BugMeNot Gone Briefly — News Sites Fighting Back

from the phew dept

I’ve been watching the panic flow across certain areas of the internet as people realized that BugMeNot seemed to have been knocked offline last week. I was a bit surprised that no news sources picked up on the story, but since so many are so scared of BugMeNot’s centralized database of registration usernames and passwords for registration-only news sites, perhaps they didn’t want to cover the story at all? Finally, Wired News has picked up on the story of BugMeNot’s disappearance and re-emergence. Their hosting company kicked them off. While BugMeNot assumed it was because of “external pressure,” the company claims it was because the site kept taking down the server it was on. Still, that seems like an odd reason to shut off a server with no warning at all. A more interesting aspect of this, however, is that it’s brought more attention to BugMeNot, and it looks like newspapers are fighting back. I tried using BugMeNot on a couple sites this morning, and both were rejecting all of the logins provided for their sites. It still strikes me as shocking that these sites would go to such trouble to block out users, who clearly are never going to give them useful data, shrinking their own inventory and taking themselves out of the conversation that is the internet. Meanwhile, like when the recording industry freaked out about Napster — creating plenty of other (more difficult to stop) file sharing offerings, expect future BugMeNots to be more difficult for websites to block out (and, not to be so agreeable towards things like not including paid-sites). The news sites are simply making the situation worse for themselves.

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Comments on “BugMeNot Gone Briefly — News Sites Fighting Back”

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TJ says:

Rolling your own more consistent

I tried using BugMeNot weeks ago at work for major papers that had stories linked from tech sites. There were several suggestions and few worked, probably because sites have been killing them for awhile. I transferred my own logons from home and use them only now.

All the news site registrations are fake, mostly I’m an over 80 year old man or woman living in a small town with no income. I figure there can’t be a less interesting demographic for advertisers, and wonder if others doing this contributes to stats about so many seniors going online.

Have been using most of these IDs for months, and none have been invalidated. Since I already keep a database of legitimate logons for web sites in order to keep the passwords unique, I just keep these bogus IDs in the same place. I also keep the phony details I registered with, and one site eventually asked me to confirm my year of birth. It was happy with the phony answer.

If a site asks for voluntary submission of demo info, I will provide reasonable and accurate data if I frequent the site a lot. So far no major news sites have been reasonable about that. Force me to register and reveal lots of info just to read your content? Bite me, says one of my aliases: Kissami Assa.

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