I recently noticed that the badge Tumbleweed was retired. How are these decisions made?
1$\begingroup$ There are a number of things that are decided by management and implemented globally. I was unaware of the tumbleweed change. It would seems to been part of a general stack exchange update. $\endgroup$– Attack68 ModMar 12 at 20:27
1$\begingroup$ This was an interesting read. Thank you @V2Blast $\endgroup$– phdstudentMar 30 at 23:44
$\begingroup$ @phdstudent: I'll actually expand that into an answer, since... it does sort of answer the question. Feel free to copy your comment there instead :) $\endgroup$– V2Blast StaffModMar 30 at 23:49
In general, the list of badges is identical network-wide, so changes to them (adding new ones or retiring old ones) will usually be announced on Meta Stack Exchange. Badges can only be added/removed by Stack Exchange staff.
For more information on badges, see these Q&As on MSE:
- How do "badges" work?
- What are the badges I can earn on each site, and what are the exact criteria for earning each badge?
- What makes a good badge? When and why should I suggest a new badge?
In the specific case of the Tumbleweed badge, its retirement was also announced (and explained in detail) in this post on the Stack Overflow blog: Adios to Unfriendly Badges! Ahoy, Lifejacket and Lifeboat
The blog post does a great job of explaining the original purpose of the badge, why it was retired, and the new Lifejacket and Lifeboat badges that were added to replace it.