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If you find it, they will come

And when they do, they want to see it
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Some time ago I posted the linked Liberal Time of the Month idea, noting that paywalls, by limiting you to a few articles early in the month, were creating a weird information vacuum for the the rest of the month.

With the paywalls now being implemented more and more aggressively by more and more publications, which those organizations are doing to survive as businesses, we are now accelerating the following trends:

1. Shortness of attention span -- we just see the headlines 2. Preaching only to the choir -- we see any level of detail only for things for which we already pay, if anything

thereby worsening the echo chamber.

Without getting into copyright law per se, the proposal here is that Search Engines be regulated in only showing links that are fully viewable -- i.e. where the current practice of linking you to the article, which you then cannot fully read -- be considered a kind of bait & switch.

Under those regulations, search engines would have to chose to either bypass such links -- which they wouldn't to continue to be relevant to their users -- OR -- have them pay or reach other agreements with content providers so that the article linked be made fully available.

Even simply adjusting links to show that there's a paywall would drastically alter both content provider and search engine behavior

theircompetitor, Jul 17 2019

Liberal Time of the Month It_27s_20That_20(Li..._20of_20the_20Month
[theircompetitor, Jul 17 2019]


       //quire// sp. "choir"
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 17 2019

       You *could* preach to a medieval manuscript; the level of detail you uncover while speaking to it would depend on your ability to transpose those tricky effs which are really esses as you read while speaking while reading while speaking.
Sgt Teacup, Jul 17 2019

       I hate this practice, but using regulation to try to fix it is a really bad idea.
Voice, Jul 17 2019

       I think excluding the links entirely is a bad idea, but having a system whereby I know before I click on the link whether or not there is a paywall would be very good. I often click on a link that may or may not be of interest. If it was marked, I would think for a second before clicking to avoid accidentally wasting one of my free viewings on an article that I didn't have a lot of interest in seeing or for which there appeared to be many good articles form other sources.   

       It might be good to have this feature built into the browser, not just the search engine, so link here in the HB and other places would also be marked.   

       It seems to me that it wouldn't be too hard to make a browser plug-in to accomplish this. The plug-in would just need to keep a list of sites that do this. It might not be perfect, since I doubt that going to the home page of the New York Times uses up any of your monthly quota, but it could still be useful. It could also count how many times you've gone to the site and display that when you hover over the link. That way you know if you might be down to you last free page of the month and can save it for something important.
scad mientist, Jul 17 2019

       A third-party browser plug-in might collect targeted statistics showing the average "read-time" spent after clicking a search result before closing or clicking the "back" button. Those websites that took you to a paywall, rickroll or goatse type end-point ought, statistically to have shorter read-times than those with in-depth content that people wanted to read.   

       Of course, the problem isn't in building such a thing, it's in getting enough people to start using it and agreeing to pool their collective data in order for it to be useful.   

       And further, the trouble with any such fix is that unscrupulous folks are likely to hire teams of VPN-obfuscated low-cost workers to deliberately click-close reputable news sources, while click-waaaaiting on paywall links of their own in order to subvert any such algorithm, so it's all effectively pointless.   

       Ideally, what we really need to do is stop this internet, and do it again, only without all the shit bits.
zen_tom, Jul 17 2019

       ah, if they'd only never introduced all you can eat Internet plans, so much would have been different...
theircompetitor, Jul 21 2019


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