Many sites add parameters to marketing campaigns for tracking purposes. Along with the UTM parameters that you’ve likely seen at some point, notable examples include the Facebook Click Identifier (fbclid), Google Click Identifier (gclid), and Microsoft Click Identifier (msclkid). Whenever we put links in TidBITS, we remove all unnecessary parameters to prevent our readers from being further sucked into the social media sausage machine. More important, Brave has automatically stripped tracking parameters from URLs since 2020, and Mozilla just added URL stripping to Firefox 102.
So much for that. According to Martin Brinkmann at ghacks.net, Facebook has changed its URL scheme to prevent Brave, Firefox, and others from stripping URL parameters. Instead of using parameters that can be identified and removed, Facebook now combines the page address with the tracking parameters in an encrypted blob. Remove that blob from a Facebook URL and anyone who clicks will end up on Facebook, but not at the desired page.
Considering this move in the light of yet another insightful condemnation of social media, we encourage everyone to focus on real people in the real world and avoid social media like the corrosive pestilence that it is.