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I would like to use a URL shortener like bit.lygoo.gl, but all those services store all my data and collect a lot of personal information.

Is there an independent decentralized trustworthy URL shortener?

I want to add a deeplink to a manual on our homepage to a handout-flyer, that is far too long to be printed there. I would like to use a URL shortener for this, that seems trustworthy to the reader.

Maybe there is an URL shortener service that provides external independent audit on the servers and systems they are using?

  • 2
    if you need it not so frequent, why you don't use a redirection or subdomain at your homepage? - like www.ourhomepage.com/manual or manual.ourhompage.com --> 1) trustworthy: well, as trustworthy as your own domain! - 2) independent: you are the boss of your domain! - 3) decentralized: no, but if your domain/homepage is offline the other short-URLs also won't find the target! ;-) – DJCrashdummy Jun 27 '15 at 9:28
  • If it's for a limited number of URLs you could manually pre-configure, some web servers offer URL rewiting (e.g. mod_rewrite with Apache, which I use for such cases). Would that be an option? As no 3rd party services are involved this way, it should fully eliminate your privacy concerns. – Izzy Jun 27 '15 at 12:12
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If you are really mistrusting the normal options, then write your own. You could use your own website, and then add first part of an GUID, and then you add an URL route on your website giving the proper URL.

The URL http://softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/20666/anonymous-independent-decentralized-url-shortener could be referenced by http://softwarecs.stackexchange.com/20942daa, which should fit nicely on your flyer.

Alternatively, you could opt for generating your own QR-code for the URL, and print this on the flyer. You'll possibly loose a few links if they are not able to scan QR-codes, but then again you could gain some who doesn't want to type URL's. In other words, it depends a little on your targets.

QR-code for example url

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I have set up my own URL shortener using Yourls. It has many features other URL shorteners also have, e.g. statistics or a dashboard and it can be extended by Plugins

It's basically free, but you need a domain and a server with PHP and mySQL and enough privileges to install it.

  • Hmm, maybe that does not fulfil the "decentralized" criteria unless you set up several servers... – Thomas Weller Jun 26 '15 at 20:19
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At the moment offline, but this was once a possibility:

http://hwops.nl/

It sais:

non-tracking anonymous url shortener

all content is generated by users. traffic does not get logged or tracked. you are anonymous.
(I do of couse have a database linking short-code to urls, but that's everything I keep).

  • I am not sure if it is trustworthy though, also I don't want to promote that site either, it is just the only thing I found. I am open for a better answer. – rubo77 Jun 26 '15 at 19:23
  • This URL immediately prompted a download to my machine, which I of course cancelled. Not cool. Downvoting this. – Mentalist Dec 26 '15 at 19:50

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