could anyone tell me why is citizen patrol badge awarded ?.........It shows that i earned this badge 1 hour ago...but i have'nt logged in for about a day.What is meant by first flagged post ?

[Note by Moderator:] Please see below in the comments to Arturo's answer. Something triggered awards of badges and notifications of privileges when it is possible that it shouldn't have. (Though we only have three data poitns so far.)

  • $\begingroup$ @Jeff Atwood: Could you please elaborate why the strange badge behavior reported in the comments below is "by design"? $\endgroup$ Feb 11, 2011 at 0:24

2 Answers 2


As of writing, the three newest questions about badges on meta.SO are about the Citizen Patrol badge, so a lot of people are confused about it.

It turns out that this is a recent change to the Stack Exchange engine:

  • 2011-02-09: Flagging for moderator attention now counts for the Citizen Patrol badge. This change applies retroactively.

So if you had ever flagged for moderator attention at any time in the past, you would have suddenly received the Citizen Patrol badge yesterday.

  • $\begingroup$ But that does not account for the strangeness that I saw (as did Andres) unless said change introduced a bug that caused it to mistakenly notify for other old badges too. $\endgroup$ Feb 10, 2011 at 18:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Bill: That's true; you should start a new question on meta about it. $\endgroup$
    – user856
    Feb 10, 2011 at 19:35

If you click on the Badges tab at the top of the page (between Users and Unanswered) it describes the badges. "Citizen Patrol" is awarded for "first flagged post".

  • $\begingroup$ @Arturo Magidin : I want to know what is meant by first flagged post ? $\endgroup$
    – Rajesh D
    Feb 10, 2011 at 6:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Rajesh D: Did you click on "flag" on any post, indicating you believed it to require moderator attention, it did not belong on the website, or some other issue? Or perhaps you clicked on the flag instead of the upvote on a comment? Flagging only requires 15 reputation points, so you are certainly capable of doing it. You get the badge the first time you do it, though it may take some hours after it is done for it to be "awarded". See also math.stackexchange.com/privileges/flag-posts $\endgroup$ Feb 10, 2011 at 7:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Arturo Magidin : I havent even logged in to math.se for the past many hours but it shows that it is awarded roughly 1 hour back. Please let me know how is this possible ? thank you $\endgroup$
    – Rajesh D
    Feb 10, 2011 at 7:05
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Rajesh D: As I just wrote: it sometimes takes some hours between the action and the awarding of a badge based on that action (editing, flagging, hitting the daily reputation cap, casting a certain number of votes, etc). Not every badge is awarded instantaneously. I've had badges awarded half a day or more after the action that would have triggered it. $\endgroup$ Feb 10, 2011 at 7:07
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I think there may be a software problem since I also received some very strange notifications a few hours ago, e.g. one said I now have the power to downvote posts (which I've had for a long time). $\endgroup$ Feb 10, 2011 at 7:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Arturo Magidin : Sorry if this is not of much interest to you. I can assure you that i havn't done any such thing atleast for the past 5 days.I hardly remember ever flagging a post. $\endgroup$
    – Rajesh D
    Feb 10, 2011 at 7:35
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with Bill: I just got awarded the Citizen Patrol badge also, but there's rather little point for me to flag posts. It may be a bug. I've retagged the question to that effect. $\endgroup$ Feb 10, 2011 at 12:13
  • $\begingroup$ Rajesh: It's not that it is not of much interest. But I had just written "though it may take some hours after it is done for it to be awarded", and you reply by saying you hadn't done anything for many hours and it got awarded, so how could that be. It rather seems to me, instead, that you find very little interest in what I write and tend to ignore half or more of it. $\endgroup$ Feb 10, 2011 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Bill: Are you sure it was the power to downvote? I got a notification about a power to protect posts (which is, as far as I know, new). As for the Citizens Patrol badge, I seem to remember it being several days between my flagging a post and the badge being awarded. $\endgroup$ Feb 10, 2011 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ In case someone is trying to see the extent of the bug: I also got notified of badges I already had (so I upvoted Bill's comment hours ago). $\endgroup$ Feb 10, 2011 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Arturo: Yes I am sure it was the power to "downvote", along with some other power which the notification failed to specify. $\endgroup$ Feb 10, 2011 at 17:41
  • $\begingroup$ I was also notified that I hold some privileges that I "unlocked" long ago, I believe it has something to do with the recent change of privilege levels (namely tag wikis). $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Feb 10, 2011 at 21:35

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