Over at the official Twitter blog, there’s news of a new internal URL shortener that Twitter has added to the platform.
The shortener, twt.tl, cannot be accessed directly at the moment. Instead, Twitter plans to route all submitted URLs through this new service so that it can “detect, intercept, and prevent the spread of bad links across all of Twitter”, adding that even if a link is shared by a different method (i.e., email notification), they will be able to keep the user safe.
Since these attacks occur primarily on Direct Messages and email notifications about Direct Messages, this is where we have focused our initial efforts. For the most part, you will not notice this feature because it works behind the scenes but you may notice links shortened to twt.tl in Direct Messages and email notifications.
It’s worth noting that when you see a URL shortened to twt.tl it doesn’t mean that the contents of that link are bad. One assumes that when malicious data is contained within a link, Twitter will simply re-route the user through to a stop page that prevents them from being affected, hopefully with an explanation as to what happened, alongside some encouragement not to retweet.
More details as they emerge.