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If I use {share} on a question or {timestamp} on a comment to obtain a permalink to refer to that question or comment in another post, the URI which is generated always ends /xx, and xx happens to be my userid on this site.

A little experimentation shows that those characters are quite unnecessary. They can be removed after pasting without any effect on the efficacy of the link. Or another string of numerals can be substituted, which in effect spoofs the identity of the creator of the link (although the whole comment carries my signature).

Since this feature is not required for the apparent purpose of the link, what does it do? And Why?

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You get credit for any referrals you give.

The xx is your user number on Genealogy and Family History so it knows you are the referrer and it can give you credit.

You can get announcer, booster, and publicist badges for that.

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    Am I correct in interpreting that to mean that external referrals are tracked in this way. Keeping userid within a pasted permalink elsewhere on the site is a (neutral) consequence of using one URI for both internal and external connections?
    – Fortiter
    Oct 19 '12 at 5:55
  • @Fortiter: Well they say the "tracked IPs" must originate from outside the existing network. So your statement is most likely correct.
    – lkessler
    Oct 19 '12 at 12:04
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    @Fortiter, the shorter links are also handy in comments, since they don't count towards the max char count. ;) I use them for everything, unless I'm referencing them in an actual question or answer, as the regular long links are auto converted to the title of the question.
    – jmort253
    Oct 19 '12 at 18:01

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