New York Times Asks Twitter to Plug Paywall Loophole

Paper aims to firm up pay barrier before launch

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 23, 2011 1:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – The pay barrier for the New York Times' online content goes up on Monday and the newspaper is scrambling to make it more like a wall and less like a curtain full of holes. Users will be allowed 20 page views a month before the barrier comes down. But articles linked to from Twitter and Facebook can be viewed independent of the limit, leaving a huge loophole that the Times is now seeking to plug.

The Times has asked Twitter to shut down a feed that tweeted links to every single story on the website, and the newspaper says it plans similar action against other paywall-dodging spots, Forbes reports. A user in Canada, meanwhile—where the pay barrier has already gone up—says it only took four lines of code to create NYTClean, a paywall-busting bookmark app. "You just can’t see a wall like this without wondering how you can get around it," he wrote. "I love the New York Times. Don’t say that I forced you to not pay for it."

Digital New York Times subscriptions cost between $15 and $35 per month.
Digital New York Times subscriptions cost between $15 and $35 per month.   (Getty Images)
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As with any paid product, we expect that there will be some percentage of people who will find ways around our digital subscriptions. - A New York Times spokeswoman

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