Facebook Temporarily Blocks all Ow.ly URL Shortener Links

Posted by Rob Lewis

The Inside Facebook blog reported earlier today that the social networking site temporarily blocked URLs shortened with the ow.ly domain developed by Vancouver's HootSuite. According to Inside Facebook, the blocking was in response to a worm distributed in an ow.ly link.

The worm’s shortened URL contains the Facebook query string “?=www.facebook.com/photo.php” which could fool users into thinking they were visiting a Facebook page. All Ow.ly links on Facebook, legitimate and malicious, temporarily led to Facebook’s blocked abusive site error page.

Facebook explains the blocking as a response to spammers trying to hide malicious links behind URL shorteners and states that in rare cases they may temporarily block all use of a specific shortener.

We asked HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes for a comment and he responded that they are "aware of the situation with Ow.ly links and have reached out to Facebook.  They are investigating the cause of the conundrum and we expect to have a solution soon."

Incidentally Facebook is a HootSuite user - twitter.com/facebook.

Company:
Hootsuite Media, Inc.
Website:
http://www.hootsuite.com
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Hootsuite is the world’s most widely used social media relationship platform. More than 10 million users, including 744 of the Fortune 1000 companies, trust Hootsuite to manage their social media programs across multiple social networks from one integrated dashboard. Learn more about how Hootsuite is revolutionizing communication at http://www.hootsuite.com. more

Company:
ow.ly
Website:
http://ow.ly
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Ow.ly is a URL shortener and sharing tool. The ow.ly toolbar allows users to instantly share or retweet links. HootSuite users can track the success of their ow.ly links. more

Company:
Facebook
Website:
http://www.facebook.com
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet. more


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Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor-in-Chief of Techvibes.com.  His diverse background includes stints in International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. When not running Canada's leading technology media property, Rob can be... more



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