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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New URL Hack Bypasses New & Improved New York Times Paywall

Posted by on Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 4:13 PM

For the past two years, millions of information freeloaders like me have been bypassing the New York Times Internet paywall with a simple URL hack: Just delete everything in the browser address field starting with the "?" character, and reload the page. But thanks to a new and improved paywall that went live today, that hack suddenly stopped working.

Media and tech blogs are chattering with various other workarounds, but after a couple minutes of URL hacking, I've devised the simplest one yet: Just select everything in the browser address field starting with the "?" character, replace the string with a "/" character, and reload. Voila: Free NY Times!

Not that you should bypass the NY Times paywall, what with newspapers being the lifeblood of democracy and all, but, you know, you're welcome.


Comments (31) RSS

Newest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
If you really want to impress me, tell me how to bypass the paywall for NYTimes Archive articles.
Posted by rob65 on November 30, 2013 at 1:07 PM · Report this
Doesn't work. What cookies is NYT using?
Posted by HuckleBuck on July 21, 2013 at 9:40 AM · Report this
New York Time is not just somebody making money off of printed journalism which often is questionable at best.

NY Times ain't Joe working in his garage with a printing press hoping to make a couple hundred dollars for the summer so he can buy his expensive Yamaha dirt bike he dreamed for!

It is a big committee with people doing boring tedious jobs that 75 percent of them likely hate and there is no one person with a vision or goal except to make money even though they got MILLIONS a year and can afford to lose a little.

If they were out of a job they would not suffer very much except they would be forced to learn how to (gasp) balance a budget!!! Balance a budget you say? NO WAY!!!
Posted by Heatblizzzard on July 1, 2013 at 4:51 PM · Report this
Milks, that's brilliant. However, NYTimes now has a link at the bottom of all articles saying "To see full article, subscribe here." How do we get around this??
Posted by g2dogg714 on May 31, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this
This works, if you have AdBlock installed in your browser:

Go to AdBlock options, click on the 'customize' tab, click 'edit' to manually edit your filters, paste this in, and hit save:


Posted by milks on April 9, 2013 at 7:28 PM · Report this
@13: There is a sort of method for getting at NYT online second-hand. NYT allows web surfers to read articles freely that they locate by way of some alternate sites. If you do a Google search using the title of the article, you will often find websites -- i.e., blogs, feeds, etc. -- that abstract the stories and link to their NYT pages. If you follow those links you can read them without encountering any paywall grief.
Posted by Carlito on March 21, 2013 at 1:21 PM · Report this
Posted by Teef on February 22, 2013 at 8:05 AM · Report this
The '/' hack does not seem to be working today. The NYT must be getting smarter.
Posted by new yorker on February 15, 2013 at 10:06 AM · Report this
Or you could just open your fucking wallet and pay for what is clearly a valuable service, you cheap bastard.
Posted by Pay4quality on February 13, 2013 at 2:13 PM · Report this
How to locally disable the NYT paywall
(Unlike the NYClean bookmarklet, this doesn't affect the visibility of article comments in Chrome, if you like reading them or commenting. It also doesn't make you clear all cookies, which logs you out of all websites you're normally logged in):

1. In Chrome, go to the Chrome store and install the Edit This Cookie extension.
2. Read some NYT articles, get annoyed at the "Pay up or else" banner.
3. Click the cookie button in the Chrome bar, you get a menu of NYT cookies.
4. Click on the "nyt-m" cookie, then on "Flag this cookie"; it will disappear from the list.
5. Read on & spread the word if it worked for you.
Posted by UA on February 13, 2013 at 12:44 PM · Report this
Arsfrisco 21
what @7 said. Just clear your cookies. Always works.
Posted by Arsfrisco on February 13, 2013 at 9:39 AM · Report this
You know, I'd happily pay a buck a week or so for the NYT online, but that's not one of the options.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on February 12, 2013 at 11:09 PM · Report this
skidmark 19
Posted by skidmark on February 12, 2013 at 8:43 PM · Report this
I've been truncating the URL for years, but if I ever get an actual job that pays actual money I will redeem my debt of honor to the Times and subscribe.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on February 12, 2013 at 8:36 PM · Report this

Ten bucks says he's got his New Yorker subscription on autopay.

Journalists are like anyone else-- they'll pay for news that flatters their self-image.
Posted by robotslave on February 12, 2013 at 7:51 PM · Report this
Westlake, son! 16

Even a journalist won't pay for journalism. Astonishing.
Posted by Westlake, son! on February 12, 2013 at 6:35 PM · Report this
Goldy Urges Readers to Spend Nothing on Newspaper Information
Posted by j2patter on February 12, 2013 at 6:35 PM · Report this
ScienceNerd 14
@2 you are aware that The Stranger is free, yes?
Posted by ScienceNerd on February 12, 2013 at 6:26 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 13
If there's a not-too-food-smeared copy of the NYT or Fairview Fannie laying around in my favorite coffee shop, I'll grab it and read the second-hand news for free.

There's no way to read second-hand online content, but I guess as long as someone, somewhere pays for it, I can convince myself I'm just reading their leftover edition.

Right...? Right...?
Posted by Dr_Awesome on February 12, 2013 at 5:57 PM · Report this
Just freaking pay for it. Come on, you guys.
Posted by not a cheapskate on February 12, 2013 at 5:49 PM · Report this
I just periodically Reset Safari (on my mac) and viola, Free NY Times without having to do anything involving thought.
Posted by jmikel on February 12, 2013 at 5:30 PM · Report this
Or just open another browser
Posted by Seattle14 on February 12, 2013 at 5:30 PM · Report this
tallchris 9
This isn't new at all. I've been doing it since it went in place. And you don't have to put the "/" in, just delete everything from the question mark on.
Posted by tallchris on February 12, 2013 at 5:27 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 8
@6 no.
Posted by Will in Seattle on February 12, 2013 at 5:18 PM · Report this
@5 NYT has cookie detection, and the site has pop-ups if you disable their specific tracking cookie. This doesn't stop you from just deleting their cookie every few days, or in my preferred method, simply reading their site using private browsing. Ctrl+Shift+N (Chrome), or; when the firewall comes up just close the window, open a new one and resume consumption.
Posted by Bachmann2012 on February 12, 2013 at 4:58 PM · Report this
katrat 6
am I a square for paying for things I believe in?
Posted by katrat on February 12, 2013 at 4:58 PM · Report this
eclexia 5
One word: ookie-cay.

The L.A. Times is probably the toughest paywall to crack. (Also the content I'm least likely to pay for.) But here's a hint: they aren't using their own cookie. They partnered with a larger entity to piggyback the paywall on the other company's cookie. It's a cookie most folks do not want to delete.

Posted by eclexia on February 12, 2013 at 4:48 PM · Report this
weird. I just clicked around on about 50 stories and none of them prompted me to pay for I missing something?
Posted by nador on February 12, 2013 at 4:47 PM · Report this
Yes! Goldy, I love your face!
Posted by seven on February 12, 2013 at 4:32 PM · Report this
I pay for my NYTimes subscription because I want to support the news industry. Supporting paywall subversion isn't the best move, methinks, for somebody whose income relies on getting paid for written content.
Posted by wxPDX on February 12, 2013 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 1
nothing like a directory invocation.

A lot of why people turn off ads and paywalls has to do with how obnoxious people make them. I've noticed certain Chrome ads on FB have repeating images and movies. Time to go reset the AdBlock filters.
Posted by Will in Seattle on February 12, 2013 at 4:22 PM · Report this

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