I had a post edited today within a minute of posting it, the post is here, and the Moderator Comment said to use the most direct link as possible. I was confused as to the reference, because the URL was the same as the FB one, but the mod was referring to the bit.ly link. I received this reply: "This link http://bit.ly/EucSctc should be replaced.. its a re-direct"
I asked for clarification; "Why is there a problem with bit.ly links? I have been posting them many times from Facebook apps for freebies. They are shortcut links, and they are used everywhere on Facebook, especially with apps; for some they work better than the longer URL's. You are going to be doing a lot of editing to FS posts if bit.ly links are not allowed for some reason. These are NOT referral links, btw.".
"Why are short-cut URLS a problem now, when they haven't been before?"
I was given this explanation: "I understand what they are used for, but they can also be used to hide referrals. We have a filter in place that alerts us every time a user uses the link, and we go back in and replace them with the direct link. This is not a new policy, unfortunately, some of the newer mods do not catch them."
I decided to bring the topic here.
Either the filters aren't working, or mods are ignoring them. If you are manually replacing them, the job may not be getting done because a lot of people are using them (bit.ly). As this is the first time I have ever had anybody fix a bit.ly link in my posts; and I have been using them, as well as others, because they are common with Facebook apps, for quite some time. There are 3 other bit.ly links in the post, because 4 separate Facebook pages owned by one parent company, are all participating in this promo, and offering the same sampling program. Therefore one can sign-up from any of the 4 product walls on FB. And sometimes one works when another doesn't. And unfortunately, bit.ly will work when a standard link won't for some, so many FB walls use them as shortcuts to long alternate sign-up URLS that easily get broken.
Why not put something in place that blocks use of them and put something in the FAQ (the FS one is woefully outdated as it is) stating that bit.ly links aren't allowed because of misuse by spammers using referrals. Or if manually checking them, delete the bad ones and leave the good ones in place (which may be what many mods are doing, rather than following the policy of replacing them (because replacing every bit.ly link is time-consuming). I am sure I am not the only person who posts using bit.ly links, as they are so common in use, especially with many freebie deals moving to Facebook instead of the old URL's to a sign-up on the manufacturers or promoters website. We all just C&P from FB or the bog/board we use as the source for the deal (who also widely happen to use bit.ly links, btw). I can recall Tiny URL being used for years, and nothing being said, though not as prevalent as bit.ly is used today.
The mod then said he trusted my links, the comment has since been removed, and the other three bit.ly links are still there. Spammers can still sneak in bad links whether bit.ly is used or not. I still use regular URL's as the main sign-up link, the bit.ly's are alternatives provided in the FB wall posts regarding the offer, which I, and others, simply C&P in the thread. That bit.ly may go to the same app as the main link, or an alternate for those unable to get the main link to work (sometimes the bit.ly link is a mobile-friendly sign-up page since FB apps don't work on mobile devices). I just C&P from the wording on the wall post, it never occurred to me to change the bit.ly link.
If bit.ly is such a problem, why not ask users to refrain from using them, as the mod policy of replacing them with traditional URL's is apparently not working (probably due to the work involved). I suspect mods are passing on posts made by users who have established credibility, and focusing on new users using bit.ly links (Because spammers are typically new users). Or is this not really a big problem, and the number of spammers posting with bit.ly links not enough to enforce the policy of the mods replacing them with standard links?