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URL shorteners are often used to shorten URLs and somehow earn the users money for unknown reasons. They are best known for linking to malware, PUPs, scams, etc.
Why They're Rotten in General
- They shorten URLs so people won't know what comes in the beginning.
- Somehow, most of them claim they earn money via ads, which how it works is unknown.
- Ultimately, they are made by most people for downloads and stuff. Most websites and Discords have rules prohibiting this as prevention of scams.
- The ads are often times offensive/potentially unwanted, ranging from malware, pornography, or pop-up ads.
- Monetized URL shorteners such as adf.ly are also notoriously used for spam links.
- One particularly infamous link shortener, adf.ly, will sometimes redirect you to a page telling you to turn on notifications to continue, doing this just gives you a bunch of adware, some of these popups also feature pornographic material not suitable for users under 18, which is against the law.
- There are good URL shorteners like goo.gl, youtu.be and discord.gg and other domain specific short URLs as they will only link to the dedicated website.
- They can be necessary if the regular link is too long to be put into the text box.