How many times have you gone to share an interesting story (or comic) with a friend — a pretty standard process — only to find that the short URL you thought you were copying and pasting is actually one giant, messy paragraph of text. You can thank all the services and sites that append a ton of extra junk to URLs so they can have a better understanding of how you visited the site, what you've looked at and where you're going.
Web tracking is important, because it allows sites to optimise content in a pleasing and attention-grabbing fashion. (And who doesn't want to see just how engaging their content is, or how little tweaks to a site's design or featured items can make a big impact on that all-so-sweet advertising revenue?)
Editing that URL so I can copy and paste it to friends is going to make me thirsty.Screenshot: David Murphy
Still, nobody likes URLs that look like Patrick Rothfuss novels. While it's easy enough to highlight and delete the parts of a URL you don't want, this can be a time-consuming process that's a bit trial-and-error. Delete too much and the link might not work.
Once you have the extension up and running — all you have to do is install it — Tracking Token Stripper will automatically remove any URL tokens that start with any of the following text:
As noted by Jon Parise, the extension's creator, the removal process happens "before the web request is made and results in both more private browsing as well as more aesthetically-pleasing URLs." Your friends and social media followers will thank you.