A TinyURL with an opinion

The TinyURL.com service allows you to instantly generate short URLs from long ones. For example, a link to a long URL at Wikimedia Commons becomes http://tinyurl.com/2lp8q4. Each new URL submission is added to a database, and the next free alphanumeric string is set as an identifier.

Naturally, I had to try some rather amusing subsets of the range of alphanumeric possibilities. (Read: Offensive language ahead.)

The idea was to find a string of letters and numbers that had some linguistic or topical relationship to the target URL. Most of the things I tried led to boring test URLs (tinyurl.com/fuck) or expired pages (tinyurl.com/ass). But one seemed too good to be true: tinyurl.com/cunt led to the whitehouse.gov bio for Laura Bush.

It was unlikely to be chance. "Cunt" is often used as a pejorative term towards women, and Laura Bush is a female closely associated with one of the most hated people in America. It had to be a political statement. (I'm pretty sure that the URL is a political statement by the TinyURL administrator. The link has since changed to point to whitehouse.gov/mrscheney. TinyURLs don't change on their own.)

Can you find any other easter eggs in the site?


Responses: 3 so far

  1. Terras says:

    http://tinyurl.com/preview.php?num=cunt

    They put a little disclaimer on it now.

  2. Tim McCormack says:

    Ah, didn't notice that before -- thanks, Terras.

    I still think it was the admin. How else would the target change?

    However, there is evidence supporting the claim that a user gamed the IDs. Check out IDs cun[x], with x={k,n,o,q,s}.

  3. Terras says:

    Yais, all those stop after t~

    Shit is a link to Ratchet and Clank the video game, though that's probably just a coincidence. >.>