TL;DR: The debouncing feature of Brave is said to work by (for example) “recognizing that the “dest” parameter includes the intended destination URL, and replacing the navigation to [the tracker site] with the intended final URL”. But it does it only for sites that are found in a maintained list (on Github) of known bounce tracking URLs. Why not on everything?
The complete story:
When I read the Brave Privacy Updates article about debouncing at the time of publication, about a year and a half ago, I was relieved that I would henceforth be able to drop my habit (developed after just a few months of using Google search, in the very early part of the century) of always checking the real destination of any link I was about to click on, i.e. not merely checking the display of the target URL at the bottom of the screen while hovering the pointer over the link (my previous habit) but rather right-clicking on the link, selecting “Copy link address” and, on a new tab, pasting the result and examining it before sending it.
Actually, by then, I had stopped using Google Search entirely (having used it for only about six months) and moved on to Duck Duck Go. But I kept my old habit anyway – until Brave introduced this automatic debouncing feature.
Today, something brought me back to the October 2021 article about debouncing and this time I noticed that it contains a very important point I had missed previously: the Brave debouncing feature acts only on links that would go through a URL that is contained in Brave’s list of known bounce trackers.
I wish there was an option in Brave to make it debounce any and all links I might click on. It shouldn’t be difficult to implement. After all, the current implementation is predicated on “recognizing the intended destination URL”. Since it’s able to do that, it could limit its effort to stripping all the rest. (Provided the user has selected that as the desired default behavior.)
Until there is such an option, I will have to resume my scrutinizing of every link I click on.