Logo: Myspace - a place where nothing fucking works

Myspace msplinks redirects
and how to get rid of them

Updated 03-05-2010... The bookmarklet described here had stopped working due to a myspace code change. I have now fixed it, and as of 03-05-10 it now works once more. If it stops working again I will probably never know about it, as I have now deleted my myspace account on realising that it was a total waste of time having it.


Readers of these pages may have noticed that I do have a certain tendency to get pissed off with myspace. Mostly this is due to the staggering idiocy and incredible technical ineptitude displayed by the fucking divs who run it.

The latest fucking stupid idea they have come up with is to automatically replace all links you put in your profile or in messages or anywhere with some fucking obfuscated redirect via http://www.msplinks.com. So now any link you see on someone's profile or that they send you in a message points to a meaningless jumble of letters and numbers and you haven't got a fucking clue what it actually points to unless you actually click on it.

So now anyone can send you a link to a site full of viruses or embarrassingly vile porn or any other kind of internet shite, and you won't know in advance... if the author of the message claims the link is to a site about pretty flowers, but it's actually a link to dogsfuckinghorses.com, you can't mouse over it to look at the URL to figure this out, all you can do is click on it, which you probably don't want to do.

The worst thing is that the fucking morons who implemented this stupid idea actually claim that it stops such shenanigans. How? They say they look through all the links and deactivate the ones to dodgy sites.

Pull the other one, it's got fucking bells on... There are sodding millions of links posted to myspace every day, and they're trying to make out they can check every single one of them? Don't take me for a fucking idiot. If they can check 0.01% of them they'd be doing well.

And it's equally bloody stupid to claim that they can automatically blacklist domains, when the millions of spammers and crackers can create sacrificial domains a bloody sight faster than a few clueless myspace admins can check them.

And what the fuck possible justification can there be in any case for entrusting important aspects of one's personal computer security to bleeding myspace admins, of all people, who repeatedly prove that they haven't got the intelligence to run a whelk stall?

Come on crackers, you've got it all your own way now. You can post up links to whatever fucking malware site you want and nobody will be able to tell. It's a bloody crackers' and phishers' paradise now.

Look out for millions of virus- and trojan-infected computers, stolen bank details and general mayhem now, all coming your way courtesy of the fucking idiots running myspace.

Further important shit caused by this stupid redirect business includes the point that search engines indexing links on myspace will now be storing the msplinks address instead of the real one. The redirection is done with a 302 Moved Temporarily, which makes msplinks useless in terms of providing useful search engine results. There is no reason why it shouldn't be done with a 301, and every reason why it should, but myspace is run by clueless, selfish and ignorant morons, so 302 is what we get. And msplinks redirects don't fucking work if you click them from a search engine - they just take you to the myspace login page instead of the page they're supposed to redirect to. They only work if you click them from a page on myspace (unless you turn off referer logging). The sheer fucking cheek of this is unbelievable. To anyone with even a little technical knowledge of how the internet and search engines work, it is indisputable that only a complete shithead would do such a thing.

It only takes a couple of minutes on Google to prove that I am right and the myspace admins are wrong. The crackers and phishers have already found out how to alter their procedures to take account of the situation, and it's only the ordinary myspace users who are affected, with anyone with any understanding of the thing moaning like a bastard about it, same as me.

Fortunately I have managed to come up with a partial solution to the problem. It's not as good a solution as holding a knife to Tom's throat and informing him that it will be shoved in at a rate of a quarter of an inch per minute until he gets rid of the fucking redirects, but it can at least solve the problem on an individual basis.

The obfuscated part of an msplinks URL is simply the original URL preceded by two digits and encoded using base64. Thank the Lord that it's not actually encrypted. This makes it simple to recover the original URL:

$ MSPURL="http://www.msplinks.com/MDFodHRwOi8vcGlnZW9uc25lc3QuY28udWsvaW5kZXguaHRtbA=="
$ echo "$MSPURL" | sed -e 's/^.*\.com\///' | mimencode -u | sed -e 's/^[^h]*//' -e 's/$/\n/'

(In Debian, mimencode is part of the metamail package.)

I have created a javascript bookmarklet that goes through myspace pages and converts all the fucking stupid msplinks redirects back into the original links, so you can see what they really are. It works on textareas too so you can see what you're doing when you're editing your profile. What you do is bookmark this button:

Deobfuscate msplinks redirects

then when you want to deobfuscate the links on a myspace page, you just go to that bookmark, and instead of reloading a different page like a normal bookmark does, it changes all the msplinks on the existing page back into their original, readable form. (You need javascript turned on for it to work.)

I've tested it in Opera (9.20, Debian) and Firefox (Debian iceweasel and it works fine in both of those. I haven't tested it in Internet Exploder because I haven't got a Microshite box, and I am given to understand that some versions of IE do not handle bookmarklets properly, but despite this others say it works in IE too. In Opera, instead of bookmarking the button, you can drag it onto your toolbar and have it as a toolbar button, which makes things even easier.

Try it out... This link is an msplinks redirect to Pigeon's Nest. If you mouse over it you will see that it points to http://www.msplinks.com/MDFodHRwOi8vcGlnZW9uc25lc3QuY28udWsvaW5kZXguaHRtbA==. Also it doesn't work unless you turn off referer logging... with referer logging turned on, it takes you not to my website but to bleeding myspace, the cheeky cunts. Click the button above, then mouse over it again, and you will see that now it points directly to the root page of my website, and works properly irrespective of your referer logging setting.

But since it would be far better if the fucking stupid site just stopped inserting redirects in the first place... We all know that messaging Tom or emailing customer services on myspace is like pissing in the wind, useless bunch of ignorant fuckers that they are, they can never even be arsed to answer let alone sort the problem out. So please post the text of this page and a link to it in both your blog and your bulletins, and encourage your friends to do the same. If thousands of people all start moaning about it then the useless fuckers just might be pressurised into getting rid of their fucking stupid idea.

The decode64 function used by the bookmarklet was created by Tyler Akins and placed in the public domain. The rest of the code is by Pigeon and is also in the public domain.

Hey! I'm famous!
The Social Media Experience : Pigeon's new MSPlinks.com bookmarklet removes redirects from MySpace links
Thanks for the mention!

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