Clicking On Web Site Text Automatically Runs Commands In Terminal?

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2022-01-13 04:30:04

     I used to be with it, but then they changed what 'it' was.  Now what I'm with isn't 'it', and what's 'it' seems weird and scary to me.

     The purpose of this blog post is to document a web browser 'feature' that I noticed recently that really concerns me, and it may concern you too if you use terminals.  I have found that by simply 'clicking' and accidentally dragging a piece of text, the text will then be fed as input to any terminal program that I have open in the background.  This is not some kind of hard to replicate corner case, and it happens all the time by accidentally dragging things even by 1 pixel.  This blog post is the last stage of me finally figuring out who was typing all of those news URLs at random positions in documents that I was editing in vim.  This behaviour happens for me even when the terminal window is in the background and has no window focus when using Chromium browser (version 97.0.4692.71) on Ubuntu 20.04.1.

     There is nothing special about the text areas here.  This happens with all selected text on all web pages (including this sentence).

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