URL shortening service bit.ly, a mainstay of Twitter users, is suddenly looking a little less ‘mainstayable’ after its overseers started cutting off links to sites that run contrary to its definition of morality. Though few seem to have been aware, the .ly refers to Libya, the Islamic fiefdom run by the ‘eccentric’ Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi since 1969.
Sorta like how nobody reads those digital ‘user agreements’ that pop up when you install new software, few seem aware that .ly domains are not allowed to be used to connect people to things that run ‘contrary to Libyan law or Islamic morality’. For the record, gambling is, like, top-three on the Islamic immorality hit list.
The shit recently hit the Libyan fan when a company known as Violet Blue had its vb.ly service switched off by Libya Telecom and Technology. Violet Blue was a ‘sex-positive’ URL shortening business designed to help porn purveyors circumvent the Libyan censors. While Violet Blue didn’t actually host porn itself, it appears LTT wasn’t amused.
Bottom line, if over the next little while, people start complaining that none of your gambling-related bit.ly links on Twitter are working right, blame Col. Crackdown.