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FAQ: Badges


Q: What are HuffPost Badges?
A: The BETA version of HuffPost Badges is our newest way to recognize and empower HuffPost readers and users. So far, we're focusing on three key areas of user activity on the site: connecting with others, engaging with our content, and moderating our comments. We're highlighting these three areas and recognizing the top users in them.

Q: What does "BETA" mean?
A. The term "BETA" comes from software development. It means we're still working on this system and plan to keep improving it. Have ideas, suggestions, or concerns? Email us at badges@huffingtonpost.com.

Q: HuffPost Badges are awesome! How do I attain more? And how do I earn a higher Level on my Badges?
A: Users attain higher Badges based on their activity on the site. If you want to attain a certain Level, your activity on the site should meet our descriptions below.

Q: I hate HuffPost Badges! How do I get rid of these things?
A: If you don't want to participate in HuffPost Badges, just email us at badges@huffingtonpost.com to opt out. Please make sure you send your email from the email address that you used to register your HuffPost account and include your username.

Q: What's a "Networker"? How can I become one?
A: If you're well above average when it comes to being connected with friends and followers, we'll award you with a Level 1 Networker Badge. If you're among the most-connected users in terms of friends and followers, and if you've connected your HuffPost account to your Facebook or Twitter account, we make you a Level 2 Networker, upgrade your Badge, and feature your comments in red. If you're like many users, you'll want to collect more fans and friends, so you can level up! And don't forget to connect your Facebook or Twitter account to your HuffPost account.

Q: What's a "Superuser"? How can I become one?
A: If you've been busy commenting on HuffPost and sharing stories to Facebook and Twitter, we'll award you with a Level 1 Superuser Badge. If you're among the busiest, most engaged users when it comes to commenting and sharing, and if you've connected your HuffPost account to your Facebook or Twitter account, then we make you a Level 2 Networker, upgrade your Badge, and feature your comments in purple. If you're like many users, you'll want to comment and share even more, so you can level up! And don't forget to connect your Facebook or Twitter account to your HuffPost account.

Q: What's a "Moderator"? How can I become one?
A: If you've flagged at least 20 comments that we ended up deleting and have a high ratio of good flags to mistaken flags, we'll award you with a Level 1 Moderator Badge and enhance your flags so that they have five times more influence. If you've flagged at least 100 comments that we deleted and have a very high ratio of good flags to mistaken flags, we make you a Level 2 Moderator, upgrade your Badge, and trust you to delete inappropriate comments on the site. We will continue to trust you to delete inappropriate comments from the site as long as you handle the task responsibly. If you're like many users, you'll want to step up your flagging game and become one of our most trusted users.

Q: Why is this opt-out? Isn't letting users opt-in better for privacy?
A: We take user privacy very seriously at the Huffington Post. The activities of collecting friends and followers, commenting, and sharing are inherently public activities at the Huffington Post, so the shift in privacy is very minimal. We believe that an opt-out model is best for flagging comments as well, because we've seen that users take pride in protecting the conversations that happen on HuffPost. Interviews with more than 100 users have indicated that and raised no privacy concerns. Still, if you have ideas, suggestions, or concerns, please email us at badges@huffingtonpost.com.

Q: I don't understand why linking a Facebook account or a Twitter account to my HuffPost account has anything to do with Badges? Why is it a requirement?
A: Connecting your Facebook account or your Twitter account is required to advance to a Level 2 Networker and Level 2 Superuser. It is not required for any other Levels. So far, the users who have connected their Facebook or Twitter accounts have helped make HuffPost a more dynamic and interesting place. We expect this trend to continue, and want to reward users who link other social networking profiles to their HuffPost profile.

Q: Once I earn a Badge, can I lose it?
A: Yes, you can lose a Badge. If you lose too many friends or followers, you may lose your Networker Badge or be demoted a Badge Level. If you disconnect your Facebook or Twitter account from your HuffPost account, your Networker or Superuser Badge might be demoted a Badge Level. If your number of published comments fall because too many were deleted for being inappropriate, you may lose your Superuser Badge. If you don't maintain a sufficiently high ratio of successful flags to mistaken flags, you may lose your Moderator Badge. We also reserve the right to revoke your Moderator Badge because you fail to use the enhanced authority responsibly. In general, we reserve the right to demote the Badge Level or revoke any Badge entirely from any user who abuses HuffPost Levels or any of the activities that compose it.

Q: Oh no! I lost a Badge and I don't know why! What happened?
A: If you're unsure why you lost your Badge, check out the FAQ above. If you're still unsure, send us an email at badges@huffingtonpost.com.

Q: Wait! I just shared an article to my Facebook or Twitter account, but I don't think it counted toward my total Superuser tally. What happened?
A: You must be logged into your HuffPost account in order for us to count your Facebook or Twitter share.

Q: Where did you come up with the design for your Badges?
A: We designed them in house. Do you like them?