URL Shortener Being Marked as Unsafe on Facebook

Norton continues to mark one of our client’s short urls as UNSAFE on facebook. Drilling down further on this matter the url shortener domain is listed under Norton’s http://safeweb.norton.com/ website as a “SCAM Website” threat (no details on this type of threat are provided on Norton’s website for this category, unfortunately). Each of the three counts that are regarded as threats are listed with the url shortener that actually POINT TO a post on facebook not the actual domain for which the url shortener is being used for.

We’ve left about 100 inquiries via facebook (not kidding! For every post that was marked unsafe we filled out the below form; this company averages 5-8 daily facebook posts)  and finally after 3 weeks we were advised to not use the url shortner! Amazing. We are amidst explaining to facebook that we use these url shorteners for traffic tracking purposes and won’t accept this response.

In an attempt to rectify the matter via Norton’s http://safeweb.norton.com/ we did try to follow the instructions to have the url shortner domain “re-evaluated”.  A site verification request must be conducted via a meta tag upload or an HTML file upload. To complicate matters more we discovered this approach will not apply to this case because the ‘short domain’ does not point to the ‘main domain’ rather it points to bitly. In other words we do not have access to the url domain to successfully submit a verification request.


Since Norton does not provide a support form on http://safeweb.norton.com/ we did reach out to them via their ‘feedback’ form. We are waiting.

Update:  had the sheer pleasure of communicating with Michael in the Global Marketing Solutions Dept at Facebook and filled him in on the above.  After reaching out to his tech department, we got the news that our bitly url was “cleared for publishing”.  All systems are a go now and we are posting with no issues!  We hope this remains the case (Facebook algorithms as we all know change from time to time). The amazing part of all this is that Facebook seems to be making some amazing progress in getting these issues addressed by REAL people. Don’t know if this is the case for all, or for accounts that have paid their dues in terms of dollars spent on advertising with them.

Still no word from Norton. Our next step in this trying process is to get the alleged threats removed from the listings on http://safeweb.norton.com/.  It’s trying because there is no contact form on http://safeweb.norton.com/. We’ve located a form on https://support.norton.com/ and are reaching out to them via that avenue. We shall see if any headway is made!


Post written by Mich

Lead busy bee || consultant at Red Bridge Internet : San Francisco WordPress Developers and Consultants.

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