East of the Sun, West of the Moon


Tiny urls

Filed under: Projects,Software — Erwin @ 2:08 am

Ah, the story of the internet.

  • Boy writes piece of software.
  • Boy has some fun with it, and provides it freely on a website.
  • Boy nearly forgets it’s there, and just lets it run for a few years.
  • Spammers/scammers find it and decide to abuse it.
  • Boy finds out and has to decide whether to pull it entirely, or to put in measures to prevent future abuse.

In this case the boy is me, and the software/website is it.is-here.com, a tiny-url service that I wrote purely for the sake of figuring out how to do such a thing at all.

Today, during a routine check, I noticed there had been more traffic than usual on the website and investigated. I found that a few dozen codes/URLs had been added that redirected to sites in the make money fast and generate ad-clicks categories, in an apparent attempt to obfuscate their target/purpose.

After first adding a delete option to my administrative interface, which I had never needed before, and adding a disclaimer to the page, I decided to give them a piece of their own medicine, and redirect attempts to use non-existing codes towards a page with some Google ads. Hey, if I get a few clicks on it, great. In the time that I did use them it never got me enough clicks to even warrant a single payout (there’s a $100 threshold and I never even got near it), maybe these tricksters can help me out!

All non-tricksters are still invited to use it, of course. 😉

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