
  • 1
    @NictraSavios I would recommend looking at the user names on the main site. That's a dangerous game :P
    – percusse
    Dec 17, 2013 at 22:35

Ratio of [Peer Pressure]/[Nice Answer] awarded badges (I take Nice Answer as a measure of the size of the site):

  • StackOverflow (the largest site): 10%
  • Mathematics.SE (significantly large site): 4%
  • TeX.SE (our site): 0.08%
  • Academia.SE (small site still in beta): 2%


  • We are one of the few sites that doesn't really downvote bad questions (well, we knew that before this my little survey, right?)
  • Therefore we are one of the few sites where Peer Pressure and Reversal badges are ridiculous
  • We should just don't care about these badges too much.

Last comment:

  • Don't care too much about the measures: rep points and badges. They are fine, they are fun, but much more important is to make a good and positive contribution, and this is very hard to measure, one has to feel it :)

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