Melbourne IT knocked Twitter URLs offline


blog No doubt there are some red faces at Melbourne-based web hosting and IT services firm Melbourne IT this morning, after the company admitted a human error by one of its staff yesterday resulted in an outage which took down the URL shortening service used by global social networking company Twitter. CNET has the most comprehensive version of the story, courtesy of veteran reporter Declan McCullagh (we recommend you click here for the full article):

A spokesman for Melbourne IT, a domain name registrar which Twitter uses for, told CNET this afternoon that: “Yesterday in the process of actioning a phishing complaint, our policy team inadvertently placed the domain on hold. The error was realized and rectified in approximately 40 minutes and links again began working.”

It hasn’t exactly been the best year for Melbourne IT. In late July one of the company’s servers was broken into by the rogue group of Internet activists known as Anonymous, who managed to siphon out data belonging to telco AAPT and the Queensland Government. Of course, we’re sure these kind of issues aren’t representative of Melbourne IT’s overall approach, which we’re sure is solid, but we’re sure there is some kind of internal review going on right now as to how this latest issue happened. Well, at least Australia is in the global tech headlines, if only for all the wrong reasons.


    • that doesn’t make sense. It’s like “why would twitter rely on for everything”

      • I don’t see much point in taking this further, but since I need a bit of a break:
        Links worked on Twitter long before the whole came to be. Those links would have still worked when’s down. Obviously, Twitter sought some commercial advantage by putting all these links under their own umbrella; the reported incident above shows there are disadvantages to that approach.

        • The other fun thing with the link shortening service is you’re forced to use it, even if you use your own link shortening service.

        • By forcing all links through, Twitter gets statistics on the most viewed links and over what timeframe, giving them valuable insight into the content people are most interested in.

          This could be used to develop more finely-tuned recommendation features for Twitter by promoting the users or tweets with the most-clicked links (in conjunction with other factors.) Sort of like a Twitter version of Google Pagerank.

          In fact, it’s the same reason Google cloaks all links found on with an envelope URL of its own. If you copy a link from a Google Search result and paste it into a browser, you’ll see the lengthy URL google wraps around every link it presents in its search results.

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