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My user id on StackOverflow is 50776.

I just noticed that when sharing a link, it's appended to the end of any link when I try and get a link for a question/post:

User id attached to share link

I'm curious what purposes this is for (not being a privacy nut either, I'm not concerned).

The question arises because if I post the link (on a Facebook wall, or tweet it, etc), then other people can share that link, and at best, the only tracking that can be done is who exposed the link for a subset of views

This is a valid reason in itself, but I was wondering if there were any others.

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Though you're not worried, still related: Privacy leak in permalink? – Arjan Dec 2 '11 at 20:59
up vote 19 down vote accepted

It's used to track questions views for the Announcer, Booster, and Publicist badges. There are no other reasons that I'm aware of.

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If you don't want those badges, you can just copy the link to the question from your browser's address bar. – Kate Gregory Nov 25 '11 at 18:59
@KateGregory Or delete the userid from the link before using it anywhere. That way you get the benefit of the shortened link as well. – Adam Lear Nov 25 '11 at 22:08
See also the blog: Announcer, Booster, and Publicist Badges. (And @Kate, copying a full link for an answer is slightly harder.) – Arjan Dec 2 '11 at 21:01
And oddly enough, these badges apparently are not (yet) awarded for answers. That makes the user id in permalinks for answers useless, but I guess that will soon change. – Arjan Dec 2 '11 at 21:05
@Arjan It has changed since 2012-01-10: Sharing direct links to answers now also counts towards these badges – Idolon May 9 '12 at 16:43

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