MSN Messenger blocks links to Youtube

Martin Brinkmann
May 11, 2008
Updated • Dec 14, 2012

I'm slowly changing my view on several aspects of my "geeky" life. I used to jump on bandwagons as soon as someone started reporting about the latest evil scheme of a big cooperation or country. While it is definitely legit to call them out and make the issue public it is in no way justified to assume that what you know and are reporting is the real reason.

An article about MSN Messenger blocking links to sites like and probably several others. The user sending the link would receive the message "The following message could not be delivered to all recipients". The outcry was heard loud and wide with stories appearing on Slashdot, Digg and probably a million other websites who were simply reiterating what one blog started.

The Internet loves conspiracy theories and some sites especially when they can fight against the root of all evil Microsoft. What I want to say is that no one but Microsoft (hopefully) knows the reason why those links have not been send to the recipient. It could be that they decided to filter some urls that belong to their competition, it could be a glitch, an error after server upgrades or a improperly configured spam filter.

The issue seems to have been fixed and everything returned back to normal. I have no means of testing if this is really true but from the multitude of comments on those popular news aggregator websites it seems that it is.

I'm still posting the workaround in case they are still blocked for some users. Stripping the url of the http:// prefix is all that needs to be done to be able to send the link.

I do not mean to be saying that webmasters should not report about the issue until they know what is going on but if they get hold of such a story they should not draw conclusions so easily.

Update: An Microsoft representative posted an article that explains what happened.


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