Why MYTURL.COM is going way

UPDATE I — Below

Back in 2003, I noticed that TINYURL.COM was becoming quite popular (and also was quite useful) but I seen a major problem with the service. What happens if it goes away? Some many links would be lost. Being an open source minded fellow, I developed MYTURL.COM using AOLserver, PostgreSQL, and TCL as an Open Source (via GPLv2) clone of TINYURL.COM.


With the code available, I wanted to give companies the building blocks to develop their own tiny url system and use with their sites. At the very least, it gave people a free and open system to use if they choose.

Then there was the SPAM issue. What a pain in the arse.

To combat SPAM in MYTURL.COM, I did the following:

  • All connections made to the server were checked against various Realtime Blacklist (RBLs). If you IP address was on a blacklist, you were given an error message. Yep, if you were blacklisted from MYTURL.COM. While some people found this a bit extreme, in reality it didn’t keep many non-spammers for using the site.
  • If the IP address of the link was in the blacklist, MYTURL.COM gave an error and the link was not added.
  • Weekly, all sites (not links, sites) in the top 20 in clicks on investigated, if there were SPAM they were deleted AND those domains were blacklist.

While this was not perfect, it did stop a good amount of SPAM links from being created. Typically if a SPAM link passed through the RBL checking, it was blocked within 7 days. So yes, unfortunately some moron was able to a MYTURL.COM link in a SPAM message.


Surprisingly, most people understood this. When I received complaints and I explained how things happened, folks were rather nice about it. Even when my ISP receive complaints they understood the situation and never, in any way, thought I was violating my Terms of Service.

Then somebody complained to GoDaddy.com.* They claim I had violated their Terms of Service by sending SPAM *from* MYTURL.COM. When I explained that it must of been forged, they sent me a copy of it.

*You know, the folks that whore out various females to sell domain name and web related services. 

They sent me this:


We will then investigate the validity of the information that you provide. The complainant located at the example email address may be contacted to verify and/or confirm any contact information or subscription details. If the information you provide checks out, we can probably consider this a situation where this person has forgotten they opted-in.
The address is: kimisamazingxx@aim.com, a copy of the offending email message has been included at the end of this message to assist you in your investigation.
PLEASE NOTE you must reply with the requested information within 48 hours, failure to do so may lead to actions such as the suspension or cancellation of your service.

Here is a copy of the offending email message:
From: Juan Manuel Garcia Gutierrez
To:
Subject: Dear: 16:21:14
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2010 09:21:40 +0100
Hey,
how are you doing recently?
I would like to introduce you a very good company. It can offer you all kinds of electronic products that you may be in need,such as laptops ,gps ,TV LCD,cell phones,ps3,MP3/4,motorcycles . Website: ?http://myturl.com/0pC0J? 

product are brand new and original.
Best regards

—–
A few things to note here:
  • The link isn’t functional. While the link was created, it was only working for about 2 minutes. A helper process in MYTURL.COM sweeps all newly created links to double check the SPAM checking process. This like was blocked by the second process.
  • There are no headers from the mail servers involved. The sole determination that it came from my domain is based on somebody using an *inactive* URL in the SPAM message.
  • They are talking about opt-in, it is obvious they have NO idea what MYTURL.COM is and haven’t looked at the site.
  • They also included a non-working linking to the Terms of Service (since I have this service, I do stay up to date with it). They then asked for $75 to the right to leave, or $199 for the right to say.

I fired back:

I am agreeing to nothing since you have, as yet, shown in any way shape
or form that I have violate ANY terms of service for the domain.
Somebody used a non-working (and fictional) like in a SPAM email that
did NOT originate from the domain nor was the domain in ANY of the
headers for the email. I was the VICTIM in the SPAM, not involved with
it. I have asked SPECIFICALLY how I abused any terms of service and you
have not show me. 

Since I have violated no terms of services, I see no reason why I would
have to agree to anything.

 

So, for the past 4 days, I have been trying to get any clear definition of where I violated the terms of service. Note, MYTURL.COM:
  • Does not have customers, it is a free service.
  • Did not originate the SPAM in question, and the link is fictional (or was only working for less then 2 minutes).

GoDaddy’s Abuse department has not returned my phone calls and quite frankly, I don’t think it is worth it to continue provide MYTURL.COM. Thanks GoDaddy, for showing your pure stupidity.


UPDATE:

I forgot to mention this, according to my email system:

Content analysis details: (5.3 points, 5.0 required) 

pts rule name description
---- ---------------------- --------------------------------------------------
2.2 DEAR_SOMETHING BODY: Contains 'Dear (something)'
0.0 HTML_MESSAGE BODY: HTML included in message
1.7 MIME_HTML_ONLY BODY: Message only has text/html MIME parts
0.1 RDNS_NONE Delivered to trusted network by a host with no rDNS
1.3 AWL AWL: From: address is in the auto white-list

GoDaddy’s abuse email is ‘SPAM’

 

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