We live in a real, global environment. “How will Libya’s political situation effect my personal, shorthanded Twitter links?” True story.
I had a feeling someone was going to make a rebuttal like this, so I may as well respond. All this is not to say that this is the main issue at stake here (or that bit.ly were particularly wise in getting a domain from the Libyan government), but there is a real technical question here that people may be concerned about. We were wondering it ourselves, so it was worth looking into. Another way to frame this: Do we really want these cutesy domain names to help fund (and bring attention to) the Libyan government, who clearly have some major human rights problems? Because that’s where it’s going – to the Libyan government.
» When clever names go bad: As we have noted in the past, Bit.ly’s name is tied very closely to Libya. However, as the Interwebs have gone down of late in the country, many are wondering if this means anything bad for the URL shortener market, which also counts owl.ly and ht.ly as potential victims, among others. We’ll let Bit.ly’s CEO, John Borthwick, take it from here: “For .ly domains to be unresolvable the five .ly root servers that are authoritative *all* have to be offline, or responding with empty responses. Of the five root nameservers for the .ly TLD: two are based in Oregon, one is in the Netherlands and two are in Libya.” And plus, they have backup plans in place, like j.mp or bitly.com. So no, nothing to worry about.