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[Resolved] miniURL.com/323b7 : Flagged by SpamCop


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SpamCop has reported to our hosting provider that some URL from miniURL.com was spamvertised. This has lead our hosting provider to shut the site down. This is not the first time it has happened. In fact we have been taken down at least 3 times since last year.


We want to let SpamCop know that we are not the one who spamvertise these URLs but some abusive users who use our URL shortening service to cloak their URLs.

We are simply a URL shortener just like http://goo.gl/ or http://bit.ly/ and we've been shortening URLs for the last 5 years. However, we are very different from them since we take an extra step to preserve visitor safety to URLs.

First, we implement PhishTank and Google Safe Browsing to ban malicious URLs from being shortened or cloaked on our site. Some URLs especially new ones may not be listed on the two phishing/malicious url databases so we implement another extra precaution. Unlike other URL shorteners, a visitor to a short URL is shown the original long URL for 6 seconds before actually being redirected. The visitor is given a chance to go back if the URL looks suspicious or proceed.

We kindly ask SpamCop to review a flagged url from miniURL.com and report any spammed URL to admin[at]miniurl.com first. There is also a report abuse link on the site. We are able to completely remove the reported URL within 24 hours of the initial report. Immediately escalating it to our hosting provider doesn't really help the situation. At the moment of writing, millions of shortened URLs are currently unavailable due to the site being taken down. We hope that there'll be some de-escalation on your part. Thank you.


miniURL admin

*The reported URL redirects to http://netbizphil.681.a.clickbetter.com

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Hi, miniURL admin,

...Sorry to hear of your problem!

...First, please be aware that your problem is not with SpamCop and SpamCop is not likely to be inclined to deal with your problem in the manner you seem to be requesting. SpamCop send the reports of spamvertizing to the registered abuse address of the spamvertized host on behalf of SpamCop reporting users and only as a courtesy, not as a request to take any action against the spamvertized host. Were I in your situation, I would be publicizing the ignorance of my hosting provider and changing to one that understands that spamvertized sites are (sometimes, at least, as seems to be your case) as much the victims of the spammers as those receiving the spam.

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Hello miniurl,

Short answer - go to the bottom of this, in between is for if you're interested and for the benefit (hopefully) of other readers who might be interested. This is primarily a reporting matter and the topic will be moved to that section.

Sorry to hear of the problems - and sorry I had to edit your post (reasons given in the Help, link found near the top right of any page wrapper). That sympathy is somewhat reduced by your extraordinary decision to leave a link to the actual spamvertized website ready to be indexed by every search engine in the cosmos but, OK, I understand, the forum 'helpfully' converts any http:// into a link, you may not have known or thought it through, anyway it is fixed now, no harm done (or not much), yes it redirects further from clickbetter.com, 105 files and 110 folders created in conjunction my sandboxed Firefox browser when visited.

Firstly, despite your hosting provider's actions, you are not black/blocklisted by SpamCop, merely reported for their consideration. The independent SURBL might pick up such reports but SC only lists the IP addresses of spam sources. See http://www.spamcop.net/fom-serve/cache/88.html Note "SpamCop provides an easy way to prevent reports regarding your site (or at least that specific URL)" which is an action your ISP might take - though they might not care to do so for a URL-shortening service.

So, your hosting provider ought to be far more understanding about the nature of your service and be appreciative of the responsible (and operationally smart) measures you have taken to reduce the abuse of it (as are we all). You should be having some of this conversation with them. Other URL shortening services have had the same trouble, as you can see by searching these pages. Links to some of those (far from being a full or exhaustive list) may be helpful:








Next, many SpamCop users have asked SC to resolve shortened URLs to their source and report that instead of the shortened URL but for whatever reason (including the fact that some are a daisy-chain of redirections) it seems unlikely that will happen. Several links:



Your specific request, to receive SC "spamvertized" reports as well as/instead of cogentco.com and whoever else cogentco are referring them to needs be resolved between SC staff, cogentco and yourself (or there may be other solutions). Thanks for your efforts to limit the abuse of spam. If the SC Admin does not respond to this, you might like to contact him direct -

Don D'Minion SpamCop Admin:

service [at] admin.spamcop.net

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