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Just got a new badge:

You've earned the "Announcer" badge (Share a link to a post later visited by 25 unique IP addresses) for "How can the defaults of Evergrande, or other Chinese property companies, crash stock markets worldwide — when the CCP has at least $3.4 trillion USD?".

That's this question, posted yesterday: How can the defaults of Evergrande, or other Chinese property companies, crash stock markets worldwide — when the CCP has at least $3.4 trillion USD?

Now, it's possible someone faked a URL with my user ID and shared it far and wide... But that seems unlikely. Betting there's a bug in the accounting here somewhere...

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    And I was thinking yesterday: "When will shog9 get into trading in Chinese companies" ....
    – rene
    Dec 11, 2021 at 20:14
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    LOL, they faked the URL for high profile users to give the impression you're endorsing whatever that post is talking about.
    – bad_coder
    Dec 11, 2021 at 22:42
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    I was always in favor of this feature request: Anonymize or hash the user ID part of a shared link so that users can earn badges for sharing links without having to leak their account on the site. Generate a different hash every time the “Share” button is clicked. Related: Privacy leak in permalink?. Dec 12, 2021 at 2:12
  • Free search engine URL submission using the share URL with your user ID.
    – Rob
    Dec 12, 2021 at 9:45
  • @bad_coder That has actually happened: I've seen one user pranking another by setting up a bot to repeatedly load a page with their user ID in the URL, giving Announcer badges to someone who'd never actually seen or shared those questions. Could be that someone is pranking Shog9 and Adam Lear here ... then again, Shog9 is a hell of a lot more experienced than us, so his gut instinct is more likely to be right. Dec 12, 2021 at 18:35
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    Well this is open for some serious abuse, e.g. someone causing you to have that badge for question implying opinions opposite of your own. And there's no way to undo that badge. IMO, the badge can be safely nuked, don't see any real purpose in it. And if not nuked, change the way it works as suggested in the linked request Sebastian mentioned. Dec 13, 2021 at 13:59
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    @ShadowWizardIsVaccinatedV3 On the other hand, sharing a link to a question does not imply you support it. You could have as easily shared it as "look at this thing I don't agree with" and just got a lot of traction. Or might not be even related to taking sides at all. Still, it's annoying. I'm just not sure it's heavy abuse.
    – VLAZ
    Dec 13, 2021 at 14:03
  • @VLAZ even worse. When I see a badge on user's profile, I consider it as part of the user; If clicking it leads to a question, I'll consider the question as associated with the user, I won't go and dig for the reasoning behind the user sharing links to it. Dec 13, 2021 at 14:05
  • Maybe extreme example will make it more clear. Imagine you have army uniform, and someone secretly attach one of those on it while you don't see. End result: people would think you're a Nazi!!! Dec 13, 2021 at 14:09
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    @ShadowWizardIsVaccinatedV3 I agree that it's undesirable, and I do agree it's a vector for abuse. You could, for example, force a user to see or deal with something you know they find unpleasant by "granting" them the badge. However, what I'm trying to point out that perhaps having an Announcer badge shouldn't be seen as supporting a question. You might do that but perhaps you shouldn't. As for me, I have made a userscript for myself for sharing questions - it auto-strips the user ID. I don't like the badge.
    – VLAZ
    Dec 13, 2021 at 14:21

1 Answer 1

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Reddit user tra31ng/tra12ng posted a link to that question, with user IDs 1-4 in the user tracking part, to Reddit across multiple subreddits. The post with your user ID was on r/StockMarket, and it got 2 upvotes and 9 comments.

Why? Maybe they got a logged-out URI and accidentally hit a number key. Maybe they used the fact that you can put anything after the question part in the URL to track how many times they submitted it (since they submitted it to 5 different subreddits (one of which didn't have a user ID)). Or maybe they just want to annoy early users of Economics.

The only person who really knows is tra31ng and tra12ng (I think they have multiple accounts with different numbers?), who I guess you could DM on Reddit if you really want to know.

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    And you win the Detective badge! :-) Dec 13, 2021 at 13:41
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    I suspect the manual alteration of the URL was done to evade some sort of dupe/spam detection at reddit
    – HugoRune
    Dec 13, 2021 at 20:41
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    Nice work! @Hugo's dup-detection avoidance strategy sounds pretty plausible here - I hadn't considered that use (the links all redirect to the same canonical URL, but a naive link-checker might see them as distinct - of course, editing the slug on the full URL accomplishes the same thing, but this might not occur to someone obtaining a link via the share tool).
    – Shog9
    Dec 13, 2021 at 21:54
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    @Shog9 Side benefit no one expected for having low user IDs :P Free badges!
    – Catija StaffMod
    Dec 14, 2021 at 14:43

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