Reading online news, 2008:
- go to website
- read news

Reading online news, 2018:
- go to website
- no, don’t share location
- hell no, don’t send me notifications
- consent to cookie warning
- consent to policies
- no, don’t open in app
- no, don’t want the newsletter
- skip inspirational quote
- close full page ad
- read news

@thomasfuchs Or sometimes the last step is:

- oh fuck, I’m over the 5 free articles I need to do this again in incognito mode

@Stoori it’s mostly ok if you have an up to date ad-blocker. I wish it wasn’t this bad tho.

- stop autoplaying video
- unsubscribe from mailing list you ended up on anyway even though you said no?
- SURPRISE! another pop up

@rus I’m surprised that reading GDPR policies online doesn’t require you to sign other GPDR policies to read them

@thomasfuchs left out "pause autoplaying video" and "pause autoplaying video again once it reappears on the side when you scroll"

@thomasfuchs Reading news in 2018:
- Have an anblocke
- "You won't be able to access the website with an adblocker"
- Delete and forget about news website

@thomasfuchs forgot:
- close the comment about they hate ads too but please turn off your ad blocker because this site IS SO GOOD you don't need it and they really need to show you ads,

- and the window that you get 5 more free ads this month and you should sign up.

OMG. I just realized this is the same thing as capitalism dick-pics

@thomasfuchs Reading online news, 1995:
- turn on pc, Start aol, wait 1 Minute, check mail, wait 1 minute, surf the page, wait 3 minutes, turn off aol, paid 4 bucks

@thomasfuchs it's one of the reasons why I started using read-it-later services (wallabag in particular). Similarly to Firefox' reader-mode, this strips away all unnecessary parts without the need to ever open the website at all - i just need its URL.

Downside: I do not contribute to financing those news-outlets I like and value for their unintrusive ads

Reading online news, 2008:
- go to website
- read news

Reading online news, 2018:
- go to social media
- click a "breaking news" w/ heated reactions from your timeline.
- go to website
- hell no, don’t send me notifications
- consent to policies
- close full page ad
- read news
- read again
- read the Wikipedia article about the news website
- crosscheck it from multiple websites
- read factcheckers
- close website, comment "this is sensational posting, not facts" on your social timeline.

@niconiconi @thomasfuchs I use the news boards on 4chan and 8chan these days for my news
- check TLS certificate under a huge magnifying glass
- block proprietary javascript
- fine enable one javascript just so I can see the page

@thomasfuchs D'you remember that iPhone ad from ten years ago that used the NYT website to demonstrate the seamless mobile browsing experience?

@thomasfuchs don't forget the part where you get all that done and start scrolling, and then they refresh the page to the top.

@thomasfuchs You could install uMatrix with Javascript disabled by default .. but then it changes the entire flow to "- enable all the things you think you need and keep refreshing until it magically works" following by "Why the fuck do you need jquery to display your article content?!"

@thomasfuchs Also:

- make peace with years of targeted ads related to that one article you read months ago
- if you're on a VPN, "hey it looks like there's weird traffic coming from your IP address, click all the boxes with buses in them for a couple hours, thanks"
- when you finally get to the news, it's just a poorly-curated list of tweets with no commentary

@thomasfuchs If I had a penny for every time I've forgotten why I wanted to look at an article and closed the tab before reading anything...


Reading news, 1998s:
- dial up
- go to website
- close pop-up/pop-under ads
- curse on page size bloating your impulses
- start downloading a zip file
- curse as someone in the other room picks up the phone

@thomasfuchs ‘close full page ad’ be like ‘accidentally open ad’ or ‘freak out because close button is hidden behind other browser/website elements’

-turn off autoplay video
-close popup video on bottom of screen
-skip in text adverts
-read same thing in five different places throughout article

-install noscript, ublock, privacy badger and view in reader mode.
-blood pressure drops instantly.

@thomasfuchs Don't forget the lightbox pop-up that begs you to subscribe!

reading online news in 2018 in the EU:
- "we didn't bother to update to gdpr, so no news for you"
- *have NoScript*
- go to website
- see list of 20 blocked domains
- enable first-party JS
- still no news shown
- close page

@thomasfuchs my current 2018 experience is pretty much:
- click link
- be told I can't read this without paying

@thomasfuchs every half page of news interrupted by square ad banner. Get to end, wonder if there's more article past taboola box or not

Don't forget the slideshow news articles where it's literally one sentence and a picture per slide for 30 slides, where each slide is a new page that reloads all the stuff you listed!

@thomasfuchs For me;
Reading online news, 2008:
_ Use RSS reader

Reading online news, 2018:
- Use RSS reader


@thomasfuchs That's why I avoid news sites as much as I can...

My 2018 experience:
- go to my self-hosted FreshRSS CMS
- press update icon to grab new contents
- read articles from many sources in a single place

@anthk @thomasfuchs Wow, where do I find this kind of text-only websites? 🔎 Are there more of it?

@hinterwaeldler @anthk the easiest way to find them is to build a time machine and travel back to 1995

@thomasfuchs and you forgot RSS, the idea that prevents all these problems but nobody uses anymore (even not the Firefox developers).

@dubst3pp4 @thomasfuchs Sites that pull that garbage don't want to use RSS, because they can't slurp all that delicious data from somebody who just reads everything via an external client. Thus, even sites that do have RSS feeds generally only include the headline and the URL in them. Maybe the opening paragraph, if you're really lucky.

(I still use RSS because typically I don't feel the need to read beyond the headlines in most instances.)


This reminds me so much of the pirate DVD vs original DVD comparison.

@thomasfuchs - close browser and wait on someone to tweet/toot about it

@thomasfuchs Reading online news with an adblocker, 2018:

- go to website
- see Swiss-cheese page that never finishes loading containing four words and a hand-drawn picture of a goat
- take five solid minutes to enter adblocker settings and selectively allow data sources
- the goat disappears
- nothing else changes
- open site in a different browser
- be directed to the site's home page
- forget why you wanted to read the news in 2018

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