Sunday 30 May 2021

Sign of the Times

On the website of a major news outlet there is paywall, as is common these days. This paywall puts some kind of obstruction in place that prohibits a user from accessing the content they want to access until they provide some kind of payment.

In the (publicly accessible) source code of the articles on this particular website, there are a number of variables to be found that are related to this paywall.
One of these variables is "type", defined in this case as "NewsArticle". Which is unsurprising, the website presents a news article, so to call its type "NewsArticle" makes perfect sense.
The following variable is named "isAccessibleForFree", which is set to false. This is the flag that makes the paywall appear, making the article unreadable to any non-paying user.
That's the theory at least.
The next variable is however named "articleBody" and its content is simply defined as the full article in plain text, contained on a single line for easy copying.