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DecentURL now requires an account

15 January 2010, by Ben    2 comments

So I finally gave up: DecentURL — my URL nicifier inspired by a reddit comment — now requires you to have an account to create URLs. It was just used too much for phishing, spam, and porn.

I tried various measures to reduce spam: deleting bad URLs by hand, bot detection, IP blacklisting, etc. None of them were very effective — most of the spammers were probably human, and they always seemed to find ways around my (admittedly simple) protection schemes.

Plus, DecentURL has always been just a neat little side project. But I just don’t have the incentive or time to keep deleting spam. Not to mention actioning emails from PayPal asking me to delete nasty phishing URLs.

I also realise that URL redirection services have their problems: they add another link in the chain, slowing things down and meaning a higher probability for an outage.

Most URL redirectors also obscure the destination. I like to think DecentURL does a bit better here, because it keeps (at least part of) the original domain in the final URL. So http://xxxyucksite.com/blahblah will turn into something like http://xxxyucksite.decenturl.com/z instead of http://tinyurl.com/z.

And I’d like to think DecentURL is still useful for turning URLs like

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=& q=hagley+park,+christchurch&sll=-43.537552,172.617488& sspn=0.012802,0.01826&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Hagley+Park&z=15&iwloc=A

into

http://maps.google.decenturl.com/hagley-park

So I’ve kept DecentURL running. All existing URLs will continue to redirect fine, but you’ll need a DecentURL username/password to make new ones. Just contact me if you’d like one.

2 comments (oldest first)

Ben 19 Jan 2010, 07:48 link

Yeah, I’d heard of that — it’s a good idea. DecentURL is almost too small to worry about “joining”, but I’d certainly consider handing them my URL list if I ever decide to shut it down completely.

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