Short URLs are somewhere between handy and annoying. If you’re on the receiving end, they’re mostly annoying. While the person who sent the link, perhaps a clingy friend or devious intern applicant, is happily counting his clicks, you’re stuck wondering where http://bit.ly/YMaTob will take you. Gambling site? Phishing scam? Something NSFW that’ll put you in an uncomfortable meeting with your boss at one end and HR on the other?
Here’s what you do: bookmark unfurlr and LongURL. Next time you’re confronted with an annoying shorted URL, head over to one of those sites, copy the link into the field, and you’ll see that http://bit.ly/YMaTob is really just https://pursuit.ca/article/returning-to-the-temple/, the heart-warming and painfully long-winded story of hockey returning from hiatus.
Alternatively, you can head over to Really Massive URL, just in case you want to turn this: https://pursuit.ca/article/returning-to-the-temple/ into this: http://reallymassiveurl.com/potpourri-disproportions-reoccupies-mythologies-lithe-lengthily-digress-downbeats-ceaseless-outhouses-swastikas-estate-frivolity-examiner-exiles-matchbooks-headmistresss-westerner-mainstreams-videodisc-ruhrs-circumvents-etiologys-redresses-rumania-indivi.
Then you can send it back to the jerk who used the short URL in the first place.