Rudy Giuliani, who briefly advised Donald Trump on cybersecurity before taking a role as his personal attorney, doesn’t understand how domain names work. And that lack of understanding led him to invent a ludicrous conspiracy theory about Twitter.
It all started when Giuliani tweeted about special counsel Robert Mueller:
If someone tweets out a valid URL, Twitter automatically converts it into a hyperlink. In this case, .in is the country code top-level domain for India, so Twitter interpreted “G-20.In” as a URL, linking it to http://g-20.in/.
An Atlanta-based prankster named Jason Velazquez recognized the opportunity here and registered the G-20.in domain name.
“I thought, ‘I could just buy this and put whatever I want on it,'” Velazquez told NBC.
The result was a simple website that declares “Donald J. Trump is a traitor to our country” and includes a link to information related to the Mueller investigation.
Giuliani was not amused. And he clearly doesn’t understand the sorcery that put an anti-Trump link in the middle of his tweet:
This is probably obvious to Ars readers, but this isn’t evidence that Twitter is conspiring against Donald Trump supporters. Velazquez told NBC that he doesn’t know anyone at Twitter and didn’t coordinate with them to insert the link into Giuliani’s tweet.
Rather, Giuliani accidentally activated an automated Twitter feature that applies to everyone’s tweets, whether they’re liberal or conservative. The reason “Helsinki.Either” wasn’t converted into a link is that .either is not a top-level domain name like .in is.