Twitter has been trying to push all links through its t.co link shortener system, which is actually quite annoying. It's experienced some downtime in the past, including earlier this week when a bit of "human error" by the registrar who handles the .co domain made the entire t.co domain dead to the world
, basically breaking all of those links. Apparently someone at the registrar responded to a phishing complaint by accidentally killing the entire domain... and with it countless URLs. As security researcher Mikko Hypponen pointed out
in response to all of this:
t․co downtime illustrates how shortlinks make the web more fragile and harder to archive.
Indeed. While they're handy given Twitter's artificial limits, and can be useful as a poor man's tracking system for outbound links, on the whole, they seem to cause a lot of problems. Too many times I've had links go through multiple shorteners and fail along the way because one of them hiccups.