I suspect that some bug makes internal linking count towards Publicity badges too.
The badges are said to be:
These badges are specifically for linking to questions like the description says.
The link must be clicked from outside the network in order for it to count for this purpose.
Maybe it's thinking that empty
REFERER headers (for those that block that, or for Safari users who open a link in a new window) should be counted too? Or maybe some search bot is using lots of IP addresses? Or visitors of Stack Overflow clones are to blame?