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For a while now, ppcg.ga has been a URL shortener for PPCG, and it has been used in many answers, like the answers to this question. However, upon visiting the link today, it redirected me to a sketchy-looking site (not PPCG), and gave me some strange warnings about ads and stuff. I closed the page. So my question is: what has happened to ppcg.ga? If it does not work, then should the answers that use it be deleted, edited, or locked?

Here's a screenshot: strange website

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    \$\begingroup\$ .ga is a pseudo-free TLD owned by Freenom. After the domain expired, it was converted to a paid premium domain. The domain is now available for re-registration for about $10. \$\endgroup\$ – mınxomaτ Apr 2 '17 at 16:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can instead use ppcg.ml, ppcg.cf and ppcg.gq \$\endgroup\$ – mınxomaτ Apr 2 '17 at 16:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mınxomaτ None of those resolve; did you mean those are available for me to obtain? I am not looking to obtain a domain, instead I wanted to know what happened. BTW, can you post your first comment as an answer? \$\endgroup\$ – NoOneIsHere Apr 2 '17 at 16:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Good news! ppcg.ml, ppcg.cf and ppcg.gq are working! You can now rest assured that the bytecount of some answers will not be increased. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik the Outgolfer Apr 2 '17 at 17:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EriktheOutgolfer Oh, cool! So every year, we just register a new domain? \$\endgroup\$ – NoOneIsHere Apr 2 '17 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NoOneIsHere Yeah, possibly. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik the Outgolfer Apr 3 '17 at 9:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ To closevoters: How is this off-topic? This is directly related to a specific PPCG question, and to PPCG's users/ \$\endgroup\$ – NoOneIsHere Apr 3 '17 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ According to this question the domain is owned by @Milo \$\endgroup\$ – powelles Apr 3 '17 at 17:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NoOneIsHere Because the domain is not owned by PPCG or SE, this question isn't on-topic for meta. Meta is for questions about PPCG, not for questions about third-party services created by/for PPCG users. \$\endgroup\$ – Mego Apr 3 '17 at 18:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mego This url is used in many answers,, which are on PPCG. \$\endgroup\$ – NoOneIsHere Apr 3 '17 at 18:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NoOneIsHere Sure, but it's not PPCG's responsibility. It's no more on-topic than "what ever happened to fake.url?" \$\endgroup\$ – Mego Apr 3 '17 at 18:39
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Honestly, it'd be better if we don't use URL shorteners or alternate sites for questions like those, since things like this can happen. URLs like that can expire and be bought up by anybody, they could become malicious later.

The question creator should consider not counting the URL in the byte-count or score instead. Besides, once someone finds a shortened URL, everyone else changes their answer to use it. So just skip the shorter URLs and leave the golfing to the answerer, not the URL, which is technically something outside the scope of the challenge.

Also, as Dennis pointed out, URL shorteners / shortened URLs are a loophole.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Or even better, have the URL given as an input. \$\endgroup\$ – Mego Apr 3 '17 at 18:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't usually use it for that purpose, but I just need something short to type on my address bar to go to PPCG. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik the Outgolfer Apr 3 '17 at 19:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EriktheOutgolfer Just create a bookmark. Or if you come here often enough, just type "c" and the rest with be filled in, after which you can hit "Enter". Like this: i.imgur.com/OSuilyu.png \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Apr 3 '17 at 19:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mbomb007 The problem is that bookmarks need the mouse, and "c" is reserved for "coursera.org" for me (and I'm not willing to change it). And yes, I'm a bit lazy on the mouse, especially when I'm tired. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik the Outgolfer Apr 3 '17 at 19:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Then type "cod" or "code", lol. \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Apr 3 '17 at 19:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that shortened URLs are a loophole now. \$\endgroup\$ – Dennis Apr 3 '17 at 19:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mbomb007 Pffft, I've resorted to p(pcg.ml) for now. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik the Outgolfer Apr 3 '17 at 19:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EriktheOutgolfer Then this really isn't our problem - it's yours. \$\endgroup\$ – Mego Apr 4 '17 at 4:30

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