No, the shortened URL can be followed.
i probably shouldn't engage in arguing pointless minutiae like this. i will refrain after this one.
Fetching the headers would also be a good way to check the MIME type (for automatic warnings like [pdf] or [video]), as well as checking the title.
They also have partnerships to do branded shortening. Bitly will happily generate shortened URLs for other domains, eg http://amzn.to/
As part of their content scrubbing, I suggest HN re-shortens URLs. Another +1 use case that bitly or other service could provide.
^^ which redirects to:
(In case some don't know, just add "+" to the end of a bitly link to see the report.)