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A few hours ago, I won an Announcer (Bronze) badge on Ask Different. The message under achievements tab said:
You've earned the "Announcer" badge (Share a link to a question later visited by 25 unique IP addresses) for "Does USB-C to HDMI take more processing power than direct USB-C to DisplayPort?".
I am a software developer and I understand how the mechanics behind earning this badge work. (Clicking on the Share button beneath the question gives a personalized URL. Hitting the URL will tell the Stack Exchange backend that the URL was visited along with the IP address information.)
Now as I understand, just clicking the Share button (to generate the customized URL), without actually posting the URL anywhere shouldn't work, right? However, I have observed this on couple occasions that I have earned this badge even without sharing the URL externally.
Does simply generating the URL triggers the visit counter corresponding to my user account, so that any new visit to the post is counted against my account? I don't agree with that. However, I have earned Announcer badge couple times that prove otherwise. I have never posted the link elsewhere (except just once, for the sake of earning the badge).
Could this possibly be a bug in the Stack Exchange backend? If yes, this makes for a potential opportunity of gaming the system, where I simply generate the link for popular/hot questions and earn Bronze badges quickly.