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That's an interesting question.
IMO, if it makes sense with the flows. If a recognition story is selected as Private on Create...then activity should NOT be created .. but rather a DM or Share with the link between the two parties.
After the fact, if the story is marked as public ... then creating activity in the stream makes sense, and pretty sure you can replay the comments with a backdated timestamp (need to check, I know you can do it with content).
Now if the item is then made private again...that's where this starts to break down.
I would say, once public ... always public ... because emails and notifications have gone out at that point ... and the perception of private after public is false.
Those are my thoughts. does that help?