The treacherous world of URL spoofing

  1. Here is the story as it appeared on the newspapers website.
  2. But wait a minute! The story popped up in shared links on twitter with a disturbing URL.
  3. If you look carefully at the URL it now reads 
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/acha-hua-margaya-saala/947200/
    The headline part of the URL says “Acha Huwa margaya saala,” which is Hindi for “It’s good that the jerk died.” 
  4. And so … Not long before people are questioning the news organization’s bias in having named the URL so inappropriately!
  5. DivyaReports
    @ainieas @SaqibReports @bobbymacReports Good Lord ! Is the Express online team to blame for that url?
  6. romenesko
    @bobbymacReports @AntDeRosa @DivyaReports @ainieas @SaqibReports On it now. Thanks for hedz-up.
  7. But wait! Is the appalling URL for real ? Absolutely not!
  8. SaqibReports
    FYI the Indian Express “mar gaya saala” story is a hoax. You can put anything in that url as long as the last number is correct.
  9. SaqibReports
    @bobbymacReports you wrote “Is there any way that someone outside the Express could have changed the URL?” That’s what set me thinking!
  10. The newspaper’s online stories have URLs that are divided into three parts:  Eg.  http://www.indianexpress.com/news/    obama-supports-gay-marriage/  947899/

    The middle section is the headline.
     
  11. But the headline section of the URL can be changed and the URL would still kink to the story on the newspaper’s website.So 
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/OBAMA-supports-gay-marriage/947899/ could become http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ROMNEY-supports-gay-marriage/947899/
  12. Equateall
    @IndianExpress I find this URL I received was a hoax played on people. So, I regret writing that tweet to you. I am withdrawing it.
  13. myersnews
    @bobbymacReports @DivyaReports Structuring URLs this way has a valid purpose; you can change headline w/out breaking all inbound links.
  14. Read the story about what happened here: 
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One Comment

  1. Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thank you!

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