Twitter URL shortener t.co showing an "unsafe" site content page when in fact the page IS valid and safe? How can I resolve this?


#1

Hi

Just recently I have noticed that when I click on a bit.ly shortened link (which you have also wrapped in a t.co shortened URL) you are taking users to a Twitter page that says:

The site you were trying to visit may be unsafe!
This link has been flagged as potentially harmful.
Harmful sites can include:
Web forgeries or phishing sites
Sites that download malicious software onto your computer
Spam sites that request personal information

However if I copy out the same bit.ly link and go direct to it then it is not only safe (it’s usually my own site), but Google Chrome doesn’t flag it as dangerous (and I can check that with a Google Malware report).

Not only that but I have security software and browser plugins that also check for unsafe/hacking/phishing sites that can follow the redirects to see what the end page is. All of these show green ticks next to the URLs before you click them OR other means of showing they are safe.

For example this bit.ly URL takes me to my own website www.ukhorseracingtipster.com > http://bit.ly/I5nmvt

However in one DM / Tweet you have wrapped it in your own URL > https://t.co/X0WnLMILb6 which shows the “unsafe site report” page.

You can see that my site is safe from this Google report > https://google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=www.ukhorseracingtipster.com

Also if I put that URL ( www.ukhorseracingtipster.comdirectly ) DIRECTLY into a tweet you DON’T SHOW the same error page. Which proves the problem is NOT the destination URL being unsafe BUT the number of redirects.

Therefore the error page is only being show due to your own code wrapping already short URL’s in another short URL.

As I use a Wordpress plugin to send the tweets out in the first place I need them to be short enough that you won’t return the error “Tweet too long / over 140 chars” etc. Therefore I need to use a URL shortener API to get a short URL before sending it to you to prevent this message from being returned.

So the questions are these

  1. If other plugins, tools or coders can write code that follows more than 2 redirects why does Twitter not seem able to find out the end location of the URL to see if it’s safe or not?

  2. If you are wrapping already shortened links in your own URL shortener to track clicks then surely you should check the destination first to see if it’s safe or not?

  3. If the only logic you are using to determine if a site is safe or not is the fact that there are multiple redirects going on due to t.co pointing to bit.ly then the destination URL, surely it is your own code that is causing the problem by adding an extra redirect NOT the fact the original URL is unsafe.

  4. If that is the case then how can I access your Twitter API to obtain a t.co short link before tweeting so I don’t get back a “Tweet is too long message”

  5. Either that or can you NOT return those errors and instead tell me how I can calculate the length the t.co link will ultimately be so that I can post the original long URL in the Tweet so that it only gets shortened once (e.g by t.co and not first by bit.ly or another API and THEN t.co)

I am also the author of a Tweet plugin that sends tweets out to get people to come to my site. Therefore this is really causing me problems as I am guessing a lot of people are seeing your warning page and then not continuing which is obviously costing me money.

So I need a solution to this problem which seems to be all caused by Twitter wrapping already short URLs inside another one and then flagging that up as suspicious.

I know why you are doing your own short URLS > so you can track click through but in most cases your t.co URLS are actually LONGER than the original bit.ly short URL.

Therefore wouldn’t it be better to either not wrap short URLS insider another short URL and cause these false error messages.

Or why can you not just follow the redirects as other plugins and tools can do before posting/editing the tweet (so you only do it once) to see if it’s safe?

If there is a Twitter API for getting short t.co links then I don’t know about it and even if I did many people still use Twitter plugins or applications that use other URL shorteners to get past your 140 character limit. Having multiple redirects from your own t.co links seems to be the cause of this problem.

Any help on this matter would be much appreciated as I am obviously losing lots of traffic and therefore money due to this erroneous coding / error page.

Any advice to solve this issue would be very much appreciated!


#2

This FAQ question addresses how to request review of a domain exhibiting this behavior:

[faq:6720]


#3

@episod Why do you post the same post over and over again after every question, you will help nobody with this at all.


#4

It seems they have freaking paranoid heuristics to detect malware links. My resource http://botrader.us (where I’m going to place some charts I’m tweeting about) “has been flagged as potentially harmful” after several links posted. I guess one of criteria is the frequency of tweets including links.