Badges are an offense to our Common Humanity

I just got an effing “badge” for a very ordinary comment. This is so offensive I want to spit. It is also why I only check in once a day or less…Badges for trying to be Human and Humane…Really offensive…


Oh social media silliness - makes the forum seem less professional than it can be…but then I don’t have a smart phone, play candy crush or that farm game…I’m just here for the human contact :smirk:


I think the badge that irked you was your post in the Clown Doctor topic. It is a built in part of discourse and you get it when 10 people “liked” your post. It is ironic that your topic here was also liked. Just to be further ironic I liked your topic to, not to put you on the road to earning the badge again or to irk you further, but because I like the discussion.

I’d be interested in other thoughts here. Do people feel badges are offensive? Do they give you a reward for something you should be doing anyway?

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I love getting badges! I collect 'em. But then again, I collect ex-husbands, so who’s to say whether this is a good thing…

But for the record, I love positive feedback whether it’s in the form of a badge, a letter of appreciation, a compliment, a kind word, etc. And I especially love the positive feedback of a paycheck.


I use discourse (the forum software that runs tudiabetes) for work and elsewhere so I was already familiar with the badges. I don’t understand how they are offensive and don’t mind them one bit. I don’t change my habits based on the badges, and felt happy when I got a meaningful badge or two which had to be assigned by another member.

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“Badges? We don’t need no Stinking Badges!!!” quick what movie?
First I’ve heard that they are offensive, goofy maybe but for the most part pretty benign and easy to ignore.


I have been participating in online diabetes-related discussion forums since 1990.

It’s a little funny how the current tudiabetes website is so proud of itself :-).

To be fair the original cantankerous welcome screen etc. of this current generation, has been streamlined a fair amount to put the focus on the members and discussions rather than the site.

And the badges seem silly and pointless but not really offensive. I could see how they could help a true newbie just a little bit get into some good habits. For those of us who have been doing online discussions for a quarter century, yeah, superfluous and maybe condescending.


They aren’t offensive, but some of them are silly. A couple of days ago I received a badge for “Reading every reply in a topic with more than 100 replies” :confused:

I have to say, we are a community. We have thousands and thousands of members. But we are not a bunch of anonymous faces. I believe that in order to really create a community our members need to be able to see other members “stories.” They need to learn more about them, looking beyond a name and some icon or avatar. We have some support for profiles, some people use them. But badges also let you look at members and see their history, how active they have been and what other members think about them. Anyone that gets 10 likes is someone respected by our community and has some recognized credibility…


I don’t mind the badges. However, I just looked and I have a Healthcare Provider Badge??? Don’t know how I got that. I have never identified as a health care provider. :thinking:

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One difference between the old platform and the new one is that the old one was much better at building community. One of the few tools left to build a sense of community on the new platform is to like someones post. It’s a way of quickly saying I agree with your post or more broadly “I like the cut of your jib”

I pretty much ignore the badges but I always look at who liked my posts.

@Judith_in_Portland I looked at the post in question and it had 10 likes including one by me. It indicates how much many of us value your opinion and the fact that they are invariably “Human and Humane”, something the world never has enough of.

The badge just indicates a particularly well received post, sorry you took offense.


I’m nuetral on the idea… I don’t even know what badges I or anyone else has…

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It does irk me a little that when you get a notice you’ve received one for “liked post” or whatever, it doesn’t actually direct you to WHICH post, which makes it seem kinda doubly ignorable.

There are sites where this kind of thing can be really helpful–tech support sites, e.g., where someone’s rankings can tell you if the person responding to some technical query has a record of successful problem solving. But here… meh. Mostly harmless I guess. I’m sure there’s a Bokononist term for it but I can’t find it.

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Hey, I just now got a badge for reading an entire post without understanding what it was about.


Unfair - I should have gotten that one months ago!


One of my grandsons bragged that he had gotten a new star on his conduct board at school, he was excited and I was proud of him. Of course he is a child and it all can appear childish.

My wife calls me a big child and I hope I haven’t grown completely out of being childish. It doesn’t bother me that I have badges but I do not go out looking to score new ones.

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Troop Beverly Hills!


It has been re-used in many films and shows but probably most well known from Blazing Saddles…


Dear @Judith_in_Portland,

You are an incredibly human and humane person - as all of your posts show. I am always filled with humility when I meet people like you, because it makes me realize how much empathy I lack.

I totally understand why you would think that getting a “badge” for doing good in the world is degrading. It lowers one’s soul to have people believe that you would do the right thing for a medal or a reward. We do it because it is the right thing, and because we feel for our fellow humans. It is degrading in that sense.

Confession: I have made my living for many years creating social media platforms. As we all know (cf the abonimable lynch mob behaviors on twitter, reddit et al) social media can encourage the worst in people’s behaviors. Mobs are an ugly thing, and socia media enables them. The tools that good social media platforms use are made to create expectations in new users and encourage the right type behavior. They are useful, even necessary imho, to 99% of social media platform applications. Twitter has hardly any - and its users are some of the ugliest on the web.

Because it is very difficult to develop a social platform from scratch, I am sure that tudiabetes does not have either the money or the knowhow to do a good job at it. In fact, I think the present platform is not the best for its specific use. But when you need to piggyback on common technology you are often limited. And, in my expert opinion, I feel that even in our community there could be the chance of developing bad social behavior unless you “train” new users with the right tools.

As a comparison, uses a different, more common platform (I am pretty sure it is a slightly customized vBulletin or a derivative), which, imho, does much worse for their own purposes. One of the practices they have is that they feel the need to moderate the first n posts of a new user, to make sure the new user won’t behave inappropriately. There is NOTHING that inhibits posting more than not seeing your post show up when you have written it. So I am sure they lose a lot of members because of that. In this way at least, the present platform is better, probably because of these social media tools, of which badges are one.

It does not make badges any less degrading to the person who contributes because of trying to help a fellow human. But possibly it makes them more tolerable?

EDIT: as an example, I am preparing a post that compiles statistics on all the languages people speak here, based on the related thread. On most social platforms, this would create hate speech, because a highly quoted language will be Hebrew. But, in a well-behaved community (which, for me, typically translates - a community with good social media tools) it won’t. I expect it won’t here.

I, for one, wish that I would see your posts more often! Your friend Michel


So sorry the “badge” made you so unhappy, because you always bring such joy when you share. My thought here is, pick your battles. I didn’t even know about the badges, I just post when I feel the need. I hope you won’t be turned off by this and you will continue to be you. Your everyday joys,fears, concerns and sadness help make you you and helps all of us be better us’s (is that even a word?) Please continue to read and continue to post and continue being you!

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