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According to the Attribution Required description, when referencing SE material, we must:

  1. Visually indicate that the content is from Stack Overflow, Meta Stack Overflow, Server Fault, or Super User in some way. It doesn’t have to be obnoxious; a discreet text blurb is fine.
  2. Hyperlink directly to the original question on the source site (e.g., https://stackoverflow.com/questions/12345)
  3. Show the author names for every question and answer
  4. Hyperlink each author name directly back to their user profile page on the source site (e.g., https://stackoverflow.com/users/12345/username)

However, this is problematic the way I read it because some links have obnoxiously long URLS:
Can I shorten links to just the question/answer/user numbers?
...which can be replaced with the much shorter URL:
Can I shorten links to just the question/answer/user numbers?

It is my understanding that the former link will continue to work if the name of the question is changed though I have not verified this. The latter will certainly work.

Is this behavior allowed? It's quite helpful (sometimes absolutely necessary) on character-limited fields like comments and tweets.

I'm not confident on the meaning of "direct". However, please don't interpret this as a request for lawyer-speak on that otherwise well-written and clear attribution page.

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To answer it anyway: as long as your link ends up at the right question, it's fine.

Feel free to use url-shortener's to link to questions on things like Twitter, where your chars are valuable!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is not the answer that is given on Jeff's Attribution Required page, but I'll take it as it seems reasonable. Rest assured that I'm not trying to steal any content, rather, I want to promote it! \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Oct 25 '10 at 20:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Attribution Required is aimed at content farms 'stealing' our content, not at users who wish to promote the site with a limited amount of characters ;-) \$\endgroup\$ – Ivo Flipse Oct 25 '10 at 21:01
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You may shorten it as long as there is a link back to the original question. I have asked and some moderators said a URL shortener would not bother them. The link with the number is very clearly linking back to the original and should be acceptable. As long as you link back to source you are giving attribution.

On that note, meta.stackoverflow.com is the meta site for everything. Since this applies to everything that is a good place to ask these questions for very quick response.

I hope that helps

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree. However, I see this as a deficiency of the SE platform design. meta.stackoverflow.com should be questions about Stack Overflow, not Stack Exchange - Right? Questions on meta.stackexchange.com about SE 2.0 get closed. Other questions about the platform that affect all sites have been answered here before. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer Oct 25 '10 at 16:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ You're absolutely right @reemrevnivek, but these are some legacy problems that will be straightened out in due time ;-). For now MSO is THE place to discuss network wide issues. \$\endgroup\$ – Ivo Flipse Oct 25 '10 at 16:43

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