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Hey advertisers, track this (blog.mozilla.org)
493 points by dantondwa 24 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 230 comments



Not paying for content (small games, blogs, vlogs, journalism, code, etc..) in the last 20 years, is now one of my biggest regrets. I remember back then I even had a small addon that was constantly showing me ads and I was getting money for doing nothing, I thought it was nothing.

Now we have to suffer fake content, incredibly well researched click-baits, short term conversion optimized (good trailer, bad content) media and of course tracking to incredible extend. Every single machine learning algorithm trying to push us to more extreme world views so we stay on the platform to consume more contend and see more ads.

Every time my young daughter is watching youtube, I can see how what it is recommending and how easy it is to manipulate her. Few weeks ago it hit me, that I sold her mind, because I did not pay, and now everything is beyond repair.

PS: I just finished listening a great reading of 1984 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM3GFyuJwQ8) and am in very dark place. /


We suffer that garbage not because people like you and me did not think of _money_ as reward for other people's projects but because of advertising, tracking and click counts.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with publishing things for free, doing things for free and consuming things for free. The best content on the web is done by people from their own interest in sharing. Personal contacts, exchange of information, feedback and community are so much more worth than money when it comes to motivating the production of good things.


Also paying for things has a low success rate in reducing advertising - a customer who will pay for something is a good target to advertise more too.


Agreed, see basic cable tv


Paywalls are a great alternative to intrusive ads for a larger publisher. NYT has been doing very well the last couple of years on their digital subscription model.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/01/business/media/new-york-t...


Your point may be valid, but the NYT is a poor example of paywalls as an alternative to intrusive ads.

I'm a paying subscriber to the NYT. When I open their homepage now, the page is split horizontally with an ad taking up about 40%-50% of the entire screen. The "The New York Times" header is about halfway down the page, and the first actual content probably starts at 85% or even below that.

Anecdotally, the NYT runs even more intrusive ads than this to paid subscribers. Off the top of my head, I would say their modal popup video ad is the worst.


For the past few days I’ve also been unable to read articles on the NYT app without the page jumping around to load ads as I scroll. And I’m a subscriber to boot. I’ve a Pihole on the network and it still isn’t a tolerable experience.


I've been thinking about subscribing. Do ad blockers take care of this?


When consuming, it's never for free, unless it's a hobby.

Look at the Hacker News homepage right now and count the websites and projects created and maintained as hobbies. If it's not a hobby and it's not paid, then the content you're viewing is an advertisement.

From an economic point of view, the problem with free content is that it's killing the paid alternatives. This is capitalism and in terms of price it's a race to the bottom. And you can't beat a zero price tag.

Just an example, how many visitors of Hacker News still use a @gmail.com email address or a free Dropbox account? By my estimation it's the vast majority, judging by the comments I've been reading. So we are talking about a demographic that earns well (compared with the average) and that doesn't blink when paying for lattes, but that is unable to pay for services that keep their email or data safe. And then you see people outraged whenever new limits are imposed on the free accounts, which is quite unbelievable.

Not trying to shame anyone in particular here and I understand that this is simply how the market works, my rant is basically about human nature. We consume, but we never learned to give back unless we are forced and you can see this in everything we do, like for example in our relationship with nature. In my mind the problems with the environment that we've created are the same problem.


this was exactly my thought when I made https://scrambled-eggs.xyz/ , now I pay for gmail, google calendar, photos and etc way more than money


It’s like visual zModem...


Part of this is just the plethora of content. There's too much content, too much to savor and focus on. There's always something new, but there's too much to retain. If you were starved for content, you'd pay for it more often, and you'd enjoy it more often.


Ads are not avoided in the long run by paying for a service. Advertisers and businesses maximise revenue by expanding to the point where revenue = costs.

This is why ads appeared on cable TV. Why ads appear in the economist magazine even though its a premium paid product. Why celebrities shill products and there's product placement even though you pay to see movies and they already recieve multi-million dollar pay-cheques.

The only effective way to fight back against advertising is to go on the offensive: teach people to notice and avoid and react against advertising, produce content without it, switch off and do not use services that use it and support services that take a stand, destroy their tech or use it against them, change the relative cost of their activities so they retreat from various spheres, or use society and government to shame, ban or disrupt their activity.

So if its worth anything, you don't have to feel bad about selling your daughter's mind by not paying. That's like the sheep thinking they can placate the wolf by just giving a taste of blood and hoping he'll be satiated...

/apparently I'm in a radical place :P But having said that, I would also advocate paying people who do good things and produce good content for the world, assuming the market and your situation lets you...


> destroy their tech or use it against them

This seems ethically suspect, possibly illegal. Can you elaborate?


the real world is complex, so I expect each person to think about the ethics of their actions for themselves.

however, that being said, I personally would consider many forms of advertising ethically suspect today (without coming into the debate of what constitutes advertising).

So all I'm saying is, if a mugger comes at you with a knife, or there's a dark alley, or someone places a GPS tracker on your car without your consent, or someone bombarded you with messages about how you're not sexy enough or your kids are stupid and you're a bad parent if you don't buy X because they profile you, then you can (and probably should) break or take the muggers arm/gun/ķnife, light the dark alleyway, smash the GPS tracker or reprogram it out send it fake signals, block their messages/throw them in the bin/destroy them respectively.

You often hear messages about how people are obligated to watch/respect/load advertisements from advertisers, and this is just patently absurd, especially on the web and in public places.

I have no ethical problems myself with using ad blockers or technology to waste the resources of advertisers, trackers and telemarketers. at what point you take to the streets and start defacing billboards, covering signs, tearing propaganda down, disabling severs, breaking screens etc, I can't say without context, but I would say from my perspective civil and active disobedience certainly isn't inherently non-ethical. private property rights do not trump all other rights or civil responsibilities in a reasonable and ethical society.


Thanks for this interpretation. My first reaction was to associate destruction with physical violence or aggressive DDOS style actions. Other, more soft protests do seem more reasonable; though not entirely comfortable with then myself.


Not the OP, but I think ad blockers do 'destroy ad tech'. Not literally, but as outcome, if everybody would use them.


> Not paying for content (small games, blogs, vlogs, journalism, code, etc..) in the last 20 years, is now one of my biggest regrets.

Just so you know, the audiobook of 1984 you linked to on YouTube is the same narration as the one I purchased from Audible.


