How to find the real web domain hidden behind a bit.ly shortened URL?

Without clicking on the link!

What about tinyurl or any other URL shorterner? For bit.ly, just add a + after the shortened URL.For Goo.gl (Google URL shortener), it's just as easy. For other shorteners, maybe use longURL.com. The idea to know the hidden domain before clicking on the shorterned URL is to make sure that you are not redirected to a dangerous, virus-laden website, or to a website that you don't know or don't want to visit.

It looks like I answered my question, but my bigger question is:

Could you develop an app that automatically, in batch mode, processes many - maybe millions per day - shortened URLs to determine those that are bad? It would be very useful for publishers (e.g. LinkedIn), to scan content submitted by bloggers and forum participants. These URL shorteners are extensively used by bloggers, usually to help monitor traffic or share traffic stats with advertising clients, but sometimes they are used for spamming or scamming. Is this a good idea for a new data science start-up? LongURL.com barely has any traffic and no competitor that I am aware of, though it does not address the issue of batch-processing.

Other start-up ideas for data scientists

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I've tried with untiny.me today. I was happy with the service.


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