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Everyone Has A Theory About How to Take Down The New York Times Paywall

The biggest indicator that the New York Times‘ dreaded paywall will be a success is how much effort people are making to try and take it down.

Already, a host of methods have been dreamt up to sabotage the paywall. Some involve leaks already in the system. For example, there is the social media “leak” in the paywall that enables people to see Times stories that pop up in Twitter feeds.

Now Canadian coder David Hayes has just released NYTClean, a bookmarklet that, in one click, tears down the Times’ paywall. Joshua Benton at Nieman Journalism Lab summarizes this as:

“Released” is probably even a little strong — it makes it sound like there was an extended development process. All NYTClean does is call four measly lines of Javascript… It barely even qualifies as a hack.

Ouch! Considering that, as Benton gleefully reminds us, the Times spent $40-$50 million on the paywall, this is a poor sign that this will be a smooth technological transition. But the fact that there is already a war waging against the paywall is a strong sign of just how much people want to read the Times online.

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