"The best time to start respecting intellectual property rights is 20 years ago. The second best time is now."


I don't think that paying for content would have stopped the tracking.

Or the advertising.

In my opinion, there is no limit to man's greed. Whether that's a good or a bad thing for humanity, time will tell.


Look at what cable TV became. Originally ad free because you were paying for it, but 'amoral optimization for profits balanced on the knife edge of the frustration of your audience through advertising barrage' is what any media company feels it must now do to survive.


"How are you going to beat Joe's numbers from last quarter?"

I think this is all emergent behavior coming from the self-interests of the many participants.


> Every time my young daughter is watching youtube, I can see how what it is recommending and how easy it is to manipulate her.

I hear you. While it may be impossible to stop the tracking or the fingerprinting, I follow the steps below to somewhat limit the damage from the cesspool that is Youtube.

  - No Youtube Kids app
  - I use the iPhone app on which I have a setting to "Pause Watch History" and "Pause Search History"
  - Clear the watch history once my son is finished viewing( this is weird I know considering the above setting but I've found it helps )
  - I stream the video to the TV so that my kid doesn't keep swiping on random crap
  - I and my wife have a plan to wean him off Youtube by making him watch something like NatGeo on TV.
Edit: formatting.


Personally, I'm setting up a NAS in anticipation of my kid reaching the age in which we'll allow her to watch kid videos. Streaming stuff you manually curated and youtube-dl'ed to serve over LAN solves all problems with YouTube.


That's exactly what a friend and I (but mostly him) built. He has two kids, I think 6 and 4 now, and he's got a simple website accessible in his Lan that has kids stuff grouped by show with big thumbnails. It's remembering what has already been watched, and last we talked about it he wanted to limit watchtime per day. I mostly built the crude parent interface where you create new categories and paste links to pages you wanna scrape with youtube-dl. He's planning to put it on github eventually after removing all the hard coded stuff...


That sounds pretty neat. I'd love to set the code when he's ready to share.


Same here


Great idea! One word of advice though: Kids get bored very very soon. Better have a large and good collection of videos :-)


I'll be trying to keep up with dumping URLs into the downloading script. Right now, we do have a couple series in mind of the TV shows from our childhood, back when kid cartoons weren't meant to push merchandise; it should last for a little while :).


Taking off my nostalgia-colored glasses, every cartoon I remember watching as a kid pushed merchandise in some form or another, even if it was only the licensed character figures and graphic tee-shirts.

It has been a long while since I have seen Woody Woodpecker, Chilly Willy, or Tom and Jerry in stores, though. I hated The Flintstones and The Jetsons, and never watched reruns of them. By the time we got GI Joe, MASK, Jem, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, He-Man, Care Bears, Thundercats, Voltron, etc. they were just wall-to-wall toy ad. That saturation ad-bombing backed off as cable TV ramped up, because then you could get Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.

Classic Looney Tunes; Tiny Toon Adventures; The Real Ghostbusters; Robotech; Animaniacs; Batman: the Animated Series; Rugrats; Doug; Hey, Arnold!; Rocko's Modern Life; CatDog; Ed, Edd, and Eddy; Dexter's Laboratory; Cow and Chicken; I Am Weasel; Ren and Stimpy; Powerpuff Girls; Freakazoid; Spongebob Squarepants; Avatar: the Last Airbender; Ducktales; Rescue Rangers; Adventures of the Gummi Bears; TaleSpin; Darkwing Duck; Goof Troop; Phineas and Ferb; Gravity Falls; The Proud Family; Kim Possible; Star vs. the Forces of Evil; Homestar Runner; Wallace and Gromit.

Those ought to keep anybody's kids off YouTube.


> Taking off my nostalgia-colored glasses, every cartoon I remember watching as a kid pushed merchandise in some form or another, even if it was only the licensed character figures and graphic tee-shirts.

I'll guess that's because you lived in the US :). I grew up in a post-Soviet country; for all the downsides they had, at least our cartoons were really top-notch and not yet touched by commercialization. You can bet that Reksio the dog, or Krecik the mole, or Filemon the cat weren't pushing any merchandise. They were just relaxing cartoons for children.

(In the 90s we had some western classics in private TV stations too; I watched plenty of Dexter's Lab, Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, Tom&Jerry, Wile E. Coyote & the Road Runner, etc. Somewhere around pre-teens we got access to Nickelodeon/Fox Kids, and I got my fair taste of Marvel & DC-based animations too. Most of that I'd consider a-ok for my kid.)


I'm wondering what ages both of you have in mind. Up to some point, they seem to be happy to watch the same season of their favourite series in a loop.


I know some adults who at 21 and 30 y.o. are still happy watching the same couple seasons of Friends on a loop, day in, day out, so this may not always depend on age :).


youtube-dl can take a playlist or channel as the URL and download the latest videos from pre-approved sources, so you can curate and also have plenty of fresh videos. Combined with Plex, this works really well for kids.


Why are you opposed to the YouTube Kids app? I haven’t seen it, nor do I have kids, but if your choice is YouTube or YouTube Kids, I would assume the latter is far preferable.


> if your choice is YouTube or YouTube Kids, I would assume the latter is far preferable.

It is intuitive to think of it that way,yes but my friends have had bad experiences with what it recommends. In addition, reading articles like this[1] somewhat makes me feel wary about living with a false sense of security. I figure I'm better off with Youtube (I don't consume content on this. So no recommendations from my viewing habits)

[1]https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/28/parent...


I'm an SRE who never worked on YouTube and a parent of two. From what I gathered, YouTube Kids is made by passionate people, who are trying their best. But the question of "is this video good for kids" seems to be genuinely hard. Hence, I prefer to show my kids videos that I had a chance to curate myself. In a pinch I will let them watch YouTube, but only if I'm in range to preempt once they leave the range of sanity for their age group. I still strongly prefer YT to TV though.


> PS: I just finished listening a great reading of 1984 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM3GFyuJwQ8) and am in very dark place. /

If you don't mind that dark place becoming even darker may I suggest:

- Jacques Ellul "The Technological Society" https://archive.org/details/JacquesEllulTheTechnologicalSoci...

and his other book "Propaganda" https://archive.org/details/Propaganda_201512

this is basically what drove Ted Kaczynski to a place of no return https://archive.org/details/TechnologicalSlaveryTheCollected...


