GitHub is deprecating suddenly

Hundreds of thousands of links will stop working in 2 days

Published in Food for thought on Apr 27, 2022

In 2011, GitHub introduced as a way to shorten long URLs. It was a simple service that allowed you to create a short URL for any GitHub URL. Because the results were so short, it quickly became a popular way to share GitHub links in places where you couldn’t always copy and paste the URL, like in research papers.

Over the years, the service has become more popular. Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of short URLs created by, according to Sourcegraph.

So, what’s the problem?

On January 11, 2022, GitHub announced that it will no longer be accepting new URLs. According to them, “what began as an experiment was only lightly documented and thus not heavily used.”. They announced their plans to deprecate the tool in the future, but they did not provide any details on how long they would keep the service running. Their plans only mentioned that, from that day forward, would be readonly.

Then, all of a sudden, GitHub announced that it would be deprecating in four days. That was two days ago. That means that, right now, only has two days left. After that, all links on will stop redirecting. That means that thousands of scientific papers will lose their references, as well as 704k+ code file mentions. Google also loses 10k+ search results.

What’s going to happen now?

Stephen Gutekanst was the first one to write about the problem. He’s currently setting up a Discord group to coordinate the efforts to save the links. He’s also trying to get in touch with folks at GitHub. According to one of them, there’s no need to scrape all the links, but he wasn’t able to communicate anything more than that.

Unless GitHub takes action, hundreds of thousands of links will stop working in 2 days. If you’ve used, you’ll probably want to replace all of your links with new links.