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Official: vb.ly Link Shortener Seized by Libyan Government | techyum ::

Posted: October 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Violet Blue's link shortening service, vb.ly, was officially seized by the Libyan government recently for violation of Islamic Sharia law. "The photograph of me with my bare arms, holding a bottle, and the words 'sex-positive' were cited as obscene, offensive and illegal," Violet writes. She correctly states that "all .ly domains, and the businesses built on them internationally, should be on high alert."

This is yet another blatant attack on sexual freedom that undermines not only free speech but the fabric of the supposedly World Wide Web. However, it also highlights the well-known fragility of the Internet, and the social media landscape, with regards to sexuality. While I made use of vb.ly, I've long had doubts about the usefulness of ghettoizing sexuality with specially-branded services. Rather than build easily censorable hubs, sex-positive activists should be using non-sexuality-specific services to spread information.

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One Comment on “Official: vb.ly Link Shortener Seized by Libyan Government | techyum ::”

  1. 1 Iamcuriousblue said at 4:26 pm on October 10th, 2010:

    No more vb.ly? I guess I now have a buttload of old Twitter messages with dead links. In any event, I hadn’t used vb.ly in some months now, as it was starting to noticeably slow down.

    But more importantly, according to Wikipedia, LTT, which owns .Ly, is a Gaddafi family enterprise, run by one of Muammar al-Gaddafi’s sons:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.ly
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libya_Telecom_&_Technology

    I don’t know how other people feel about this, but my politics are such that a human rights-violating autocrat like Gaddafi is not somebody who I’d want to do business with, in any event. I suppose this is the same issue as outsourcing work to China, which a lot of businesses do without a second thought, and no thought to what labor and political conditions they might be helping perpetuate.

    Alternatives to the use of .Ly for URL shortening are definitely called for. I’m done with bit.ly and 3.ly, except where built-in retweeting software leaves no alternative.