If we go around the firewalls, they will just be made taller November 13, 2005 5:47 AM   Subscribe

If it becomes custom to repost articles to get around firewalls, then metafilter will be eventually be blocked by those firewalls. I don't really have another solution but I think that it might be good to find one.
posted by rdr to Bugs at 5:47 AM (19 comments total)

I haven't seen this happen, but the obvious answer would be for people to repost the articles on their own sites (perhaps in a separate robots.txt'ed folder, if it has nothing to do with their site in general), and just link to it.
posted by Bugbread at 6:03 AM on November 13, 2005

Are you talking about this?

If someone's set up a content filter to stop people from reading the BBC News site, then the only reason they haven't blocked MeFi yet is because they haven't heard of it. This place is already pretty 'unsuitable' -- I don't think reposting articles is going to add much flame to the fire.
posted by chrismear at 6:03 AM on November 13, 2005

Whoops, my mistake, you obviously meant this one.
posted by chrismear at 6:09 AM on November 13, 2005

I don't care about firewalls, but I don't like putting entire articles in comments. That's not what comment threads are for.
posted by languagehat at 7:30 AM on November 13, 2005

I was in the wrong, it shouldn't have been requested. The article at the top of the thread shouldn't be there. In the second thread, I asked for someone to email me the text. I agree with languagehat, putting entire articles in comments isn't appropriate. Sorry.

As for the firewall, if China cared about MeFi, it would already be blocked. I suspect sites like the BBC and Wikipedia are blocked because they have Chinese language content.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 7:40 AM on November 13, 2005

Plus it's not like the site that was linked to was legally posting the article in the first place..
posted by smackfu at 7:41 AM on November 13, 2005

languagehat : "That's not what comment threads are for."

It's not what they're for, but if there's a good reason (i.e. not just an employer blocking a site, in which a member can just wait to check the site until they go home, but a whole country blocking a site), I can't see what's wrong with it. Eyebrow tweezers, for example, are not for assembling plastic battleship models, but that doesn't mean that they therefore shouldn't be used that way.

That isn't to say that all repurposing of comment threads is acceptable. Just that "not being what something is for" isn't a very good argument against a certain action. [expletive deleted]'s reasons for why this was not a good thing are much more convincing.
posted by Bugbread at 7:58 AM on November 13, 2005

smackfu, what are you talking about? (Since I'm in China, I can't see anything on that site, I don't even know what it is.)
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:03 AM on November 13, 2005

bugbread, it makes the comment threads much less readable. A better solution would be to post it elsewhere and link to it or to email it as originally requested.
posted by callmejay at 8:56 AM on November 13, 2005

In lieu of webspace, perhaps someone could post it to their profile page temporarily.
posted by callmejay at 8:56 AM on November 13, 2005

callmejay : "In lieu of webspace, perhaps someone could post it to their profile page temporarily."

That's actually a damn good idea.
posted by Bugbread at 9:03 AM on November 13, 2005

callmejay has discovered the solution.

Are there any other regular posters in China? Or is this thread pretty much just about me?
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:28 AM on November 13, 2005

[exletive deleted], could you use an public web proxy? There are many out there on the net for just this kind of situation. Then you could get all the BBC, Wikipedia, and anything else you want.
posted by todbot at 11:50 AM on November 13, 2005

erm, exPletive. damn!
posted by todbot at 11:52 AM on November 13, 2005

I did this once, although China filters weren't my concern. Everybody was talking about the damn thing without reading it. When the author contacted me, I deleted it.

I don't think that MeFi should get in the habit of reposting copyrighted material onsite, though. We give mathowie money to fly to Iceland, not buy his lawyer a Mercedes.
posted by dhartung at 4:04 PM on November 13, 2005

As the one who posted the text, I'd like to hear from Matt or Jess as to whether I shouldn't have done it. I found [expletive deleted]'s request perfectably reasonable under the circumstances, and would do it again unless one of you would rather I didn't.

I don't care about firewalls...
posted by languagehat

And I don't care that you don't care about them.
posted by homunculus at 6:48 PM on November 13, 2005

smackfu, what are you talking about?

It's a New Yorker article that's not available online. I suppose they could have paid for the rights, but I doubt it. They have a lot of stuff from the Washington Post and the NY Times too. Just giving proper credit doesn't mean you can reproduce it in full.
posted by smackfu at 6:59 PM on November 13, 2005

The only reason this action is even shady is due to the rather long length of the article. For shorter newsfiltery stuff, this being common practice is of no concern to me.
posted by mek at 11:14 PM on November 13, 2005

Sorry for the snide comment, languagehat. That was lame of me.
posted by homunculus at 2:56 PM on November 14, 2005

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