But what they don't do, and what the site GOP.am does, is make your URLs partisan.
Thanks to GOP.am, you can now share your allegiance to the R.N.C. through your links.
The brainchild of Political Media, the Republican Party's "new media" consultants, GOP.am is dedicated to "making long URLs...conservative."
Here's how it works: Type in the URL you want to shorten, click enter, and you'll get back a shorter link that includes "GOP.am" in the URL.
In addition to putting an homage to the 'Grand Old Party' in your URL, the shortened GOP link will add a GOP.am-themed border to your webpage that prominently displays links to Our.GOP.Com and a site where you can donate to the GOP. (see the screenshot below, which shows GOP.am's banner around the Huffington Post's homepage.)
Wired reports that the GOP URL shortener hasn't be used entirely as the creators intended.
Apparently, online mischief makers "had a field day using the tool to associate the G.O.P. with bondage sites."Wired writes:
Almost immediately after it launched yesterday, pranksters began using the service to link to controversial or ironically-intended websites such as the official site of the American Communist Party, a bondage website and a webpage advertising a sex toy in the likeness of Barack Obama. GOP.am started blocking such links apparently at some point Tuesday morning, and the GOP.am homepage is now offline.
According to Wired, the lewd links have been disabled, and GOP.am temporarily went offline.
GOP.AM was created as a free service to make posting long URLs easier. If you use it for spamming, illegal purposes or to promote lude [sic] content, your GOP.AM URL will be disabled.
The GOP.am homepage reports that thus far, there have been "681 happy GOP.AM URLs and counting."