I read Propaganda and got scared after realizing to what extend it engulfs your life, whether you know it or not, need it or not. That partly, States are helpless but to employ it, that partly it's the individual's need for it that drives them. Think about it for a moment, our craving to be "informed", drives it too.

Then I started reading The Technological Society and it is very,very depressing. You start questioning your sanity that why is it that the rest of the world doesn't see it that way :). Read it half way and haven't had the courage to return to it. When almost everything you do comes within the realm of the inanimate process driving towards efficiency, it makes you wonder if there is any point to it. It becomes difficult to function. Like the other commentator said, one needs some antidote to this aspect of reality. I really wish something like that existed. Meditating on the Tao helped, Stoicism helps. Being with kids helps as they seem to be unaware of these things. But you feel helpless that they will grow into it and inherit it.

But again, glad I read them. Ellul lays it out really well with such clarity. If 1984 feels like a rainy day, Ellul is being alone in the Arctic winter.

The only way is to voluntarily, consciously, and simply reject it. Not to be a slave to efficiency, information. And start to rebuild again with this new understanding.


Good stuff, thanks!


thank you!


Or read Bucky Fuller and "Permaculture Designer's Manual" and cheer up.


I make an effort to pay to remove ads wherever possible. Some apps I've paid for: Spotify, Weather Underground, DuoLinguo, a sudoku game on my phone, words with friends (back when I paid it was $5, now it's like $20 I think but would still be worth it IMO considering I play it every day).

I firmly believe the only way out of this advertising dystopia is for us to start paying for things again. This will create more opportunities for people to run sustainable small business and spread wealth out more instead of concentrating it in a few advertising conglomerates.


> Weather Underground

Weather data is already gathered by state authorities in most developed countries. It would be nice if taxpayers could have free and convenient access to the data they paid for. Giving money to a for-profit corporation’s weather app only rewards rentseeking.


https://www.weather.gov/ is free (paid for via tax dollars) and has a lot of useful information. The map of the US with all the alerts and warnings on it is rather useful.


Are you suggesting there's no extra effort involved in taking a raw data feed and presenting it in an actually usable app for user?

I can get free weather details with the built-in iOS app, but I still bought Dark Sky because it's a better interface. I have no qualms with this purchase.


In Canada, the federal government has released their own weather app (WeatherCAN), including alerts for significant weather in your area. It's basically replaced the commercial weather apps on my phones.

I would pay for DarkSky if it was available here though; I quite appreciate their approach to location privacy: https://blog.darksky.net/location-privacy/


I wonder if disabling ads disabled tracking?


Once you’re out of that dark place, figure out how to build something to make your daughter’s life better.

The best we can do is defend against the Dark Arts.


Amen to this: once you get your feelings in a better place, be part of the solution.


'I remember back then I even had a small addon that was constantly showing me ads and I was getting money for doing nothing.'

AllAdvantage? I got a few quid from them back in the day. Strange times...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AllAdvantage


Wow that's a thing I had forgotten about. I had an original iMac at the time and built a mouse mover and random site loader to trick the system. I think I made about $25 total because they shutdown shortly after that.


I feel exactly the same way. I now try to pay whenever I can to avoid ads. YouTube Premium, Slate Plus, etc. I also make sure I contribute to the Patreons of the content I enjoy, but often this results in the creator being greedy and running ads when they make more than enough from Patreon. When that happens, I usually stop my donations and just suffer the ads.


Sort of a tangent, I was visiting a friend with a young daughter. After seeing how she acts when watching a movie, and how she reacted when it was time to stop, I wouldn't let my (hypothetical) children be exposed to video, or really the Internet at all, until they were at least teenagers.

I know, I would have to go live with the Amish or something, but daaaaamn... TV and Saturday morning cartoons were bad enough ~30-40 years ago. We're warping kids' minds.


How did she act when watching a movie, that's different from adults when we watch movies?


I'd like a plan where I pay any amount of money I want a month and it donates to websites I visit proportionally to the time I spend on them. I do something similar with Patreon, donating $1/mo to several creators I support. The point is that while it's not much, it's great as a principle, and would work very well at scale.

The Brave browser has something similar. I found it a bit subpar, but it's a good start.


This was/is the idea behind Flattr, I think.

You have 10 € in your account at the beginning of the month which were automatically invoiced from your debit card. You now visit sites or articles or whatever and they have the Flattr button integrated. You like something? You click the Flattr button!

In the end your balance will be split evenly among all Flattr buttons you clicked that month. If you visit NYT regularly and click their buttons often, they will get more money from you than others.

I think you could also set that a single click was worth x cent and they invoiced you the total amount at the end of the month, but I'm not sure about that.

All in all Flattr was/is a great idea, it just somehow did not take off.


How do avoid the incentive of sites who pad their content in ways to make you spend longer on the site? Ideally the market would take care of this, where people would be more likely to visit articles which were more concise because they were more useful, but longer content also is generally a positive metric for search results and I feel like we often fall into this local sub-optimum.


It is extremely likely that malicious advertisers would still exist today even if you had paid for content 20 years ago.


> PS: I just finished listening a great reading of 1984 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM3GFyuJwQ8) and am in very dark place. /

"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by a third party."

Can you tell us more about the video? Why it was important for you?


If you have kids, especially, get a browser add-on that disables recommendations and comments. eg. Youtube Unhooked, Distraction Free Youtube, etc.


I think thats a bit naive. Sites will track you even when you pay for it. Do you think anyone would ever give up such a lucrative technology?


Probably best to avoid Cormac McCarthy then. (Don't be fooled by the titles either, like 'All the Pretty Horses'.)


You can find non-tracking & non-recommending Youtube apps like NewPipe on F-Droid.


Do you pay for Youtube (Red)?


`https://trackthis.link/` requests `https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js` on page load.

Which, besides being a bad idea for privacy on any site, makes much of this particular site's ostensible purpose even easier to defeat.


See https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=697436#c14

Mozilla has a contract which prohibits Google from using data from Mozilla websites for the things people usually object to.


Two problems with that, both of which sound funny:

1. Trusting that supposed assurance.

2. Going to so much contortions to rationalize a third-party surveillance facility that you didn't need to use.


>2. Going to so much contortions to rationalize a third-party surveillance facility that you didn't need to use.

