How To Avoid All The Privacy-Busting Tracking Code In Reddit’s New UI

How To Avoid All The Privacy-Busting Tracking Code In Reddit’s New UI
Image: Reddit

Recently, Reddit made its new user interface the default experience, with visitors now automatically presented with the more modern-looking site. Unfortunately, the switch has come with a bunch of fresh ways to track you, down to the position of your mouse.

As Reddit user LatterEngineer explains in a post on /r/privacy, the updated UI isn’t just about giving Reddit a face-lift, but adding ways to gather data — a lot more data, in fact — about how people use the site:

…the new UI … features session replay tracking everywhere (recording of your mouse movements, keystrokes, and how you interact with the website), as evident by its use of the mousemove JavaScript event listener for the entire page.

Session replay is another form of tracking what you click on [and] can be used to fingerprint a user (how the mouse moves), and will negate attempts to delete posts and comments … Even accidentally pasting something like a password in a text box will result in the password being sent to Reddit (and/or a third party) and being stored in plain text.

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Fortunately, if you don’t want anything to do with the new-look Reddit, there are easy ways to opt-out (so to speak) until Reddit completely deprecates the old UI.

You have two options:

1) If you have a Reddit account, go to Preferences and make sure “Use the redesign as my default experience” is unticked.
2) If you don’t have a Reddit account, or are logged out, replace “www” at the front of Reddit URL with “old”, or if there’s no “www”, add “old” before “”.

However, once the old UI is gone forever, you might need more extreme measures such as script blocking.