I’m sure Muammar is quietly filling his trousers at the entire internet talking of how his government “seized” vb.ly the “sex positive” URL shortener.
Of course he’s not and what’s more, most of the chatter is bollocks.
vb.ly called itself “the internet’s first and only sex-positive URL shortener” and made statements such as this:
This means that Vbly has a different policy than other shorteners. Blue, and Vbly creator Ben Metcalfe, encourage the use of this service for creating links to adult sites and other “NSFW” links.
There is nothing wrong with vb.ly’s purpose
For me, I see nothing wrong with having a URL shortener specifically for adult content… but if it was me setting it up, I’d probably not be looking at a .ly domain. I’d also not be looking at any domain where it may cause offense to either regime or populous.
It’s all very well to argue that the domain didn’t host any adult content, but the fact remains that the sole purpose of the domain was to shorten links for adult content.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with vb.ly’s purpose, but lets be honest here – if you were going to start a service which shortens URLs specifically for adult content would you choose a TLD of a country that practices Sharia Law?
The arguments of whether it is right or wrong are beside the point, it’s simply the way it is.
Threats to other .ly URL shorteners
There is no implicit threat, that I have seen, to bit.ly or any other .ly domain. (If I’m wrong, please link me up in the comments).
NIC.ly have altered their terms making .ly domains shorter than 4 letters only available to persons or companies with a presence in Libya. This can be interpreted as meaning other short .ly domains could be closed down, but equally it could be interpreted as meaning that no more will be issued to non-Libyans.
Fap good, .ly bad
In summary vb.ly were unlucky to have been closed down, though the wisdom of even starting their service on the .ly TLD is questionable.