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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.

However, 2 days ago I was awarded Announcer for a question that I really feel does not need such linking to start with: Add paging for user activity section. Also, I always try to use full links.

And above all: searching Google for the link gives me a single hit, for Recent feature changes to Stack Exchange.

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?

6

In May 2017, this bug was made : the badge was redefined to take internal links into account. In other words, the specific criterion you cite is now no longer part of the badge criteria. This was done for technical reasons resulting from the move from HTTP to HTTPS.

Users were also retroactively awarded badges in case they had shared links within the network and would now earn it under the new definition.

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