That does seem rather strange to me too. Is GA that critical to Mozilla that it justified crafted a special agreement with Google to keep using it? Why not re-implement the key functionalities themselves, surely they have the internal resources to do something like that. It seems like a weird decision, especially now that they're getting very aggressive with the "we respect your privacy (unlike Google)" angle.


Because building, deploying and maintaining your own (of anything) comes at a significant cost and a tailor made contract for preserving privacy seems like a great alternative.


This is a seriously BS argument to be made for Mozilla which developed its own programming language to build the browser. Even for anyone else who is developing a serious enough business, owning your own traffic metric data is important to build this in-house. Today's open-source tech and public clouds make this really easy - it's 2-4 people full-time job to run a very large scale traffic analysis system that can rival whatever functionality you can get from GA (without being fully self-serve and multi-tenant, which is a ton of work you can avoid).


You have open sourced google analytics like tools. eg Piwik.

Also just analyzing server logs should be enough in most use cases.


> Also just analyzing server logs should be enough in most use cases.

That sounds like a fantastic way to play GDPR roulette.

Did the guy you hire to spec and build the server log analyzer follow the law, or did he just wing it?

Contrast that to just using a SAAS offering, where you have someone to sue...


> Did the guy you hire to spec and build the server log analyzer follow the law, or did he just wing it?

Nginx, haproxy, and others log all requests by default. If you are behind a CDN, requests are already anonymized as you get the CDN IPs. Not sure why you'll need a guy to set things up.


Logging isn't the hard part.

Turning raw logs into metrics and action items is what requires you to pay that engineer, and what may get you get you in trouble with the GDPR, if they do it wrong.


You have open sourced tools for that. GoAccess for example. If the logs already contain the real IPs, you are already infringing GDPR. And that's all websites.


Absolutely worth it, if your selling point is privacy, and your vendor the best and most pervasive tracker in the world.


Also, does this script even load with tracking protection enabled, which is now the default in Firefox for new users? It probably shouldn't? Which would mean GA and by extension Mozilla will catch less and less users here compared to first-party analytics.


What incentive did Google have to agree to such a contract?


Maybe they knew it would undermine any anti-Google privacy stance Mozilla would later take when people noticed GA's inclusion in various Mozilla pages


Being paid money they otherwise wouldn't be paid?


They get money and there's no way anyone could ever find out if they continue to log people regardless. Free money getting to track all firefox users is a pretty great incentive.


How is that contract audited?


> our GA premium account

Flexing a lot for a non-profit.


Some people don't believe Google at all and would prefer to not having their data handed over in any way, regardless of what Google promises.


Then block it with an extension? Mozilla has a specific contract against this. It's not just a "promise", it's a legal document. Why would Google care to violate that contract and risk a big shitstorm just to use the data from one company?


It's not just intentional data misuse that you have to watch out for. There's also accidental data misuse and data theft. Users are safest when they aren't being tracked at all. As privacy advocates, I think Mozilla should take this into account.


For many reasons. First, because they can, and nobody will ever have a chance to know about it. It's not like people are going to whistleblow: from the comments of many Googlers here I understood they (or a reasonably large number of them) really don't see tracking as ethically wrong. That's of course very good for their mental health, but less so for the privacy of most Internet users.


You're telling someone to add a browser extension to block some privacy invasion that a privacy-touting browser vendor is willfully doing? What about the interests of the users who don't even know they have to do that silliness?

Also, threat of poo-storm is not always sufficient incentive to respect privacy or even agreements with governments (after you're caught brazenly violating privacy): https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/9432518/Google...


Correct. At some point if you can't trust any companies, especially when in a contract like this one then you may as well use NoScript because it's unavoidable in this current state :/


There's a big difference between first- and third-party trackers though. Google Analytics belongs to the former category and does by default not collect any personally identifying information. Third-party trackers, however, usually set a unique identificator for each user and use this identificator for all subsequent requests, and as such (invisibly) track users across the web. In general, it's the third-party trackers and their cookies that you should be wary of as they are most often used for extensive tracking across different websites.


Google is a third party when it is about you (first party) using a Mozilla service (second party).

Mozilla exposes all its visitors to Google, it tells Google what they looked at and when, and more. This is horribly inappropriate if Mozilla touts itself as privacy protecting.


> Google is a third party when it is about you (first party) using a Mozilla service (second party).

Sure, but that is not the distinction I was making though. Google Analytics is a first-party tracker in the sense that it sets a cookie on the same domain that the script is loaded on. Contrast this to a third-party tracker which sets a cookie on its own domain, and as such the same cookie will be reused for all websites using this third-party tracker.

> it tells Google what they looked at and when

As far as I know only Mozilla has access to the data collected through their Google Analytics account. Third-party trackers, however, often aggregate collected data across a wide range of websites, and might sell augmented, highly profiled user data to advertisers. I have not seen any reports of Google using Google Analytics in such a way, but the data is nonetheless stored on their servers, so you will have to trust that they won't abuse their power.

EDIT: As mentioned by throwaway9d0291, it seems like there are settings for enabling or disabling the sharing of Google Analytics data with Google. Not sure if this is opt-in or opt-out though, but this means that it possible to use the service without Google using the collected data.


Could you please tell me what you think the concepts of "first party" and "third party" mean?


By first-party tracker I mean a tracker that sets a cookie on the domain that it was loaded from (e.g. website.com). A third-party tracker sets a cookie on its own domain (e.g. sketchytracker.com), thus allowing for cross-website tracking.


> Google Analytics belongs to the former category and does by default not collect any personally identifying information.

IP addresses, timestamps, and webpages viewed over time is absolutely personally identifiable information.


It tracks IP addresses, though you can set it to remove the last byte.


I agree that it's dumb and it shows how the de-facto standards of the web are rotten to the core, however I don't think it completely defeats the purpose of the website.

For one thing it won't let other advertisers besides Google's partners know what you're doing anyway and ever for Google it probably won't do much good unless they explicitly decide to handle that website specifically. Which they might do I suppose if it becomes popular enough.

I think one of the most enlightening consequences of the GDPR for me was to see that ridiculously long list of "partners" many websites had. Hundreds of companies trying to track me on most websites. I knew this was happening before but I couldn't imagine how bad this was.

For people living outside of Europe who might not have seen this before, here's what it looks like on TechCrunch (I chose the site randomly, it's by no means exceptional): https://svkt.org/~simias/up/20190626-122149_partners.png

Note the size of the scrollbar. There are 173 entries in that list.


