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I reviewed this question just now, accepting a suggested edit. I noticed that the user had no reputation (just the 100 bonus), and yet, had a gold badge.

I thought, as I have seen many times, that this might be an example of some old yet inactive users who asked a single question which had so many views it awarded them the "Famous Question" gold badge. As usual, I am curious about which question would that be. So I went to the user's profile, and found, to my surprise, that the badge was because of the "Fanatic Badge".

"That's weird" I thought. Why would someone visit a site so often, and yet, never given an answer or ask a question, or write comments, or any other activity?

Then I went to the user's network profile, and found that he has the "Fanatic Badge" in around 150 accounts, almost all of them without a single answer or question, just the association bonus! Have you ever seen such a keen user, with so widespread interest (in visiting but not participating) like Biology, Robotics, Law, Travel, ..., and languages like Korean, Esperanto, Latin, Japanese, Italian, Ukranian, French, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, German, and Russian?

So I conclude, this user is clearly gaming the system, perhaps using some type of automatic tool/script to visit a series of sites consistently.

Do you think this is the case? Is this "legal"?

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    All the users who have the global flag summary script would have a gold fanatic badge on all the sites where they've got an account. It's perfectly legal. – Bhargav Rao Jun 6 '17 at 8:13
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    Luchonacho - it doesn't give any reputation gain. It's just a badge. – Rory Alsop Jun 6 '17 at 8:15
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    I did ask a question on Economics Meta, though. And it's still not entirely solved. – Glorfindel Jun 6 '17 at 8:21
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    Like others said, retrieving flagging information (that you can get nowhere else) is counted as visiting for the purposes of that badge. Us people in charcoal kinda need to know how our flags are being handled, seing as we're flagging all across the network and the flag summaries are per-site. – Magisch Jun 6 '17 at 12:43
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This is a result of the 'Global Flag Summary' userscript, which I use to keep track of the flags I cast, mainly by participating in Charcoal HQ. This tool retrieves the number of flags (cast, marked helpful, declined, etc.) across all sites in the network. You don't get a notification if one of your flags is declined, so this is the only way I can check if my flags are being declined, in which case I need to adjust my flagging behaviour. (You'll notice I have the Citizen Patrol badge on most sites as well.)

As a bonus, these calls to retrieve flag status count as a 'visit' to the site. (You'll notice that the author of the script has a lot of Enthusiast badges as well.)

FWIW, I'm only fourth in the list of network-wide holders of the Fanatic badge.

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    Ah, you again ... gaming the system... – rene Jun 6 '17 at 8:19
  • @rene we meet again ;) – Yvette Colomb Jun 6 '17 at 12:34
  • So basically, you are flagging in different sites, and to keep a record of the flag status, you run the script, which enters every site you are member of, regardless of whether you flagged there yesterday or a year ago? – luchonacho Jun 6 '17 at 12:55
  • @luchonacho correct. – Glorfindel Jun 6 '17 at 12:56
  • @luchonacho On the technical side of things, it gets a list of sites you have accounts for and fetches the flagging information from each and then sums it up and displays it in a nice sorted table. – Magisch Jun 6 '17 at 13:58
  • Is this user also part of that team, or is s/he gaming the system? – luchonacho Aug 11 '17 at 9:17
  • Their badges are from 2016 and earlier, before the script existed. I can't answer the second part of your question. – Glorfindel Aug 11 '17 at 9:20

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