Hi Björn,

Your proposal works if everybody plays by the rules but I think email spam has taught us that's an unrealistic expectation. Think of shortening malwareurl.com via Bit.ly and then including the hash for the URL to a popular YouTube video. Applications searching for the YouTube video would find the tweet, provide it to users, and infect them. Shorteners have the general problem of not knowing the destination but I think a hash created by the same person who might be trying to trick you in the first place is unreliable. Just a thought.

  — Matt Sanford / @mzsanford

On Jul 17, 2009, at 5:50 AM, Bjoern wrote:


this is maybe a bit random, but I feel like throwing the idea out
there for fun. It was suggested in a recent discussion thread that to
get the Twitter variant of an URL, one could just post the URL to
Twitter and see what Twitter makes of it.

Since it is infeasible to generate a lot of URLs that way, here is a
variant: what if along with posting the URL to twitter, one would also
post a short hash of the URL. The hash function would be a standard
everybody agrees on. Then to find the Twitter variant of a shortened
URL, one could search Twitter for the hash of that URL. So you would
not have to post all URLs yourself, you could also benefit from other
people having "Twitter-Shortened" the URL before. (Searching for the
hash might bring up multiple results, as Twitter does not always
shorten the URL - sometimes multiple tries might be necessary).

In fact if such a scheme was in place, it would also give people a way
to "officially" link to a site. They could add the hash of the
destination URL in their tweet and become searchable. I realize that
would probably be too geeky for widespread adaption, but in theory I
like the idea ;-)


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