Empty Referrer = "Broken event"?


I am sending data from my own endpoint using tha HTTP Tracking API for quite a while and noticed that tracking stopped working a few days ago. After making sure that my recent code changes are not the main reason I found out that populating the urlref parameter with an empty value leads to missing data.

I see an “Broken event” error in the debugger and “Error message: urlref is not a valid URL: relative URL without a base”. Well… sometimes it really is empty and I do not think that I did something differently in the past. This is my raw payload:


I fixed it in my outgoing requests for now but I would like to know if a parameter that is present but empty really should lead to an error… and: has it been always like that or was there a change on your side?


Hi @mbaersch!

We have released an update to the backend as a part of enhanced channel recognition feature.

This broken event might not be intentional, so we have already tasked investigating this.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Hi @mbaersch,

We have checked this and it looks like there wasn’t a change to how we treat the urlref parameter for around 2 years. The broken event is being generated intentionally.

Thanks for checking. However, it seems unnecessarily strict do do so(?) HTTP Tracking API users might fall into that kind of trap easily.

I’d answer yes and no :sweat_smile:. This behaviour is in place as a precautionary measure - I’d say a good practice from a coding perspective. urlref is pretty crucial in 2 cases:

  • Channel detection
  • Session detection - depending on the tracker settings, a specific urlref might cause a session split

Is it necessary? I don’t think so.
Is showing a broken event helpful? Yes, as it might indicate an error in your HTTP API setup.

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