So there’s been a lot of hype around the announcement that vb.ly has had its domain confiscated by Libya’s domain registrar for breaching T’s & C’s.
sensationalist attention-grabbing headline, Ben’s piece was well researched and explained
that vb.ly is an extension of sex-educator Violet Blue’s online
presence. Whilst no pornographic content was hosted on vb.ly itself, it was made expressly for shortening links to sites
that were decidedly against Libyan law (prurient as that may be).
I’m just surprised that vb.ly made it for so long without a slapdown.
I suspect that naïveté might have been the reason behind Violet using a .ly extension for her URL shortener but even if that’s not true she has certainly gained a load of publicity from its shutdown.
bit.ly Is Safe
Sure, Libya does not have the safeguards for freedom of speech that we enjoy in western democracies, but who is to say that a HTTP 301 represents freedom of speech? I don’t think that our lawmakers have got that far yet. NIC.ly it has been pretty happy to accept a slew of short domain name registrations and I think it will keep the biggest .ly on-side as it makes for a fantastic advert.
So even though anyone can create a bit.ly link to a page that the Libyan lawmakers might find offensive, that is not the primary purpose of the service and that, coupled with the Libyan ruler, Gadhaffi, gradually making friendly noises towards the west in recent years, means that bit.ly will be around for a while yet.
The Echo Chamber Is Annoying
I salute those who first broke the story, I really do, but do we bloggers have to go overboard?
Enough with this bandwagon of doom - the overwhelming majority of short links are used on services like twitter, which is about immediacy not perpetuity. Let’s have some common sense and original writing.
If you’ve made it this far through my rant, here is your reward:
This remains the best post on URL shortening I’ve ever read: