Tiny URL

Libya Domain Dominates Twitter

The United Nations, NATO, the U.S. Air Force, and even Human Rights Watch have, strangely enough, been directing Twitter followers to an Internet domain controlled by the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. Libya’s Internet domain happens to be the English language’s adverbial suffix ‘ly,’ and the .ly domain is used by popular companies like bit.ly and Ow.ly that compress lengthy Internet addresses to 20 characters, making them easier to fit into the 140 allotted characters on Twitter. The .ly domain is controlled by Libya’s General Post and Telecommunications Co., whose chairman is Mohammed Gaddafi—the Libyan dictator’s eldest son. “It’s ironic and a little bit distasteful,” said Tom Malinowski, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch, upon hearing the news.