EDIT: A simpler way of asking would be, does the effect just look like a bunch of squares to you?
Basically, this effect used to be a heat distortion effect, like the type you'd find over a campfire. It works by adding the Warp Mask effect to a particle object. One day it simply stopped working right, and became just a big wavy square instead of individual particles.
Does the link look like that to you, or more like heat distortion?