DecentURL now requires an account

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 will turn into something like instead of

And I’d like to think DecentURL is still useful for turning URLs like q=hagley+park,+christchurch&sll=-43.537552,172.617488& sspn=0.012802,0.01826&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Hagley+Park&z=15&iwloc=A


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.

15 January 2010 by Ben    2 comments

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.