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For example, say someone gets the Unsung Hero badge for 10 or more zero score accepted answers, and 25% of total. Now, say someone goes and votes for some of their zero score accepted answers. Do they still have the badge? I'm not speaking specifically about this badge, but it's one easy example I thought of.

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Once you get a badge, it is yours forever.

Edit

For most cases, once you get a badge, it is yours forever. The big exception is tag badges. If you no longer have the required score or number of answers in a tag, then a tag badge will be withdrawn.

But for almost every other badge, they are yours to keep once they're awarded to you.

If the badge system changes again, I would expect a cannonical place to read about the new behaviors to be the How do badges work? on Meta.SE.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure that the link is up to date, and I am fairly certain that some changes to the badges system were introduced since then. Edit: According to this meta.SO thread, the information is up to date. I wonder how that works with respect to removed votes from account deletions. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Dec 15 '12 at 20:02
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    $\begingroup$ It does mention, however, that tag specialist badges may disappear (at least if I understand it correctly). $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Dec 15 '12 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf: Ah - I did not know that tag specialist badges could disappear. That's good to know. Thanks for picking that up - $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Dec 15 '12 at 23:41
  • $\begingroup$ This happened to me, when somebody who upvoted me deleted their account. Still have the badge. $\endgroup$ Feb 8 '13 at 3:35
  • $\begingroup$ This happened yesterday, when the Integral tag was eliminated. I had a silver badge in Integral and assumed it was lost. Then it turned out that, while I did seem to lose it, I made up for it because the tag was migrated to Integration and I gained a silver (and gold to boot!) badge for that tag. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Gordon
    Oct 24 '13 at 17:34
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    $\begingroup$ The remark about the "next badge" is no longer true see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/81013/… or the relevant section of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/17853/how-do-badges-work Somewhat separately it may make sense to do some duping or merging with meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/21815/… Or maybe one keeps them separate for the different emphasis on usual vs tag. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Oct 28 '15 at 22:43
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As pointed out in Asaf's comment, one exception is that tag badges can be removed.

I will copy here the content of Arthur Fischer's comment from another question, where he provided more details:

The regular badges are never removed (except in extreme circumstances). As the tag badges depend on your scores in tags, they are removed whenever you no longer match the criteria. (See MSO FAQ posts 1 and 2 for details.)

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