I've been getting irritateder and obnoxiated every time I inadvertently get sent to an ow.ly shortened url only to find it's been link-jacked. So I just did some 'research' and discovered that NOBODY USES OW.LY except your popular range of Twitter clients. People love your client, and they love sharing links. This results in them sharing links WITH YOUR CLIENT. Which results in me swearing and owls being threatened.
This means you are squarely to blame for this annoyance that I face on a daily basis. So knock it the crap off.
In my frequent rantings about this on Twitter and Buzz, people always say "Oh yeah! I HATE that!," so I know I'm not alone. I'm just one of the few bothered to say anything about it. Here are a few that I ran across today:
@ahockley - I consider the use of ow.ly as an indicator of someone I probably should ignore
Linda Lawrey - Oh.. Now I know.. I don't like those links for that exact reason!
Duncan Rawlinson - You're right. I forgot how annoying that thing is! I turned it off although it really shouldn't exist at all...
Woodsy the Owl - Give a 'hoot' don't pollute... the Internet with your shitty linkjacking.
Seriously. I'm beginning to hate owls now. And it's your fault.
UPDATE: Someone from HootSuite contacted me and clarified a few things. First off, they say ow.ly shortening is "opt-in," that users have to go out of their way to get HootSuite to shorten the url via ow.ly, that they are free to use whatever external shortener they want. It's just that prominent 'Shrink It' button that uses ow.ly.
Secondly, they point out that one can just click the X in their linkjack bar to turn it off "permanently." I've clicked that X a number of times, yet keep seeing it.
Thirdly, they advised that I install browser hacks to circumvent their doucheyness on a more permanent basis:
and that if I want to keep my content from being linkjacked, that I should just install 'framebusting' code which has been used for years. Great, so I need to take action to prevent not only myself from being affected, but also my content. Douchey.
There you have it, straight from the owl's beak. They know what they're doing is douchey, but don't give a hoot. The solution offered is a really simple one, though: "Don't click on the links your friends send you."
And that's the plan. I hope you'll keep this in mind when you decide how you want to share links.
UPDATE UPDATE: I asked why they jack links if the service doesn't make them any money. This was the reply:
The author lives in Vancouver, Washington, USA with his girlfriend and a menagerie of cats, rats, fish, birds, guinea pigs and robots.
Among other inanities, he strives to use investigative techniques to work young starlet breasts into every aspect of rational discourse -- focusing on the discourse, thus making it not perverted. Also, has recently begun a career as "Internet hairstylist."
He can be contacted via email and Jabber IM at 'firstname.lastname@example.org'. He likes to be contacted.
(All press inquiries, however, ought be directed towards the author's agent, Alistair Hoel, via email to email@example.com.)