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It becomes the norm for people to share online content such as images, videos, and news over various channels including online social networks, news media, or online communities. One of the popular ways to publish and share online content is using a URL shortening service, which provides a short equivalent URL that is redirected to an original URL of content. This paper comprehensively analyze the practice of using short URLs from their creations to publishing to sharing, using a large scale dataset that contains 4.2 B requests for 80 M URLs created through Bit.ly, one of the most popular URL shortening services. We find that content URLs are mosunknown.

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