Philosophy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for those interested in logical reasoning. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was wondering if it is the practice to compensate a user for a glitch in your system that penalized them. Namely, if Stack Exchange had a glitch which caused some of my awards to disappear, should they fix the glitch and add those awards back to my account? I would think so but I am getting a fairly large number of disagreements on MetaStackOverflow to my Question Here:

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by Dennis, Joseph Weissman Feb 14 '13 at 5:58

Questions on Philosophy Stack Exchange are expected to relate to philosophy within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I've voted to close. As far as I can tell, this is not a question about philosophy. Rather, it is a question asking us to evaluate the policies and (possible) glitches of the Stackexchange format. I have voted to close rather than asking for an edit because I do not see how this question could be turned into a question of philosophical interest. – Dennis Feb 14 '13 at 4:45
@DaveNewton (and Albert) Please take this to chat. – Dennis Feb 14 '13 at 5:21
@Dennis I already flagged the post for comment cleanup (including mine, which I don't want to delete in isolation). – Dave Newton Feb 14 '13 at 5:22
Just in passing: this community isn't a court of last resort for SE; we're in no way arbiters of SE policy (or morality for that matter!) -- we're just philosophy students/teachers... – Joseph Weissman Feb 14 '13 at 6:03
In my opinion, with any online services such as SO, you never actually "own" the badge. This is their ground, so they can do whatever the hell they want with the badge they have let you use, including taking them away for absolutely no reason at all. Morality or ethics does not come into play here since us users don't have any enforceable claim towards anything they owned. Nevertheless, a bug is a bug, and while they might try to fix and compensate glitches as a sign of good will, they are under no obligation - moral, legal, nor ethical - to do so. – Lie Ryan Feb 15 '13 at 21:18

Why would you link to my comment?

I didn't say they wouldn't give it back to you, I explained Animuson's comment regarding that he has never heard of an award being given manually.

You are avoiding the real-world cost/ROI equation for something that has zero intrinsic value.

Would it be nice to have your badge back? Sure. Is it worth it? Different question, and different people will answer it differently. We understand your answer. You'll have to wait for their answer, and no answer is an answer–but you're assuming short turnaround on something that isn't of critical importance.

Ethical actions have trade-offs: it sucks to kill, but would you to save a room of kids? Where do you draw the line between the action and the action's cost to you, and to others? Let's say it took an SE employee an hour to fix your badge issue: is your worthless gold badge worth $50? $100? $150? To who? To you? To SE?

Is it worth the cost of sounding like you're whining across multiple sites, posts, and comments? Who pays that cost? Not us–you do, in your public image, ephemeral as it is.

share|improve this answer
I think the real question would then be (if you are going to put such high values on the time of fixing something like this) is it worth this to them to fix a glitch that would happen to any user who created accounts so long ago that they were not associated because that system was not yet set up and they are now associating them. This is a glitch that could affect many users, especially their loyal users that have been with SE for years. I guess it boils down to what are they willing to do to provide the best user experience possible to their users and what are they not willing to do. – Albert Renshaw Feb 14 '13 at 4:58
@AlbertRenshaw Fixing the glitch itself could cost hundreds or thousands of dollars; I'm speaking only of manually awarding a badge (assuming it's a simple matter of DB manipulation for which there is likely no UI). Yes, it does boil down to ROI, which is more or less what I've been saying, and Animuson's further comments explain more of the technical reasons. – Dave Newton Feb 14 '13 at 5:00
Well if changing a database value (and maybe a minute of verification research) costs hardly anything would you agree that it would be worth it to keep a client of almost 2 years satisfied with your services, do you think the client (I) should be compensated (nothing additional, just my badges back) It took me almost 2 years to earn my gold badge, I have a job, I give expert advice in programming free-of-charge for months on end, this is why I place a high value on earning that badge... It is something I value, yes it's worth nothing in reality, but I think value is in the eye of the beholder. – Albert Renshaw Feb 14 '13 at 5:03
@AlbertRenshaw Exactly: you think it's really important; I suspect you're in the minority precisely because it isn't. You think I don't have a job? You think I get paid to help other people on SO? Or am I not an expert? Come on: what on earth is making you think this is as important as you seem to think it is??? – Dave Newton Feb 14 '13 at 5:06

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.