Defeat the SJ-R’s Paywall with Chrome in 4 seconds

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Print is dead.  You hear me SJ-R?

Central Illinois’ newspaper – The State Journal Register – was bought up by media conglomerate GateHouse Media back in 2006.  Since then the paper has been on a wildly out of control downward spiral.

GateHouse media’s latest “innovation” in the digital age is… wait for it…


Jesus GateHouse… seriously?  It is the year 2013, and you think a Paywall is the way to move your business FORWARD?  Have you learned nothing from your bigger brothers like The Times which lost over 4 million readers back in 2010 thanks to their paywall?  Just as with TV Shows or Movies, if someone doesn’t want to pay for your media, they will simply not pay.  Trying to trick the user in to consuming the media how you think it should be consumed will never bring in money.  You will simply drive previous viewers away from you and to other services that remain free.

Your draconian thinking of what media is and how it should be consumed will be the end of you.

I was quite miffed today when I tried to read an article a friend had linked on Facebook and I was presented with this Paywall pop-up.  Clicking the X redirects you to the main page.  This really got on my nerves as all of the content was right there, sitting behind a cheezy looking pop up box.  How stupid.  So, I spent exactly 4 seconds, reloaded the web page, and read the content as it should be consumed.  For free.

I thought I should share my tip with others who may not be aware of this pretty nifty feature in Chrome.  You can selectively disable javascript on any website you visit.  Most sites use javascript for good… but some sites, like the SJ-R site, uses javascript for evil.

Visit their site in Chrome, click their blank site icon (apparently their web-developers also can’t figure out favicons… a standard that any real site has used for the last 6 or so years), point your mouse down to Javascript and select “Always block on this site” like so:



Reload the page, and voila, you are free from your corporate bonds.  Yeah!  Fight the man!!



Unless 100% of your content is behind a Paywall, there will always be ways around it.  This just happens to be one of the absolute easiest ways around one I have ever seen.  Quite laughable.  I’d imagine GateHouse has their web development outsourced which is why a 6 year old can defeat it and it is lacking basic fundamentals of web design, like a favicon.