Shared links to posts contain user ids to be used for Announcer badges. These user ids are better to be stripped from all these links in SE posts and comments (and perhaps bounty statements), because:

  • It can happen that they will count towards the Announcer bage even if these links were published at SE: Got Announcer badge for linking within SE - either because users have referer disabled, or because the links have been captured by some web scraper (see the linked discussion). Stripping user ids at SE network completely will cure these issues forever.

  • It will save space, especially in comments. I mean, not only when displayed, but also at the input where the quota on the number of characters is applied.

  • 4
    I use "share" frequently for answer linking because to get the regular link for answers requires at least 2 extra clicks. This would make it easier to get a proper link without having to take the extra steps. Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 21:06
  • Rather than just stripping, please make it the full URL then. Needs a bit more space, but makes it readable on devices that support hover, and makes browsers use a different color for visited links. (Except on Meta, where the CSS currently doesn't use a different formatting.)
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 21:10
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    @psubsee2003, to solve the need for those extra clicks: Provide an easily discoverable way to get the full URL to an answer :-)
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 21:19
  • I think that psubsee2003 doesn't request full url, he just wants to get rid of the user id which is present in "share".
    – Tomas
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 21:30
  • @Tomas Arjan's suggest was good. In practice, there is no functional difference between "share" link and the full URL or any other variation. But the full URL looks a lot cleaner than something that looks like it is nothing but some random numbers. Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


If somebody shares a link on Site A to little-known (new, small, etc) Site B, and that draws new participation there, then the user deserves the Announcer badge on Site B, just as if he'd tweeted it or posted it to Facebook.

More weakly, I'd say this applies to people who post meta links on main sites. Too few people visit meta, and what's the harm in handing out Announcer badges on meta if people actually follow those links?

Perhaps you meant that links within the same site, like a link on Site A to something else on Site A, shouldn't count. I believe it's already implemented that way, though I'm basing this on vague memories and (lack of) anecdotal evidence.

But regardless, doing extra work just to save a few characters (that the person posting the comment etc can manually remove if hitting a length limit) or to avoid awarding a low-impact badge doesn't seem like a good use of developer time. It's not like having the badge helps you in moderator elections or brings fame and fortune, after all.

  • The "on the same site" hasn't been true since they introduced https. I got the announcer badge on SO for this comment on SO linking to another answer on SO. Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 20:48
  • @MartinSmith oh, I see. I think it was true before, so this might be a bug resulting from the switch to HTTPS. Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 20:50
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    @Martin Announcer badge spike. Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 23:09
  • ad your first paragraph regarding getting the badges for linking between two SE sites - ok, this means that the rules have been redefined since I asked this. Because by that time the announcer badges had been defined as visits done from outside of the SE network.
    – Tomas
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 8:11

The first reason you cite for implementing this is no longer the case: in May 2017, the badge was redefined to no longer exclude clicks from within the Stack Exchange network, because this was now impossible to detect due to the move to HTTPS. Earning the badge entirely through clicks within the SE network is no longer considered exploiting an issue.

Also, the second reason won't be fixed even with this change. The system performs things like character stripping after the length of the comment is checked to see if it's too high: one will still get an error that it's too long. Even if that's not the case, there are other, more efficient ways to reduce the length of the comment, such as making URLs relative.

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