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For the past few weeks I've been signing in every day to check various posts and noticed that I was getting close to an Enthusiast Badge, having accumulated 21 or 22 days out of the necessary 30. I signed in again a few hours ago, no more than half a day after popping in multiple times to check for responses to various questions, but found that my Enthusiast total had been wrongly reset all the way back to 1. It's clearly an error on the part of StackExchange's software, which apparently didn't record any of my multiple visits from yesterday, but I'm not sure how to go about getting it rectified, or what caused it in the first place. I searched CrossValidated and couldn't find any related topics, nor any links at StackExchange to report this. Are there any guidelines for handling Badge errors of this kind? Any help would be appreciated - thanks.

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    $\begingroup$ Well, you've posted here so the support request should get noticed at least... but I don't see any actions on your account between feb 21 and now ... $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Mar 24 '16 at 3:36
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    $\begingroup$ That's really strange, because I've posted several questions recently and four answers so far in March and have voted on 14 other threads this month. For example, there's the question What are the Practical Applications of Chaos Theory in Data Mining I put up just 9 days ago. Perhaps the Feb. 21 date is just for Meta, not for the rest of CrossValidated? I'm certain I checked in a few times before and after midnight last night as well. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – SQLServerSteve Mar 24 '16 at 4:13
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    $\begingroup$ My apologies for being unclear -- I meant "actions other than posting questions or answers", like comments, flags, suggested edits etc. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Mar 24 '16 at 4:27
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    $\begingroup$ No problem - I have commented in that time frame though, including 1 on a Fuzzy Textbooks thread I wasn't otherwise involved in. I haven't suggested edits or flags yet because I don't yet feel competent enough to do so. Either way, the Enthusiast Badge is supposed to be earned by coming to CrossValidated 30 days in a row, so none of that really matters. I wouldn't care, except that I noticed I was close, made a point of coming in the last few days, and saw the counter mysteriously reset to 1. I plan to ratchet up my participation anyways, but I'd hate to see another reset next time I near 30 $\endgroup$ – SQLServerSteve Mar 24 '16 at 5:35
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, I understand the frustration; did you notice the whether the site was actually different each time? I'm wondering if you were perhaps on the most recent times looking at a locally cached copy of the site (either cached by your provider or even further downstream) rather than a newly generated one that SE would see. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Mar 24 '16 at 6:05
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, yes, you were right, by the way I was looking at meta; I am a goose. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Mar 24 '16 at 6:09
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    $\begingroup$ I think I got to 98 or so days out of 100 and missed one and had to start all over again. I was a frustrated non-Fanatic. Be warned! These little things can ruin your life, so don't miss a single day. $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Mar 24 '16 at 10:59
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    $\begingroup$ These badges don't count mere visits (despite the description of the badge itself)--they look for definite activities, such as posts, comments, votes, and other undocumented things. Mods do not have access to records of all of these activities, so there's little we can do to check. Note, too, that a "day" is counted from midnight to midnight GMT, not local time. It is likely the system has not erred, but you're always welcome to contact the SE team with a request to look into it. $\endgroup$ – whuber Mar 24 '16 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Glen B for pointing out the locally cached copy thing, I didn't think of that. I was coming in several times a day, but to check the same pages, either for comments on my own posts or to mull over how to answer other people's questions (I like to think long and hard before going out on a limb, even on rare topics I know a little something about). Your explanation is probably the culprit. $\endgroup$ – SQLServerSteve Mar 24 '16 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ Whuber - That's also helpful to know. I've been planning on ramping up my participation here over the next year or so in order to learn more and am now in the habit of checking it daily along with my mail etc. At that rate I'm sure that eventually I'll get that Enthusiast badge without even thinking about it - it's no big deal anyways, it's just an icon - but I figured I'd better get to the bottom of this problem, in case a year from now I somehow get near that gold badge for a year straight of participation...then see it mysteriously reset again...*then* I'd be upset. $\endgroup$ – SQLServerSteve Mar 24 '16 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ It occurred to me last night that this occurred immediately after I deleted a huge cache of old Temporary Internet Files. If I do that again a few times and it resets the counter back to 1, then I have my smoking gun. Whuber - it would be helpful to know how to contact the SE Team about this in case I do identify that (or something else) as the culprit. I can't find any links on how to contact them - Thanks. $\endgroup$ – SQLServerSteve Mar 24 '16 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ You get the gold badge not for a year, but for only 100 consecutive days. It's only three months. Not that difficult once you are addicted. $\endgroup$ – amoeba says Reinstate Monica Mar 28 '16 at 21:21
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    $\begingroup$ You posted here, so you got our attention (SE developer here). If you do find a smoking gun, post a new question here with all the details and use the bug tag - we will see it. The likeliest explanation though is what whuber posted - visits don't count - you have to have made an action on that day (where a day is a UTC day - not in local time). $\endgroup$ – Oded Mar 29 '16 at 7:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Oded Consider posting this as an answer because your comment does answer the main question which is How to report a [potential] error in badge stats? The answer is to post here with a [bug] tag to attract attention of SE developers. Without your answer the thread appears unresolved, whereas it is in fact resolved. $\endgroup$ – amoeba says Reinstate Monica Mar 29 '16 at 11:02
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The main question here appears to be - how to report bugs and issues to Stack Exchange staff.

The answer to that is - post it here as a question, with as much detail as possible to help reproduce the issue. Put the tag on it and it will be seen by Stack Exchange staff.

If you are suggesting a new feature or a change to an existing feature, tag it with - this too will be seen by Stack Exchange staff.


The secondary question is about the Enthusiast badge - the visit requirement is actually more than just looking at pages on the site - some sort of action is required (voting, asking, answering, commenting, flagging etc...) for a day to be counted. And days are UTC days, not local ones.

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    $\begingroup$ Oded - I know that those actions aren't always required, because I've seen my totals for the Enthusiast badge go up consistently even on days when all I did was read threads on the forum. I'm testing various things right now to see what resets the counters, such as Glen_b's suggestion above about stale cached webpages. I've eliminated cookie clearing as a culprit. I'll post here when I get it narrowed down, probably within the next few weeks. Thanks for the reply - I'll probably select yours as the answer once we get that secondary issue settled. $\endgroup$ – SQLServerSteve Mar 29 '16 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ It could be visiting anything more than just the homepage is enough - I don't recall exactly. $\endgroup$ – Oded Mar 29 '16 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ I was visiting the same threads day after day when it was reset, so that would fit with Glen_b's explanation if the webpages were cached. I'll do a few more experiments over the next week or so to get to the bottom of it. $\endgroup$ – SQLServerSteve Mar 29 '16 at 20:03
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    $\begingroup$ Let us know once your p value is significant ;) $\endgroup$ – Oded Mar 29 '16 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ I haven't forgotten about this thread - I'm still experimenting to try and narrow down the culprit(s), after which I'll take Oded's advice above and start a separate thread & answer my own question (unless it turns out to be stale webpages, in which case I'll let Glen_b answer it as he did above). For now though I'll accept Oded's answer to my main question, about how to report forum issues. That'll knock one more item off the forum's list of unanswered question,s LOL. $\endgroup$ – SQLServerSteve Apr 12 '16 at 16:07

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