#COVID19Chronicles-321: February 21, 2021-Lenten reflections 5: Should I go incognito to get news content?

Not much to say today, except that I have long struggled about dealing with paywalls for media. My gut feeling has been to not pay for online news. The whole issue about value and cost on the Internet is complicated. Part of the problem for me is about starting conditions–content was free and my demand was shaped by that. Once they figured out that the Internet was about eyeballs, they ladled out free content. I understand that content providers may now feel that decision was mistaken, but it’s the bed they made.

As with most things in life, moves by content providers, especially news media, to start pricing will meet with several responses, including resistance, which may be greater than acceptance. Also, the nature of the Internet, which has an implicit social justice underpinning, means that some will create ways to bypass pricing portals. So, it is with paywalls.

Various ways have been developed to do bypass, the simplest of which is to load the URL of the page desired into an incognito browser.

Incognito is one of the measures the Internet now offers to protect users from being identified, along with software like virtual personal networks (VPNs).

Now, not all media content may be accessible this way, but having spent a year and more frustrated about stories I cannot read on the Washington Post and Financial Times sites, I shall see how this little ruse works.

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)

4 thoughts on “#COVID19Chronicles-321: February 21, 2021-Lenten reflections 5: Should I go incognito to get news content?”

  1. Dennis,

    Great comment. Both the FT and the Washington Post have had to do without my eyeballs as I am not prepared to pay for news content on the internet that was once free. There are other news outlets. If more people took the route away from these organisations the world would be a better place and these types of organisations would cease to exist.

    Regards.

    Raymond

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  2. You don’t need to go incognito or get a payroll bypasser to see FT.

    All you need to do is to access the specific story from a Google search result first. It is an agreement they have with Google. So for example if the story is “Biden lifts punitive tariffs on Canada” you need to type that in Google and search and it will come as the top result. Click it and you can read it for free on FT.

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