Is it acceptable to paste shortened urls (e.g. those modified by tinyurl) in posts on stackexchange? I found No URL Shorteners?, which doesn't say no.

There are benefits of using tinyurl. One of them is making a post have less exposure because of not directly containing the original url, under the assumption that the owner of the original url doesn't prevent it from being linked either directly or indirectly via a shorten url. (Why would a post want less exposure? When a post asks about if someone's claim published on a website is correct, and some people don't take it well when they are challenged.)


  • In their answer to the question you link to, Shog9 says "not banned". Now, "not banned" is not the same as "acceptable", only possibly "tolerated", as in "please don't". I'm not turning this into an answer myself as I don't have further insight into this policy.
    – Kusalananda Mod
    Commented May 11, 2020 at 17:53

1 Answer 1


That's a rather old Meta post; five years later, in 2016, URL shorteners were banned on Stack Overflow. I'm not sure why this hasn't been made a networkwide policy, maybe because of a lower post volume and hence URL shorteners not being used that much, but the same reasons apply:

  • they can break without leaving any useful artifact
  • they are often used to obscure spam or malicious links
  • some shorteners show interstitial pages with advertisements
  • some shorteners even reuse old links, misdirecting innocent visitors to sites of ... questionable nature
  • shortening the URL is not necessary at all since 1) it takes time and 2) you can use no less than 30,000 characters in a post
  • 5
    I agree that a URL shortener has almost no useful purpose here, other than obscuring the eventual target, which is ... not good.
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Commented May 11, 2020 at 18:08

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