Block Reddit from tracking outbound links

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 17, 2016
Updated • Mar 18, 2016

Reddit announced a week ago that it decided to start tracking outbound links on the site which effectively means that they know on which outbound links Reddit users clicked.

According to Reddit, doing so will open up new possibilities for the site, for instance to better combat spam or better stats such as clicks to votes.

Reddit tracks what each individual user clicks on but does not share the data with third-parties.

You can verify the tracking using the Developer Tools of your web browser. While on Reddit hit F12 to open the developer tools, and use the inspector tool to select an outbound link on the Reddit page you are own.

You should see the attributes data-href-url and data-outbound-url associated with the link.

Update: Reddit turned the feature off for the time being until they add privacy controls that let users control it on the site directly.

Block outbound tracking on Reddit

reddit outbound links tracking

The attributes have the following values:

  • data-href-url is the direct target url.
  • data-outbound-url is the tracking link that is activated when you click on the outbound link. Reddit records the click and redirects your request to the data-href-url URL afterwards.

If you don't want to be tracked on Reddit, you have two options to deal with the issue. First, instead of left or middle-clicking on a link, right-click on it and select to copy it instead. Open a new browser tab and load the link this way.

While this may work for light use, it is not overly comfortable if you open links regularly on the site.

A Reddit user has created a userscript that you can add to your browser instead. Chrome users need to install Tampermonkey and Firefox users Greasemonkey first before they can make use of it.

Here is the script:

// ==UserScript==
// @name Don't track my clicks, reddit
// @namespace
// @author OperaSona
// @match *://**
// @grant none
// ==/UserScript==

var a_col = document.getElementsByTagName('a');
var a, actual_fucking_url;
for(var i = 0; i < a_col.length; i++) {
a = a_col[i];
actual_fucking_url = a.getAttribute('data-href-url');
if(actual_fucking_url) a.setAttribute('data-outbound-url', actual_fucking_url);

Adding it to Tampermonkey

To add the Reddit click tracking blocking script using Tampermonkey, do the following:

  1. Click on the Tampermonkey icon in the browser's address bar and select "add a new script" from the selection menu.
  2. Copy and paste the script listed above into the editor. Make sure you replace all information that Tampermonkey adds on its own in the process.
  3. Click on the save button at the top.

Adding it to Greasemonkey

Greasemonkey is supported as well. To add the script to the extension, do the following:

  1. Click on the down arrow icon next to the Greasemonkey button in the browser and select New User Script.
  2. Fill out the name only and click on okay. This opens the main editor where you paste the full userscript in.
  3. Click on the save button in the end.

The result is the same: The data tracking attribute is replaced by the original link so that Reddit cannot track the click anymore.

reddit no tracking

It is unclear right now whether Reddit will implement an option to opt-out of the outbound link tracking on the site in the future. It seems likely however that third-party extensions such as RES will add the functionality eventually.

Block Reddit from tracking outbound links
Article Name
Block Reddit from tracking outbound links
Find out how to block the tracking of outbound links on the popular social media site Reddit by adding a userscript to your web browser.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL:

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

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