That didn't happen for me (safari here).


[flagged]


Or it's a risk/business decision, and they believe they can trust Google to uphold the promises they make about data usage from Analytics, and that they are sufficient. (and given the fact that in other areas they have contracts with Google for extra-special handling of Analytics data from Mozilla, they likely have invested time and money into vetting that)

While agree that the surface-level optics aren't ideal, and Mozilla sucks at communicating those things, I believe people often take a to categorical black-white stance on this.


> they believe they can trust Google to uphold the promises they make about data usage

I have no idea why they would. Google is a data collection company. That's their entire job. There are zero means of implementing oversight to make sure they uphold their end.


I wouldn't say dishonesty; there are numerous ways that could've oopsed in.

Our industry and technology has gotten pretty twisted. Getting an understanding of the extent of the bloated mess, shoveling our way up for air, shaking up practices that have become automatic, and cleaning up all the corners that are dirty... is going to take time.


> there are numerous ways that could've oopsed in.

that's why i said "dishonesty at the org level". i don't think there's any one particular person in mozilla at the prenda law-level of crookedness, but what exactly is their company culture around privacy that they end up casually slipping a surveillance tool into a web page that's ostensibly against surveillance?


This "accident" didn't happen in isolation.

Firefox already ships with telemetry enabled by default, superfluous closed source components (pocket) and a remote control mechanism which Mozilla has already abused "for fun" (remember that Mr Robot thing?).

Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.


Go use a Blink based browser whose development and roadmap is controlled by an advertising company instead then.


You've barely scratched the surface of unfortunate things. :) But this particular one feels accidental: Mozilla is in the midst of a PR push on privacy, and presumably they would've known that a GA request would be bad, and would assume that privacy&security experts would immediately look at what their site was doing.


Mozilla has been tone-deaf for a while unfortunately. It became obvious during the Net Neutrality discussion, but even befor with their association with Google which is unclean imho.


That's plain stupid. If Mozilla really was interested in the stats, they could have easily set up Matomo, Countly or something similar rather than hand our data over to Google.


An absurd suggestion because it assumes software developers know how to use computers.


On a sad note, I couldn't stop myself thinking "this «doomsday» profile may be a bit dangerous to run, it could get you on some nasty lists" and wouldn't dare to run it. Shows how bad the chilling effect has become…


Here are some of the doomsday links from the source code:

- scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/2124872/us-government-admits-it-studies-ufos-so-about-those

- content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1860871_1860876_1861006,00.html

- video.vice.com/en_us/show/motherboard-spaced-out

- video.vice.com/en_us/video/the-man-who-hunts-spy-satellites/559be69ea8feaf3c462823a0

- worldufoday.com/about-world-ufo-day/whatwherewhywhen/

- vice.com/en_us/article/z43ygx/some-of-the-very-best-alien-conspiracy-theories-world-ufo-day

- nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/05/los-angeles-fire-season-will-never-end.html

- doomsdayprep.com/shop/bear-grylls-sliding-saw/

- americansurvivalwholesale.com/

- rei.com/c/camping-tents

- basspro.com/shop/en/camping

Some of the sites I looked at do not even have any trackers on them.


There was a site a few years back that I can't find. It was something like wreck my browser history .com or the like.

It had a sort of "I'm Sure" button that would kick off a bunch of web searches like "syria hotel tickets" and ... more amusing/disturbing ones.


It was https://ruinmysearchhistory.com , but it seems to have passed hands or has been redesigned since it looks different from how I remember.


> On a sad note, I couldn't stop myself thinking "this «doomsday» profile may be a bit dangerous to run, it could get you on some nasty lists" and wouldn't dare to run it. Shows how bad the chilling effect has become…

That's a good thing on the long term. We need false positives for such lists to become better, to make the developers up their game.

Ever downloaded Tails? You're on a list.


>We need false positives for such lists to become better, to make the developers up their game.

Because this has worked so well for the US No-Fly List.


i would guess anyone that has googled tor, onion site, tails os, monero etc. would be on a list


That doesn't make sense. You think Google is handing off data about all of these searches to the government?


We don't have to think too hard: "These variables define terms and websites relating to the TAILs (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) software program, a comsec mechanism advocated by extremists on extremist forums...this fingerprint identifies users searching for the TAILs (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) software program, viewing documents relating to TAILs, or viewing websites that detail TAILs." [1] Google said they stopped this with encryption, but even if true, and they have no gagged NSLs or just spies, your DNS and internet traffic still show connections to Tails website, directory servers, etc.

[1] https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/07/03/nsa_xkeyscore_stasi...


You think the government does not have secret access to a surveillance system, developed in their own country, more widespread and ingrained into daily life than anything before?


If that's the case though... what are they using it for? They haven't stopped mass shootings. They haven't stopped terrorism or bombings or domestic violence or child molesters. They never bring the evidence to court. There's zero indication they've done anything with the wide mass surveillance net they're supposed to have access to. So what is it there for?


From wikipedia:

Parallel construction is a law enforcement process of building a parallel—or separate—evidentiary basis for a criminal investigation in order to conceal how an investigation actually began. In the US, a particular form is evidence laundering, where one police officer obtains evidence via means that are in violation of the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, and then passes it on to another officer, who builds on it and gets it accepted by the court under the good-faith exception as applied to the second officer. This practice gained support after the Supreme Court's 2009 Herring v. United States decision.

...

In August 2013, a report by Reuters revealed that the Special Operations Division (SOD) of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration advises DEA agents to practice parallel construction when creating criminal cases against Americans that are based on NSA warrantless surveillance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_construction




Just to play devil's advocate, we don't know how many crimes have been stopped with these systems in place. It's entirely possible that it has foiled terrorist attacks in the past. Making it public (supposedly) would allow other people to figure out how to avoid it and reduce its effectiveness.

Of course the alternative theory that it's there for control and manipulation is more likely.


Consider high school shootings alone. They've spiked since the NSA started their program in 2005. By your hypothesis, we're not seeing these invisibly stopped school shootings, which must be on an order of magnitude higher than what we're seeing to account for the spike since 2005.

Either that or the NSA just isn't doing anything to stop these shootings. We may never know.



Given its 200k buget (One developer-year), PRISM was exactly as it says on the tin.

A web form for sending, and storing the results of Section 702 information requests. Those were targeted requests for user data.

