About

The ethics of maw.cx (and why you should support us!)

Our URL shorteners maw.cx are not only fully featured and easy to use, but are also guaranteed to be run in a completely ethical manner. Here are some of the things that we feel make us an ethical service that you can trust, with some further information below: -

  • We pledge to support maw.cx as a free service indefinitely and to not introduce charges for services we previously offered for free.
  • We pledge never to place 3rd party advertising on the site.
  • maw.cx doesn't require registration and doesn't collect or track your personal details.
  • maw.cx's development is driven by its users' interests, not by investors or shareholders.
  • We are hosted and run entirely from the UK and comply fully with its laws.
  • We make an API available free of charge so that other applications can harness maw.cx.
  • We have a clear policy on what we don't allow maw.cx to be used for. This includes use for spam, phishing, viruses, adware or child pornography.
  • We're one of the most proactive URL shorteners in preventing spam/misuse.
  • In running and staffing the site we will never discriminate on the grounds of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion or how much you like cake.
  • We have a "small and friendly" approach to support - your emails will not be answered by a mindless corporate drone, in fact they're most often dealt with personally by maw.cx's creator.

Ownership/staff

"Ethical" is a term that is too often bandied around as a corporate buzzword. To understand how we can have a credible ethical position in truth and not just in name, here are some details about the site's staff and ownership: -

maw.cx's creator
maw.cx's creator and primary maintainer is Mohamed Galal, a freelance developer and technologist. Mohamed's is passionate about making the web easier to use and building sites that serve their users rather than corporations. Things he hates with a passion include cluttered websites, animated adverts, popups and spam. As a freelancer, Mohamed's development of the site is always governed by the interests of its users.

maw.cx's ownership
maw.cx is wholly owned by MohamedGalal, an egyptian student.

The ad-free URL shortener

maw.cx will always remain free of any 3rd party advertising. We do mention our owner, Mohamed Galal, from time to time and we're very open about this. We only do this in an informational way (e.g. to show users who maw.cx is supported by) and in a restrained manner (such as on this page). We may also mention other services we own from time to time. You'll never see banner ads or popups on maw.cx.

and some thoughts from maw.cx's creator on why we feel we're better than the competition...

Our URL shorteners are in the fairly unique position of having the support and investment they need to ensure continued service while having an ownership structure that allows us to have a credible ethical policy. We make our intentions clear and we mean what we say. I'd strongly encourage anyone thinking of using maw.cx to compare us to our competitors. Check out their websites and make an informed decision on which URL shortener you prefer. Obviously what's most important to you is a very personal decision, but here are a few of the things I'd want to look into: -

  • Do they offer all the features I need (e.g. edit destination of links, custom URLs or statistics on how URLs are used)?
  • Do they have clear terms and conditions I can understand?
  • Do they collect personal data and if so, what are they doing with it? Is there a clear privacy policy? Is registration of personal details required?
  • Do I have confidence the service has the infrastructure and support to keep running for as long as I need it?
  • If I have problems, can I email someone about them and get a timely response?
  • How is the service funded and owned? Is there a danger they'll include adverts on my links or start charging for services that used to be free? Are there commercial pressures from investors or shareholders?

Another thing I think it would be wise to be concerned about is how the domain name the URL shortener uses is administered. This is especially relevant because many short domains used by URL shorteners are owned by nations which don't enjoy the same freedoms many of us take for granted - as such it's quite possible they'll pull the plug on URL shorteners that link to content they don't approve of.