Social Question

PhiNotPi's avatar

Do you trust "shortened" URLs?

Asked by PhiNotPi (12644points) October 8th, 2012

A shortened URL is when a person replaces a long URL with a much shorter one that redirects to the original. There are URL shortening services, which allow people to create redirect pages with very short URLs. Examples include and tinyurl.

Whenever I see a shortened URL, I hesitate to click it because there is no way to tell where it leads. I don’t like them as much as words that are turned into links, like this, since it is still possible to figure where those links go without clicking on them.

What is your opinion on shortened URLs?

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16 Answers

glacial's avatar

I would only click on one if I trust the person who posted it. Mostly, I ignore them.

elbanditoroso's avatar

In general, no, I don’t trust them. Primarily because there is no way to recognize where they are going and if there are known spam targets.

The only ones that I use are ones that come from trusted sources.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I do not trust them unless the person specifically mentions shortening the URL to protect their privacy. I want to see where I am going before I click.

poisonedantidote's avatar

A short URL takes just as long to click as a long URL, no reason for it, never click them.

Seek's avatar

I don’t click.

Well, I think there was one time, but it was George Takei who posted it, and I trust him not to infect my computer with cooties. ^_^

downtide's avatar

Depends who posts it and where. In twitter, I can understand their use because a full url may not fit within the 140 characters limit. But elsewhere, no.

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t worry about them much at all. If I’m directed to a spammy or virus-ridden site, which occasionally happens, then my virus checkers kick in, alert me to the fact, and I can exit. No harm done at all.

The compelling reason for short URLs over some of the ridiculously long ones that some sites can generate is the performance and handling of spaces in path names, hash tags and other characters that can make the “long URL” fail when pasted.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I only use them if I trust the person that is giving them to me. Otherwise, I ignore them.

Seek's avatar

@johnpowell You’re tempting me.

downtide's avatar

@johnpowell whatever that links to, my anti-virus doesn’t want me to visit it.

How much do you trust me?

Seek's avatar

@downtide I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

CWOTUS's avatar

Wow, @downtide (this really isn’t my “down on @downtide day”, I promise), you have a sensitive virus checker, all right. When you come here each day, your checker says nothing? Too sensitive, then.

downtide's avatar

Maybe my virus checker didn’t like the ”.exe” in the link?

xflip's avatar

I never click.

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