You can legitimately quibble over how precisely targeted they were, or whether there was a justifiable trail of evidence leading to a warrant. It, however, was not a mass surveillance system. You can't build a mass surveilance system on a 200k budget. You can't even integrate with one on a 200k budget.


> You think Google is handing off data about all of these searches to the government?

Snowden's leaks showed the NSA collects data from google. Google would have no power to stop them from taking whatever they want and they seem to want everything.

Lavabit tried to provide a service where everything was encrypted and secure but the government demanded they compromise the service so they could spy on people or shut down. They decided to shut down. You think our 3 letter agencies are shaking down small tech-savvy email providers while ignoring a target like Google? A company that is devoted to collecting our personal info?


We already know that prices are changed for different devices and browsers. It's not a stretch to think that choosing the Filthy Rich profile will cost you in online shopping.


Wow good point ! Makes me wonder the legality of that now, isn't there a law somewhere saying that for a same item everybody must pay the same price ?


So what if you're on a list?

I ran a Tor exit node on my home static IP for years. No dramas.


At least in Germany you run a reasonably large risk of getting a visit from the police and getting all your stuff confiscated when running a Tor exit node.


> I ran a Tor exit node on my home static IP for years. No dramas.

Yet.

I mean, being on the list doesn't matter until it matters. If nobody ever wants to harm you, being exposed doesn't matter. If anybody ever wants to, having given them material in the past will make your current day defense harder.


I'm not sure how you managed to do that. I ran a few exit VPSes and they were shut down in less than two weeks for hacking complaints.


Anecdotal


Yup; the grandparent is likely on a List already for being involved in child pornograpy and such (inadvertently, but you know that's a big part of what TOR is used for).


> but you know that's a big part of what TOR is used for

Citation needed please.

That's the juicier stuff that makes its way into the news. "A person living under an oppressive government evading censorship" will never be as juicy to write about as "murderers for hire on the dark web". That says absolutely nothing about the actual usage of Tor, so I'd like to see you back up that "big part" part.


This is the media doing their job. You don't listen on news about how a great chef used her knife to slice a piece of meat, but you do when someone uses one to slice another person. We need to be aware of misuses of tools in other to weed out bad actors, leaving the legitimate uses in place.


I agree, I just disagree with the generalization based off of those news. Tor is a tool and as such can be used for both good and bad.

It bothers me when people draw badly considered conclusions from them, such as claiming that "most" or a "big part" of Tor is dedicated to illegal activities. The percentage is probably greater than on the "normal" web, but I object to the stronger claims than that.


I agree, that's part of the media's job, but the struggle with that is that there's no tool to give us a sense of normalcy - the news is what's new and newsworthy, but we have nothing to ground us, cause no one would watch it.


Don't shoot the messenger


Exit nodes are used to access clearnet sites, which nobody is going to use to serve child pornography.


I suspect the comments here are largely missing the point.

IMHO, Mozilla isn't offering "Track THIS" as a solution to being tracked, instead it's a demo of how tailored one's ads are, so one will be offended enough to turn off 3rd party cookies.


I think it may backfire. In my opinion, the dangers of "tracking" and "customization" are dramatically overblown and I suspect the average user has a much more sinister idea of what it all means than the reality.

Some people are going to try this demo and realize "Huh, so 'surveillance capitalism' really just means that I see better ads?"

Most non-technical people have this dystopian illusion when they hear about all of Facebook/Google/Amazon's fabled super-advanced-magic-tracking that there's either a human or a near-sentient robot listening in to every facet of their lives and forming a judgmental, human opinion of them as a person. Once they realize this shit is so basic that opening up a few browser tabs of stuff you don't actually like is enough to trick it, I think their apathy will increase, not decrease.


Anecdotally, I had to explain to a family member recently how they got Twitter ads for an event they dropped a friend off at, even though they didn't personally search for or attend the event. They were confused by how this happened, and they knew I was the weird privacy person in the family to ask.

They proposed the simple, obvious solution: "Twitter is listening to my microphone."

I countered with, "No, Twitter knows you're friends with this person, and because they have access to both of your location data, they know you were visiting this person at the same time that they searched for and went to this event."

My family member said that my explanation didn't make them feel any better, at all, and then deleted Twitter off of their phone.

I don't know if that person is typical or not, but I will say that when you see something yourself it can sometimes make you feel more vulnerable and disturbed than when you hear about it second hand. Tracking is so ubiquitous that there's kind of an abstract, "but really it's not so bad" quality to it. People joke about the super-advanced-magic-tracking, but they don't really believe it on an emotional level. Or they believe it's super competent and dehumanized and subtle.

I think projects like this have the potential to maybe make it feel more tangible. Hyper-advanced systems feel more theoretical and less dangerous than, "hey, I'm literally just watching you browse the web." In my (again anecdotal) experience, magical systems are dismissable, but people get worked up over, "somebody's looking in my window."


There's a whole Reply All podcast episode where one of the hosts tried convincing listeners that Facebook wasn't listening to their microphones.

It goes to show that people aren't too aware of just how much data Facebook/tech has about them, and occasionally that data can make extremely accurate predictions.

https://gimletmedia.com/shows/reply-all/z3hlwr/


Hm, interesting. For my part, I see a difference between the utility of tracking purchases and that of personality-categorization that social media sites use.... but you do have a point.

What do you suggest?


Seems a bit like the AdNauseam project, except more refined because it allows the user to select a profile.

https://adnauseam.io/


There are companies such as Forensiq [0] and a few others I can't quite recall now that work to fight ad fraud.

[0]: https://impact.com/ad-fraud-detection/

Believe me, there are many players in this space that work tirelessly to compromise mobiles and try to emulate real users to earn profits on PPC campaigns.

So honestly, this is just a waste of time. Whatever patterns these guys come up with. It'll be defeated by those to fight the real bad guys.


Well that's rather defeatist. Its also not correct.

I've done a lot of work in data linking, which I consider basically the same thing, albeit not with advertising or ad fraud as the necessary subject matter.

Now while its true that a lot of the things people do to lessen their fingerprint/signal is often not effective, its simply not true that such things are always a priori defeatable.

Theoretically, you have to do some combination of plugging the leaks, increasing the noise, or dropping the signal. And if you do that then signal becomes harder and harder to extract.

And its not even black and white like total win/lose. You could stop advertisers from finding out certain things, or change the relative value/cost of what's possible/profitable, or the degree of accuracy with which they can state certain things.

