Reddit now tracks when you visit external links, but you can opt out

Reddit now tracks when you visit external links, but you can opt out

Privacy is important on Reddit, where users enjoy a fair degree of anonymity (you don’t need to give your name, email address or any other details to create an account). As the platform develops, that may change to an extent.

In March, the company began recording users’ clicks on links to external sites. It’s now completed rolling out the feature to everyone, along with an option to opt out from having your outbound clicks recorded.

Reddit said that it wanted to begin logging these clicks so it could better understand how much time it took users to vote on a post after visiting the aassociated outbound link and whether some posts receive votes without even being read. The company also noted that this would help track of impact of spam links.

It’s not entirely clear what the value of those metrics is, but it could potentially infringe on your privacy. As Redditor evman182 noted, it essentially allows Reddit to build a database that links users to the external links they visit from the site.

Reddit’s counter is that its privacy policy prvents it from doing so. The danger is that this policy could someday change and the data could be sold to third parties. Plus, if such data is collected, it’s in danger of being stolen by hackers.

While Reddit’s move isn’t particularly dangerous at this point in time, it may not sit well with everyone who wants to use the site to engage with its community.

If you’re uncomfortable about it, you can opt out by heading to Preferences > privacy options, and unchecking ‘allow reddit to log my outbound clicks for personalization.’

Outbound Clicks - Rollout Complete on r/changelog on Reddit

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