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submitted 2 months ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Lately I've noticed some mainstream sites injection tracking links into literally every link on their site.

When I hover over it, it shows the correct link at the bottom of my browser, but if I click it or copy it, it takes me to a hijacked tracker link.

Then I can't even get the original link without having my activity tracked.

How do I get the original link that appears at the bottom of my browser?

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[-] [email protected] 46 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

There's an extension for Firefox and maybe Chrome that should help. I think it's called ClearURL, or something similar. It removes the trackers from the ends of URLs

EDIT: That's assuming that it's a legitimate tracking URL, and not something that's been added by malware.

[-] [email protected] 14 points 2 months ago

It removes the trackers from the ends of URLs

These are not tracking links in the conventional sense where they append tracking data to the legitimate link. They just hijack the link that someone else posts and replace it with an entirely new tracking link with a l.facebook.com domain.

No link cleaning software I have found works because of this.

[-] F_Haxhausen 1 points 2 months ago

Maybe don’t use Facebook or any other site that does this?

I’ve been told this is an unreasonable solution.

[-] [email protected] 8 points 2 months ago

It's a solution. Sadly, it doesn't solve the problem in a way that satisfies the OP. So, yeah. Not really a resonable solution for OP or most people.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

Not helpful, thanks.

Not really going to justify my usage but suffice it to say my business is largely dependent on networking with the people who are active on social media.

Twitter and Reddit I am "read only" via Stealth and Squawker.

[-] [email protected] -5 points 2 months ago

That sounds more like malware then. Links from Twitter shouldn't have any Facebook tracking info.

Check your browser for any extensions that you don't recognise, and if you're on Windows, download and run the free version of Malwarebytes.

[-] [email protected] 12 points 2 months ago

The site itself; Facebook, Reddit, or Twitter sends you to a subdomain that then redirects you to the link you clicked. Sometimes used to check the url and warn you if it's malicious or if it's linking to another website, but it's usually used for tracking as well.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 2 months ago

try SkipRedirect, can break some things though, but rare.
Only works for hijacked links where the extension can grab the original link somehow of course.

For general Ad Links, there is FastForward, though i feel it hasnt been on the same level of maintenance since UniversalBypass closed down and they forked it.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 months ago

They just hijack the link that someone else posts and replace it with an entirely new tracking link with a l.facebook.com domain

This bit confused me. I thought OP meant that it was the same link every time. The downside of text based forums like this - it removes a lot of nuance and leaves room for misunderstanding.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 months ago

Links from Twitter shouldn't have any Facebook tracking info

That's not what I'm saying.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 2 months ago

They just hijack the link that someone else posts and replace it with an entirely new tracking link with a l.facebook.com domain

So this isn't Facebook on every occasion then, it's related to the site you're visiting? If so, the extension will hopefully fix it :)

[-] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago

No it's not, you misread my statement. It's regarding the type of link and not the site itself.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago

no, links from Twitter are instead automatically converted to a t.co URL.

[-] kurikai 28 points 2 months ago

Firefox can do it without an extension now

[-] [email protected] 7 points 2 months ago

Long live the Fox

[-] ccf 15 points 2 months ago

I believe Skip Redirect does this, it's available for both Firefox and Chrome

[-] Aux 3 points 1 month ago

Disable JavaScript.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 months ago
[-] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago

blocking the intermediate domain works for me with twitter, it fails the first time and gives up trying to rewrite.

[-] Anonymouse 1 points 1 month ago

If it's showing at the bottom of the browser, then the browser thinks the link is a regular link, but clicking or copying it may invoke some JavaScript that either manipulates the link or simply redirects to the tracker site after an onClick event. I'd like to see this for my own curiosity. If my thought is correct, then there should be some way to disable that specific method call with uBlock or some other mechanism. I'm curious what happens with a text based browser or screen reader type browser. You could also trace the JavaScript and see what's happening. If this is really happening with the big social media sites, it's just a matter of time until a plugin is developed to correct the behavior.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago
[-] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago

I use LibreWolf and maximum protection just for FB and similar web pages, and Firefox for normal browsing or other safe sites and my problem is solved.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Well. That doesn't solve this problem. But thank you.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

I'm gonna sound like a dick who didn't really address the intended question, but why use those sites? Not being on corporate social media solves the problem. I know that doesn't work for a lot of people, so apologies to those folks.

this post was submitted on 28 Dec 2023
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