Indeed, for instance, if you can get regular people's actions and behaviours to look more and more like these bots or fraudsters, that likely lessens the effectiveness of their machine learning techniques...


THIS is the Mozilla I like ! Impertinent, guerilla, middle finger giving !


Linus Torvalds: “Nvidia, Fuck You!”

Just like this!


I never understood why advertisers insist on giving me "relevant" ads. I find it better if the ads are diverse and all over the place, as I discover new things. The "relevant" ads are usually about stuff I just bought, so useless to me.

I find this site insightful in terms of discovering new things. It could be made into some sort of tumbler for ads. :)


You can opt out of the relevant add in all major networks. I know I did once, and it was so much worse. Most ads were for shit I absolutely would never care about. Weight loss systems, beauty products, child care products, quit smoking assistance systems, etc...

I know this is sacrilegious on HN, but I personally prefer targeted ads to that. I still think you and everyone else should be able to not have ads targeted if you don't want, and I'm all for alternative funding systems where you pay for content directly, but I'd much rather see ads for SaaS companies I may use and movies I'm interested in over that stuff.


Because there are people who buy more than one of something.

Buy a widget - you might be purchasing for a company and will buy a the same widget next month for the next employee. If you advertise your widget to everybody 99.999% won't buy it, so that 99.9% that won't buy another widget is a much larger margin of those who will buy another. (the ad is about either keeping you a loyal customer or getting to to switch to a different brand). Most of us are more valuable as a possibly purchaser of more than one than as a potential customer of something new we didn't even know we needed.


I read a related claim about this. People that just bought an, e.g. refrigerator, are much more likely than others to buy a second one soon as they're more likely to need a new refrigerator and even the small chance that the one they just bought doesn't work or isn't satisfactory means there's a much greater chance they'll need or want to buy a second one than that other people will want to buy one.

I could imagine buying a mattress would be an even better example.


> Because there are people who buy more than one of something

The New York Times stopped behaviorally targeting in Europe without much consequence [1]. I don't think we can reject the hypothesis that adtech is largely a scam, with targeting being done more so adtech companies can "differentiate" themselves than for any benefit to publishers.

[1] https://digiday.com/media/gumgumtest-new-york-times-gdpr-cut...


> I never understood why advertisers insist on giving me "relevant" ads.

Because Honda doesn't want to pay Facebook $$$ to show Civic ads to a hippie that lives in a small commune and rides a home-built bicycle.


Ironically a Civic would probably be high on that hippie's list of cars. What really would be folly is advertising an oversized lifted pickup truck.


I don't mind if they're actually relevant ads, but they rarely are. Quite regularly, they keep showing me the same irrelevant ad over and over and over again. The logic behind their ad selection completely eludes me.

Maybe I've blocked enough cookies that they actually know nothing about me? But I use plenty of Google services, and I'm generally logged in to my Google account by default.

Maybe the problem is that the things I'm interested in, are things that don't generally advertise much. Not on such broad generic advertising networks, at least.


Are they really relevant? According to advertisers I am in constant need of a slimmer wallet and a stair lift, while I'm rather happy with my current wallet, and my legs are still more or less ok.


nice legs... it'd be a shame if anything happened to them...


The system is unconcerned with how useful the ads are to users. Ads exist to persuade potential customers to buy, not to provide utility to them. The "relevance" is for them, not you.


If I were given the choice between targeted ads and non-targeted ads (funny: no web site has ever offered me this choice), I would always choose the non-targeted ads. Since I disregard all ads anyway, the only difference is the targeted ones are served by sharing my information all over the place and the non-targeted ones aren’t. Therefore the non-targeted ones are better.


Where do you find this insistence? I haven't seen a single relevant ad in years!


Thus the quotes around "relevant". I find the "relevant" ads to be so far off the mark that my head hurts.


For all our worries about Big Data and privacy, Google et. al are apparently doing kind of a bad job at it. Seems like a one-hour conversation with a human would produce more relevant marketing insights than analyzing tens of thousands of data points does.


It would be nice to see what sites it is going to open. And maybe worth mentioning you can use Container Tab (or maybe even anonymous window) to test/verify this without compromising your real fondly crafted advertising profile.


Since before Netscape originally jumpstarted the Web user tracking and profiling surveillance industry, we already knew that one of the big categories of risk of such databases is being penalized for inaccurate information (and being unable to correct it, or even know it's there).

Think twice before you take a poo in your own profiles.

If you want to poison your profile without it backfiring on you, you might want to wait until pretty much all profiles are poisoned simultaneously.


What can they do, display the wrong products? Oh, the horror...

I would certainly like to poison my profile. Preferably with all the kinky stuff.


The pervasive intimate surveillance is a grave matter. These profiles do and will affect you in many more ways. "Tt's about showing you ads that are relevant" has been an industry PR lie for a long time.


I agree that it is a grave matter which many people take far too lightly. But I also refuse to be scared by some junkie advertisers. And currently we at least are still talking about mainly pseudo-anonymous profiles. Filling this data with wrong info takes away most of the value.


"WARNING! THIS WILL OPEN 100+ TABS IN YOUR BROWSER. BE PREPARED!"

I'm on a full fat iMac Pro and that's still going to be a big fat "nope" from me :-D


Good tabs in firefox are more lean, then.


See, if you had the new monitor stand, it would be engineered to handle the weight of a hundred tabs on screen. People don’t think about these power user use cases when they pooh-pooh Apple’s hardware.

/ducks


Ha! It's not even the hardware I'm worried about. It's Chrome ;-)


That's why they use anodized aluminum!


While this looks and feels fun, I also felt so bad - it's such a huge waste of energy, computing resources and bandwith.


One could say the same for the ads industry.


The ad industry has a higher stake. What they do pays their mortgages/medical/college bills.

When you fight someone who has more to loose, it usually is a waste of energy. If you want them to change you have to reduce the stakes for them.


> If you want them to change you have to reduce the stakes for them.

Why? It just has to become unprofitable for them to look for something else. They will adjust their stakes accordingly (are you proposing getting them a different source of income? wouldn't someone greedy just accept both?).


Watching some random Youtube video probably consumes much more resources.


"Track THIS will open A LOT of tabs. 100 tabs is a lot."

