I posted a link on Travel.SE in

Are there walking tours (where you join a group) in Rotterdam?

The link was as such:

And more promisingly, Gilde Rotterdam Guided Tours:

If you mouse over the link, the browser shows it correctly. However when you click it, it changes the : to a %3a, breaking the URL. I assume this is a SE-wide issue, so posting it here, rather than on meta.travel.SE.

On the other hand, if I'm doing something moronically wrong, let me know.

  • 1
    Considering : is actually a reserved character in URLs, any site using them as an integral part of its page names -- and not checking for them being escaped properly -- should already expect to break all to hell. But eh.
    – cHao
    Jul 4, 2013 at 6:48

1 Answer 1


I think it's a fault of rotterdam.nl http server, not of SE. As : is a reserved character, percent-encoding is not something messing the URL. It's because some web browsers can't process a URL with reserved character or even can be in danger of attack.

  • That's...awkward. Any idea of a workaround I could edit into my answer - escape string or something, to allow for it?
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 4, 2013 at 6:53
  • 1
    @MarkMayo A possible workaround can be providing a shortlink like bit.ly instead, I think.
    – eonj
    Jul 4, 2013 at 6:57
  • I was thinking about that as a possible backup, it just felt ... hacky ;)
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 4, 2013 at 6:58
  • 2
    @MarkMayo everything except fixing rotterdam.nl will be but a hack.
    – Mołot
    Jul 4, 2013 at 7:06

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