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Trevor Stone's Journal
Those who can, do. The rest hyperlink.
LiveJournal Interfering With Links: Disable outboundlink.net/.me 
22nd-May-2010 04:36 pm
mail.app
I was using Firefox with NoScript for a couple weeks and noticed that following links from my LiveJournal friends list generally required two clicks. I chalked it up to either misclicking my MacBook's trackpad or something funky with an overloaded Firefox (I had a lot of crap open). I recently quit Firefox and opened Chrome and noticed that my friends page would often spin in the tab bar, not thinking it was fully loaded. I also frequently saw "Contacting outboundlink.net" or "Contacting outboundlink.me" in the status bar, typically when I hovered over a link. WTF?

I figured it was a Chrome Extension issue (I installed an extension to resolve bit.ly links without following them), but I disabled that extension and reloaded my page and outboundlink was still showing up. A little Googling found a lot of LJ users complaining about this. Here's a discussion from March when the "feature" was temporarily introduced, including comments by staff. This post by caffeinepuppy is a good explanation. As noted there and this support request, you can go to the LiveJournal admin console and enter the following to opt-out of outboundlink messing with your HTML, causing clicks to fail, and generally being lame:
set opt_exclude_stats 1
Unfortunately, there's no checkbox for this anti-feature on the LiveJournal settings page.

There's been a lot of drama in the past about changes LJ has made, but this is the first one I can remember that doesn't feel like it's either warranted or the result of a well-intentioned mistake. They're degrading browser behavior and changing links delivered to folks, even paid users, to make money for themselves with absolutely no benefit to the user. In other words, it's worse than ads, which sometimes have information of interest to a user.
Comments 
22nd-May-2010 10:58 pm (UTC)
And here I was annoyed about the whole ad I can't click out of or most of my content goes away.
23rd-May-2010 04:37 am (UTC)
Thanks. I had wondered why my pages never seemed to stop loading, even when they appeared to be fully loaded. My little indicator is now quiet for the first time since I put it back on my firefox browser.

Yesterday my Firefox sounded like PacMan all day, apparently because Google was running a PacMan game on the classic search page and I have a Google toolbar. Had you heard anything about that? I thought I had a virus when I first opened my browser.
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