Hah, funny. Maybe on Chromium, where it would already go into swapping hell on my 8GB RAM. However, on Firefox this is rather low - I'm on ~150 right now and that's just because I have cleaned all open tabs a few days ago (it was above 1000 before).


I don't know how this is possible to deal with. Once I accumulate 15-20 tabs in my tab tree I start closing the ones I won't return to, and I restart my browser and in the morning I empty my tab list from yesterday.


How do you use 1,000 tabs?


With tabs on the side. Some of them are clearly forgotten, waiting for the next whole-window-cleanup, but there are groups of tabs I revisit.

Some people organize their tabs into trees; there was also "panorama" feature in the past; however, for me it seems like a scrollbar (with a filtering search bar) is enough.

Also, the awesomebar itself has excellent support for switching between open tabs.


I use Tree Style Tab in firefox, I still just can't imagine how 1,000 tabs is usable. How do you organize it? How do you find anything? Why not just google search for it again?


Do I have to? Most of the time they're invisible behind the scrollbar. When I need something not visible, it shows up in search.

Sometimes I only have a vague recollection of what I want to revisit - then just figuring out something that was near it is enough, as after searching and activating some related tab its whole surroundings are now in view again.


This does not really work if you multi monitor, because that way you get separate trees for each window.

Or is there a plugin that gives the same tree in multiple windows?


Dunno, I don't use any trees - just a list of tabs on the side (Tab Center Redux). I usually use the browser only on one monitor while having something else on the other, and even if I do have two windows, this doesn't seem to be a problem for me in practice.


I wonder how many of those tabs are affiliate links?


I looked at the source code and indeed they put referrer IDs to the amazon links. It's even a dedicated ID for each link, to see the number of purchases for each link. So mozilla is taking part in the tracking.


Do you know it's their IDs and not some of the Amazon Smile charities?


the smile links look different, burt I am not entirely sure about the referrer IDs.

They look like:

- fsclp_pl_dp_12

- fsclp_pl_dp_11

with each link having a distinct number, counting down to 1.

It doesn't look like a typical referrer ID, so it is probably something that Amazon generates, although I don't know under what condition.


I don't think this does what you think it does.

This confuses the algorithms temporarily into thinking that your tastes have changed.

They still know who you are. Your devices and browsers are fingerprinted. Your home network is in a database. Your mobile carrier is selling your location data. Your IP address doesn't change that often. Etc.

Plus, you know there are already multiple teams tasked with filtering out "fake clicks". They probably are already doing it, assuming that multiple users are sharing a machine or something like that.


I think it would be more constructive it Firefox would include a better visualization of the extend of web tracking.

Mozilla had already tried something like this with an extension, it's called "Firefox Lightbeam".

With the next Firefox version, statistics about the number of trackers blocked will be included in Firefox, and I think a better version of Lightbeam (more lightweight, visually showing the difference between tracking protection on/off and excluding subdomains) should be included as well.


Couldn't a burst of unusual activity like this be easily detected? Then again, advertisers probably don't go the extra mile to cover the 1% that's using this tool...


More like 0.00001%.


Of course this works but won't solve the root cause and won't be applicable to the real world in which tracking also becomes more present. For the time being an ad blocker seems more useful, also I'd be happy to still use certain features of my browser like the history function. ;)

Also I think there is anyway a trend towards less ads. Those who push out most ads - probably online magazines - are changing more to paid subscriptions.


> This will show you ads for products you might not be interested in at all

You can just say, "your regular browsing experience won't be impacted."


Please let us know what links you're going to open.


I feel by doing this, ad makers will create more aggressive tactics to fingerprint users


Yes yes, best not to fight back, they say the struggle will only make things worse.


More than they already do?


LOL, ran it in private window. We have a single outward facing office IP address, and a few tabs were for things like bras and lingerie, so I'm now waiting to see if it affected others on the office network!


IP tracking is fairly uncommon, no?


Nope, widespread. Try looking at the YouTube frontpage when in a foreign WiFi...


While tracking is uncommon, using it for language / geolocation is not.


thats not ad-tracking, that is geolocation tracking for language settings, etc.


I would guess that as third party cookie blocking becomes more popular, the more aggressive sites will fall back to IP tracking more often.


My Duolingo ads disagree.


The problem with this is that I picked the "Prepper" profile, and then it just opened a bunch of pages with cool outdoor gear that I kind of wanted. Upside hopefully now I get ads for REI I guess?


I would like to block Canvas Extraction, but it seems to allow it on every website I visit, and I have to click on the icon in the address bar and turn it off.. late.


I like the hypebeast guy wearing a "Superior" t-shirt.


Actually I'd buy a t-shirt with this URL (or a QR code for the URL) in a heartbeat. Subversive t-shirts are a way to take your part in trying to change the world for the better.


Nothing says 'fuck capitalism' like buying a shirt from a company who uses sweatshop child labor in a third world country to spew out product so bad that it will end up in a landfill in six months.


Is it broken? I tried it out and it only opened up 2 tabs to random news articles..

EDIT: nevermind, you have to go back and visit the Track This tab to have it open up more tabs.


Is there a simple solution to automatically clear cookies when a tab is closed, similar to closing a private mode browser?


The closest thing I know is Firefox Focus, but I think it's mobile only.


cookie autodelete addon.


I'm really afraid to click one of those links on mobile. Does it just spawn 100 new tabs?


it says: "It looks like you're visiting Track This on your phone. Please use Desktop to activate your persona. Trust us, you don't really want to open 100 tabs on from your phone in any case."


Where's the fun in having the number of open tabs visible instead of just ':D'? I honestly can't remember the last time that was the case on my phone.


I smiled the first time I saw it.


Yes, it does. Though in Firefox it spawns 20 at a time and every time you click on the original tab it spawns another 20.


Not really sure that a browser should allow a site to open 100 tabs programmatically, if anything this is telling me that Firefox is open to such abuse.


If you are on Firefox, it actually recommends using another browser:

> It looks like you’re on Firefox. Because Firefox builds in all kinds of protections against malicious sites, it’ll only open 20 tabs at a time—and only if you allow pop-ups from this page. While 20 is enough, to see how wild 100 tabs can really get, try Track This on another browser.


Yes. One by one on Opera, didn't hang/slow-down my machine though.


Chromium does 1 at a time for me, 1 every second - was quite intensive.


Mozilla is on fire lately, this is Trump level trolling & I love it




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