The "paywall" and "free" advertising
I have two modes when it comes to the Internet. When underway or anchorage hopping I tend to ignore it. When it allows me to procrastinate in port I spend far too much time on it. Which brings me to my rant.
As someone who travels from country to country I typically buy Internet access by the megabyte. I have concluded that my actual cost of access is 2x to 4x what I actually read. The reason: advertising (I never respond); sign up your friends (I never do); you might be interested in this (I never am); "sponsored posts" (a dimwit name for a paid advertisement that I never respond to); prefetch (downloading content I might look at (but never do) ; memories (that I don't care about); and so forth. The only solution is to avoid those sites. The current environment is worse than watching broadcast TV. So I am disciplining myself to limit my interactions to the absolute minimum.
That brings me to the "paywall." For years the only news web site that required a subscription was The Wall Street Journal. Since I have sailing acquaintances on the editorial staff I paid. At the time there was no "inline" advertising. Now there is. I am considering cancelling my subscription. Now everyone wants me to pay for their opinions. I am sure that like many others I take a pass. Do I really need to pay to read the biased news from NYT and WaPo? I think not. Not to mention all the "click bait."
So our first amendment rights are intact. Our ability to read the opinions of others not so much. Unless you are willing to pay. Sad.
Fair winds and following seas :)