Should I slightly obscure links continually? Should I obscure long links? Should I obscure all links? Should editors be obscuring my links?
This is my first meta question here; the FAQs is well done, and everything has surely been asked before by now. If this has already been asked, please point me to it and close this question.
Any time I have existed virtually in places around the web, it has been my nature to never obscure, hide, or put text over a link in any way, shape, or form. I would usually provide only a raw link unless that link was too long. When obscuring or shortening links I do everything I can to describe what I had obscured, so the user would not have any surprises.
"Editors" are obscuring my links - against my policy of obscuring links - but it is working out very well and makes the whole thing look better too. However it is against my nature to do this. Since the editor is known/shown, can I absolve myself for using this practice, and continue to enjoy the great job of editing that has been done thus far?
I usually avoid even using TinyUrl which was (and maybe still is) a "safe" way of linking.
There is also the issue of bad jump links - a site goes out of business, and instead of the original location, following the link jumps you to scum.
Not my problem
Anyone on the web today should be looking where they are going, and I assume every browser that exists can show where you're going when hovering over a link. There is no excuse for a user wildly clicking on links without knowing. However in reality I have done it, and I am sure others have too. If we also include non-super users, then the link is slightly obscured.
The web is "just another dead link"
Dead links, dead sites, old data, and bought out by scum. It is not rare to have a legitimate good quality site go bad: one day you're downloading legitimate programs from them, and a year later they have inserted adware in them, or some other undesirable traits. Links do not last for a long time generally, and what might be secure one day is no longer secure on the next. The web is full of dead links; how does having the full link visible without hover assist users?
I usually have very heavy filtering and blocking in my browser, so like other users here, I can walk on the web without getting stuck in it. I hope I do not ever hand a person a link that sends them to a location that I would not visit myself if I had known.