Don’t get Rick Rolled – use Long URL Please to un-shorten shortened links

A couple of days ago I made a post asking dotTechies if a dotTech sponsored URL shortening service would be welcome with open arms. For the most part the response was in the negative, but the comment which struck me the most, was by Kev93; he reminded me the dangers of URL shortening. The following video just reinforces the thought:

Hopefully no dotTechie has been faced with a situation shown in the video above, but if you have… it can be very frustrating. So in light of all that, I am introducing a service that goes by the name of Long URL Please.

Long URL Please does exactly what the name insinuates. It turns shortened URLs into their original long URL form:

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Screenshot by the developer.

NOTE: Long URL Please is able to un-shorten URLs on any webpage – not just Twitter.

Currently Long URL Please is able to un-shorten URLs from 73 URL shortening services:

bit.ly, cli.gs, digg.com, is.gd, kl.am, su.pr, tinyurl.com, 307.to, adjix.com, b23.ru, bacn.me, bloat.me, budurl.com, clipurl.us, cort.as, dwarfurl.com, ff.im, fff.to, href.in, idek.net, korta.nu, lin.cr, ln-s.net, loopt.us, lost.in, memurl.com, merky.de, migre.me, moourl.com, nanourl.se, ow.ly, peaurl.com, ping.fm, piurl.com, plurl.me, pnt.me, poprl.com, post.ly, rde.me, reallytinyurl.com, redir.ec, rubyurl.com, short.ie, short.to, smallr.com, sn.im, sn.vc, snipr.com, snipurl.com, snurl.com, tiny.cc, tinysong.com, togoto.us, tr.im, tra.kz, trg.li, twurl.cc, twurl.nl, u.mavrev.com, u.nu, ur1.ca, url.az, url.ie, urlx.ie, w34.us, xrl.us, yep.it, zi.ma, zurl.ws, chilp.it, notlong.com, qlnk.net, trim.li

Long URL Please comes in the form of a Firefox extension…

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…or a bookmarklet if you don’t use Firefox (you need to have JavaScript enabled to use a bookmarklet):

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NOTE: When trying to add the Long URL Please bookmarklet on Internet Explorer, the best way to do this is right click on the bookmarklet, select “Add to Favorites” and add to the favorites bar:

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The Firefox extension automatically makes all shortened URLs long once a page loads and gives you the ability to easily customize Long URL Please options:

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If you are using the bookmarklet you must manually click on the bookmarklet after a pages loads to un-shorten all shorten URLs.

The obvious advantage with a long URL is you get more information about the link you are about the click on so you know if the link is leading to a malicious website or if you are about to be Rick Rolled. Of course, life isn’t perfect, so un-shortening a shortened URL defeats the purpose of shortening the URL in the first place. But hey, safety first right? Now that I think about it, using Long URL Please actually does not defeat the purpose of shortening the URL in the first place because Long URL Please makes the URL long locally (i.e. just for you). The URL is still short wherever it was posted, say Twitter.

You can grab Long URL Please from the following links:

Long URL Please homepage

[Firefox Extension]

[Bookmarklet available from homepage]

[via Lifehacker]

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15 comments

  1. url shortener

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your weblog?
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  2. Tortuga

    Hi Ash :D

    Sweet!!!
    Indeed – This will help A LOT!!!!
    Been using FF add-on Interclue for that purpose. On the last upgrade they added a kind of shortened URL preview, but it doesn’t work for all shortened URL services.

    I’m already dwlding. Hope it does as well as you say ;)

    Cheers

    N.B.: Plus, I learned what RickRolled means … I had no idea! 8) Wikipedia is your friend!

  3. Khader

    Thank you very much Ashraf! I’ve always been afraid of shortened URLs for the potential surprises they may actually hold… I’ve wished for a ‘sand-boxed’ Firefox to open such URLs. What you have shared here is waaaayyy better!! A Firefox extension with multiple options, one of which allows both to show – the short URL (to memorize) and the longer URL (to expose). Sweet! :-) Thanks again!

  4. Locutus

    The thing I don’t like about that video is the person clearly clicks through several uncommon things.
    @0:22, for instance, the “My Computer” page is blue, with his BLACK theme. What? Hint: Things like that are 99.999% of the time scams or other baddies. However, that Windows (PC) Defender thing looks pretty convincing.