A rumour has been circulating that people should not use the URL shortening service Bit.ly because, the rumour goes, Bit.ly somehow benefits the Libyan government. Other than the fact that the government of Libya gets the registration fee for the domain ($75.00 a year), Bit.ly does not benefit the regime of Moammar Gadhafi.
According to Bit.ly Community Manager Rex Dixon, the name “bitly” was picked because it is a short name, and “is evocative of small bits…” And, Dixon points out, “Bit.ly is a shorter url than bitly.com, which we also use, and echoes the name of several micro-blogging services like present.ly, song.ly and near.ly.”
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Added Dixon in a [Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead], “We don’t do business in Libya, but it’s worth noting that on May 31, 2006 the United States reopened the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, a step the State Department described as marking “a new era in U.S.-Libya relations.””
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