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18.10.2018 | Jörg Oswald

Facebook parameter fbclid makes news disappear in TYPO3 CMS

Links from Facebook to your website sometimes stop working and the visitor lands on an error page.

For a few days now, Facebook has been gradually rolling out a new feature. The URL parameter ?fbcglid is appended to all outgoing links from Facebook to other websites. In principle, this parameter is harmless. However, on some TYPO3 websites it leads to an error message "404 Page not found". With other TYPO3 systems, fbclid ensures that other contents are displayed than those of the actual link target.

There is still no official statement from Facebook about the background, but it can be assumed that the parameter is a new tracking mechanism and could be a reaction to Apple's announcement to block third-party tracking cookies.

Similar to the "Google Click Identifier" (gclid), fbclid could mean "Facebook Click Identifier" . Google can exchange data between Google Adsense and Google Analytics via the gclid parameter.

What effect does the parameter have on TYPO3 pages?

If the parameter fbclid is appended in the URL to a TYPO3 message, affected TYPO3 systems have difficulties handling it. The result is that the web page linked from Facebook either displays incorrect content or is not found and instead returns a 404 error. According to Brain Appeal's findings, fbclid so far only affects dynamically generated talking direct links with the realurl extension, such as those typical of news system detail pages.

You can easily test yourself if your TYPO3 system is affected. Open the overview of all news and then click on a single news item. Append ?fbclid=test (or &fbclid=test if there is already a question mark in the URL) to the URL in the address line of the browser and press Enter.

| examples
| www.fima.de/news/rekord18.html?hash=12ij&fbclid=test

Repeat for at least one more message. If both messages are displayed correctly, your TYPO3 system is not affected. If an incorrect message or an error page is displayed, your system is affected.

For links from Facebook to continue to work, your TYPO3 system should be explicitly configured for the fbclid parameter.



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