There are 14,030 characters with the “Basic” forum badge, meaning they have had some activity here rather than just having a char. That’s since the new forums came online, not including previous forum traffic on the old site.
CCP never tried consider mains / players, when they deleted the cool parts of Eve, only accounts. So they would definitely count all 14030.
Fx for CQ, many people probably only used it on 1 char - at least per computer, since it could get a little laggy with several instances of CQ running at once. But they counted it as 16%* of players based on the accounts that logged in. If they had tried filter out some of the alts, I am quite sure it had been a much higher number - I know I am one of those people. I don’t have 20 accounts like some do, but even 1 alt on average that has different settings from main character makes it 32% of players that used CQ instead of 16%, just like all the bots probably run in low resource mode as well. CCP also looked at the amount of logged in time when they removed CQ - bots and constant logged in afk alts will probably have it off, while a player actually sitting at the computer will be online only a small fraction of the time of those types of characters. I become sort of curious how they have counted players that logged in on weak computers with CQ off but used CQ when they were logged in on computers that could handle it.
For Advanced Sound Settings, I personally have sound on for all, and used Advanced Sound on every character - but I am sure some just muted alts as well even if they use Advanced Sound on main, and I would also think bots just have sound off and not use advanced settings.
In the case of the forums, I would think several hundred of those 14030 accounts that has sort of used the forum, are CCP employees, ISDs, test accounts etc. Not sure how many of the flags I have earned personally. But in any case the number of actual players who have earned the badge is definitely smaller.
TLDR: CCP colors their statistics a lot to make them show what they want.
*Before the semi retirement by not making it possible to use it in Citadels etc.