Poll: Matomo Campaign Tracking

I want to ask the Purism community about whether they want Matomo Campaign Tracking being used on blog posts shared on the Purism community forums or not. For more information about Matomo Campaign Tracking, see this link:

Here is my stance on the matter, and here is @david.hamner’s stance. If you want a technical solution to remove these URL parameters without trusting Purism’s voluntary cooperation, use this guide.

The poll is restricted to trust level 1, 2, and 3, and the number of votes for each mutually exclusive choice can only be seen after voting, displayed as a pie chart.

Do you want Matomo Campaign Tracking being used on blog posts shared on the Purism community forums?
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters
1 Like

I know that Purism needs to be able to pay employees, buy more stock, etc. But they have to be above the norms, by their own definitions. Sticking to their values is the best way to move out from their past mistakes. This need to stand above has been the company’s stumbling block, and continues to rear its ugly head.

Doing great things doesn’t justify doing not so great things.


To have a fair and most importantly useful poll I would have written something like “How do you feel about Matomo Campaign tracking”, “I don’t want/like/tolerate it” versus “I don’t mind/care about it” or at least “I agree to support Purism with this data”.

The way it is currently phrased is pretty much guaranteed to favour “don’t want” responses because I’m pretty sure no one “wants” Matomo tracking (at least I don’t), although probably many don’t mind, or even agree to support Purism with such data (I do). (I voted “yes” to the poll to balance this)

I similarly often opt in to usage tracking in open source software because I understand it’s helping the devs.


Agreed, I am of the “I don’t care” stance, and so I voted Yes.

Link tracking is often a bad thing when done by big tech companies, but I don’t think we can say that it’s bad 100% of the time. I believe it can still be done ethically.


Thank you all for your responses and votes. I will continue to keep the poll open for at least a week for everyone to have a chance to participate.

1 Like

I voted “No”. I’m visiting Purism for their privacy attitude. Now I feel they are letting it go and they may become one of the many companies we aref trying to avoid using.

1 Like

After 11 more hours have elapsed, I will close the poll and create a formal response to @david.hamner’s post.

I highly recommend @Kyle_Rankin’s relevant articles, “Is Ethical Advertising Possible?” (check out section “Anonymous Referrals”) and “Purism’s Ethical Marketing Principles.”

Notice that the referrer links posted in the forums, etc, are static; there are no custom-generated code extensions and therefore no way to distinguish one user versus another when using the same link.

So our current thinking is that if we use UTM links in an ad, it will only be to identify which platform the traffic came from, and what ad it was (so we can figure out later if it was worth the expense), but won’t use anything that could identify an individual.

If we use UTM links, they must not be unique-per-person but instead be generic so we can identify traffic from a particular platform or marketing campaign without identifying the individual who clicked them.

We’ve verified that this complies with section 2.2.1 of our articles of incorporation and solely serves as a click counter from a particular platform. Having this very basic metric assists greatly in knowing which platforms have what target audience while not divulging any PII whatsoever.


I already reread them all many times; @Kyle_Rankin’s blog posts were what kept me going during the pandemic. Nothing compares.

The poll has been closed, so I will prepare to compose a formal response to David. They require a dedicated, lengthy session (usually many hours) to produce, so I will do so when my availability permits.

FYI, according to Purism’s public policy (at the time of writing this post):

We use Matomo to create visitor statistics on this website for our internal use (hey, we like to know which news sites people come from!), but it respects your browser’s DoNotTrack setting and will not record your visit if your DNT setting is enabled—otherwise, you can also opt-out manually here.


That is for this script:


Using it for tracking how many peope came from which news sites is one thing.

Tracking how many people came from your own forum is a very different thing in my view.


matomo.js is not used on the Purism community forums; you can confirm this using uBlock Origin.

It is still used in the Purism Shop, including stats.wp.com, ajax.googleapis.com, and fonts.googleapis.com, so Purism at least double dips over there.

1 Like

That’s it. A forum and especially the contact between company and forum is always a win and even hard to measure anyway. The best marketing is how well community feels on forum, not how much people from forum come to any marketing article. The knowledge will spread here anyway, even if just 2 people would read the article.

But I also saw some situations where community opens a thread about a new article, 2 days later a new thread appears with tracking link to same article. On such behavior I can see how much he is interested in our community. It’s just a job to spread ad. Communicating directly with community (especially on such blog-post-threads) has a much bigger impact for marketing than the amount of clicks. A quick search “blog xyz” to see if there already one exist and if so to answer “thanks for sharing, here additional infos” etc has a much bigger impact than opening a second thread with the default text.

Stats can make people blind for the important things. Thanks @JCS, that you’re trying to make a new bridge that seems to got lost previously. Your work is more important and successfully to marketing than 20 blog posts which will be just dropped here without any participation on discussions. And this wont be measured by Matomo.


I’ve noticed that also.
Thanks to Ublock those trakings have been blocked. I cannot see how this kind of tracking is OK for Purism.


Well, on uBlock Origin’s Easy Mode, ajax.googleapis.com and fonts.googleapis.com are whitelisted. As for why Purism also uses stats.wp.com without a privacy policy addressing its usage or justification, I cannot answer that. However, I found the offending Wordpress script:


This is used for WooCommerce Usage Tracking, which means it is enabled for the Purism Shop.

Additionally, here is Matomo Tag Manager, which is different from https://stats.puri.sm/matomo.js and/or https://stats.puri.sm/piwik.js:


As for what Matomo Tag Manager is, you can read a guide about it below.

I am aware of it and use ublock always in advanced mode. Everything is blocked unless I give the site permissions.

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A while back, I also used Hard Mode, but my security practices changed a lot due to significantly reducing the “polluted” websites I browse. I also had some issues using Hard Mode on financial institution websites, which is another reason why I want to be unbanked. Now, even though I select “I am an advanced user”, I only use Easy Mode and no longer use dynamic filtering.

The most “polluted” website I still regularly visit once every two months is Costco, then there is one that occurs once a year (Freedom Mobile).

I try to use TOR browser most if the time, but lately more and more websites are able to block traffic from the TOR network. Also if there are mote then 2 links to other websites I stop visiting them.

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