Ask HN: Why not default to non-paywalled links if they're allowed and desired?

13 points by SeanAnderson 4 days ago

I frequently see news articles shared on HackerNews where in the first reply is a non-paywalled link to the same article. It appears this practice has the implicit support of the community because if it were not desired I would expect moderation to remove the links.

However, I also know that HackerNews prides itself in editing the title and URL of posts as a way of improving content quality.

It is then unclear to me why we're in this middle ground. If the most desirable link is a non-paywalled version, and if that is allowed and supported by this community, then perhaps moderation should be updating URLs to reference non-paywalled versions and we should be submitting non-paywalled versions. If that is morally objectional then I question the widespread support of linking as an initial reply.

Thoughts?

lcnPylGDnU4H9OF 4 days ago

Pragmatically, the domain is displayed after the title and such a practice would (barring any functional changes) replace, e.g., "(wsj.com)" with "(archive.{is|ph|today|whatever})". The "true" domain could be retrieved from the archive URL but I wouldn't imagine that it currently is, and then enters the question of which archive domains should be supported.

kelseyfrog 4 days ago

It's free karma farming for those who want to post archive links for pay-walled content. No harm in letting a few karma leak out in return.

  • metadat 4 days ago

    I post the archive links quite frequently. The only more prolific archive link poster I've noticed is @neonate.

    Let me tell you, I ain't in it for the karma. Upvotes are rare enough that it's not worthwhile if that's your goal. Across hundreds of times I'd estimate I've averaged ~1.2 karma per, if that.

    I do it as a courtesy to be nice / less of a jerk, because I really dislike popups and paywalls, and out of appreciation. I always enjoy the read more when someone else has already taken care of it.

    When you see one pinned at the top, it's very likely because Dang has marked it rather than community support in the form of votes. People even downvote the archive links quite frequently.

    Shrug

    HN points are the dumbest game ever. On the other hand, the interactions and content are occasionally amazing.

anenefan 4 days ago

It's mentioned in the FAQ

>It's ok to post stories from sites with paywalls that have workarounds.

>In comments, it's ok to ask how to read an article and to help other users do so.

... more at the FAQ.

Often the paywalled site is the original content, which is why it's encouraged to lead with that.

Many paywalls were circumvented by a simple procedure, disabling the java script, but sites have slowly become more guarded using other means.

I only wish there was a means to search the web, and turn off all paywalled sites from results or advertising.