podcast RSS feed corrupted with code for WP tracking pixel (b.gif)

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    One of our users just showed me that the <description> fields in our podcast feed are all messed up and contain numerous references to “http://pixel.wp.com/b.gif” (plus a ton of tracking URL parameters) and these are showing up as readable by podcast users.

    This makes our podcast descriptions look like confusing computer code, and some listeners who don’t know what HTML looks like are even being put off thinking it looks like some kind of malware.

    I’ve checked and this is not something that’s being inserted by the iTunes Store or by Feedburner. This stuff is right in the RSS feed that comes out of our blog at WP.com, here is the URL that we send to Feedburner:


    If you look at any given episode’s <description> in the XML, you’ll see references to this tracking image. If you look at the actually rendered out posts on our blog, they’re not there. So I have no idea how to address this. It’s definitely something happening behind the scenes that I can’t fix myself.

    How can we stop this from happening? This is making WP.com unusable for us.

    The blog I need help with is newsroom.nwfilm.org.



    The 1×1 blank pixel in the feed is a “feature” been there for some time – I have raised the issue in the past and was told by the staff to have sites that take my feed to use a different feed reader that had a “WordPress.COM exception: coded into it. Not sure about the other items you refer to in the feed. The last time I flagged a thread with this issue the staff refused to comment on the problem

    I have flagged this again for staff attention



    Hi there,

    I’m afraid that we do not currently have any way to remove the tracking pixel which is showing up in your RSS feed, nor do we have any way to edit RSS feeds quite yet. We have tools on our roadmap to be able to do so, but we haven’t been able to get to them.

    I apologize for the inconvenience.


    It’s a bit more than an inconvenience…I’m confused here, is this unique to a given theme or is this affecting the entire site?

    If the latter, you’re saying you’ve done some kind of upgrade to tracking, that has a bug, that breaks podcasting for every single podcaster using WordPress.com? Isn’t that kind of a big deal?

    This didn’t used to happen, descriptions in RSS used to be fine, and since there’s no reason to ever have that HTML code inside the RSS description fields this is clearly an error…but this isn’t a critical issue?


    Hey there!

    This stats pixel isn’t unique to a particular theme, and isn’t a recent change. Many users have had good results editing their feed through FeedBurner:


    And I had a user move to Podbean, which alleviated this issue.

    Would one of these solutions work for you?

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