YouTube started adding tracking parameters unique to your account to your shared links so it can be traced back to you. Meaning, they will know whom you share it with, who interacts with it, which accounts on other websites use the same parameter. Basically if you share a YT video here with a link created with your unique identifiers, Google will tie your SG account with your Google accounts.

This encrypted identifier starts with "si=" in the link, looks like this. It's easy to get rid of it on PC by either deleting that part before sharing or Firefox has a new feature for this kind of situations (Copy Without Site Tracking).

It's tricky on mobile. Youtube's mobile app will add your parameters to your shared links. For Android you can use something like NewPipe to prevent this.

Edit: Using uBlock Origin will block it for you out of the box (thanks to ormax3).

Edit 2: You can use FreeTube on desktop. it will track your subscriptions, history, saved videos, on a local account. (thanks to AzureFang).
Also you can use LibRedirect add-on to set YouTube links to open in FreeTube.

2 months ago*

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Good information, thank you.

2 months ago
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You're welcome.

2 months ago
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That's messed up. Thanks for the info.

2 months ago
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You're welcome.

2 months ago
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Very likely ghostery or ublock already take care of this for me as my links look fine right now but good to know for in the future.

2 months ago
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you likely have a filter list that uses removeparam rules to clean urls from tracking stuff:

https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/wiki/Static-filter-syntax#removeparam

For example, I found these rules in "uBlock filters – Privacy" list which is included by default in uBO:

! youtube.com - Copy video URL at its search result via mouse right click.
||youtube.com^$removeparam=pp
||youtu.be^$removeparam=si
2 months ago*
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Very likely, but I didn't set it myself. But yeah, those who don't use adblocks now have one extra reason to do so.

2 months ago
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Yeah I checked and it was already there. uBO is great to have.

2 months ago
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How exactly does the ublock filter work? I have ublock and Adguard URL Tracking filter enabled. When I copy and paste the link it still includes the tracking parameter.

edit: is it when you paste the tracked link into the url bar and click enter it removes it for you?

2 months ago
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Yes, it should "rewrite" the url before a network request is made. From uBO wiki:

removeparam is a modifier option (like csp) in that it does not cause a network request to be blocked but rather becomes modified before being emitted.

To verify, open a new tab with the browser console open (F12), go to "network" to watch network requests made as you paste the url, you should see the request sent without the "si" param, I just tried it in Firefox+uBO

2 months ago*
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Thx. It'd be nice if I could copy the url and it would automatically drop the tracking part when I pasted it.

2 months ago
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it's doing that, it's just that the youtu.be domain is itself a url shortener that redirects to youtube.com, so you're not seeing the initial url trimming

it goes like this:

https://youtu.be/abc123?si=blabla -> (rewrite) -> https://youtu.be/abc123 -> (redirect) -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abc123

2 months ago
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ok thx

2 months ago*
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And they want me to stop blocking their ads xD

2 months ago
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Well, this is pretty much related to that business. :)

2 months ago
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PC has a NewPipe equivalent now, with optional Invidious and Sponsor Block integration for those that want to cut ties with YouTube accounts and tracking: https://freetubeapp.io/

2 months ago
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Yeah, FreeTube is great, thanks for reminding. I installed it on my mom's PC so she can use YT with peace of mind. It's especially a privacy nightmare for unaware people.

2 months ago
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Even better, if you couple it with the Privacy Redirect plugin for your browser flavor of choice, it'll redirect link clicks in-browser and out (such as via Discord) to FreeTube, allowing for near-total cord cut.

2 months ago
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I use LibRedirect and it does indeed have a setting for FreeTube, didn't know about that. Good to know, thanks.

2 months ago
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The base URL doesn't have that "si=" part so you can just copy the url and paste it instead of using that useless "share" button :x

2 months ago
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Yes but you have to know about it first.

2 months ago
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I agree that it's useless but people who use the mobile app don't have that luxury. Also, even if you are aware of this, you can still see links like this.

Now I wonder if Ublock Origin blocks the parameters in an embedded video.

2 months ago
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Thanks for the heads up. I really dislike how intrusive things are getting in general, not just go / ooble.

2 months ago
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You're welcome. It's sad that almost every big corporation do this today and it's getting more thorny every day.

2 months ago
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Thanks for the app on Android. This is the trend with updates and software, but It's great to know someone care.

2 months ago
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You're welcome. There are many alternatives on Android but this one is pretty good and didn't need alternatives. Well, this war will continue until Google decides to close Youtube to public view.

2 months ago
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It doesn't appear on ReVanced Extended.

2 months ago
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Oh god, there are so many fake websites about ReVanced. Thanks for the info though.

2 months ago
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Always check whats in URL when copy/paste

2 months ago
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That's a good advice. However most people won't check that when it's on an official website and they will have no idea what that parameter does, and it's worse with the mobile app.

2 months ago
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Thanks for the warning.

2 months ago
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You're welcome.

2 months ago
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It's a nice reminder to everyone that they generally need to sanitize links before sharing them. Not just because of UTM parameters, but also just to keep links shorter. I hate receiving someones Google search query link that's 500 characters long, lol.

2 months ago
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Thanks for the info.They really have gone on a Rampage:blocking adblockers and started striking users using adblockers.

2 months ago
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You're welcome.

2 months ago
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I fucking knew it! I always delete all garbage after video id. Thanks for the heads up.

2 months ago
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You're welcome.
Those parameters can be useful, like time parameter (when to start video). Better safe than sorry though.

2 months ago
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Wait... people actually share Youtube videos?
I always just copy a youtube videos address and send it to people, I didn't even know about "sharing" the video link, lol.

Oh damn, there's a share button below the video, LOL, I NEVER paid any attention to that

2 months ago
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You can use it to send video with parameter where to start playing. For example video is 1 hour long, and you want send link, that will start video at 15:34 :)
Quite useful at times, but I guess we just can't have nice things without corpos looking inside our ass.

2 months ago
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Hm, for it to start at a specific time I just right-click on the video and choose "Copy video URL at current time", then I can change the number as I see fit as well.

But hey, the point is there are different ways to do these things.

2 months ago
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I didn't know that xD Thanks for telling me something new :)

2 months ago
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I don't use share button as well but as @76561198082881386 said it can be used to select a start time for the video. Also on mobile app you have no other choice, unless you use a third-party app or a browser.

2 months ago
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Good to know, although I don't think I've ever used that option to share a link (kinda forgot it existed to be honest), I've always copy-pasted the url from the browser's address bar.

2 months ago
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Seems illegal.

2 months ago
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To be fair, it should be. This is not so different than what Facebook does.

2 months ago
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I just copied the link to a movie trailer on YouTube: https :// www.youtube.com /watch?v=cMVBi_e8o-Y&ab_channel=Netflix

[I inserted some spaces so it doesn't convert to a video]

I don't see this part:

This encrypted identifier starts with "si=" in the link

2 months ago
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It seems you only get that part if you use the share button, at least for now. You can try the share button to see that part being generated.
Also, without an account share button doesn't add that kind of parameter.

2 months ago
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