Links passing through

Visit­ing Less Wrong af­ter be­ing ab­sent for a while can be a ma­jor time sink. The side­bar re­cent-posts and re­cent-com­ments links (which I usu­ally have blocked, but not always; I haven’t in­stalled the rele­vant ex­ten­sions on the sys­tem I’m on yet) draw me into in­ter­est­ing dis­cus­sions, which fre­quently link back to other dis­cus­sions, and so on.

To limit how deep I get drawn in, I try to hold back from re­flex­ively click­ing links in com­ments and posts. In­stead I just hover over them (or press and hold on a touch­screen) to view the ad­dress, hop­ing to get a gen­eral idea of what they’re about and whether I’m fa­mil­iar with them (and oc­ca­sion­ally sav­ing them to a folder if I think I might want them later).

Re­cently, though, I’ve no­ticed that LW is re­plac­ing off-site links with in­di­rect links, passed through the do­main This means I can’t just glance at the URL to see where it points; I have to ei­ther open it or paste it into the ad­dress bar and scroll through it look­ing for the em­bed­ded URL of the ac­tual link. Is it im­por­tant for it to do that? Is there a way to turn that func­tion off, or a browser ex­ten­sion (preferrably An­droid-com­pat­i­ble) to re­verse it?

(Ini­tially posted about here in the cur­rent open thread, but I de­cided I wanted it to be more visi­ble.)