UPDATE: Apparently, my syntax on the custom filters was incorrect.  I have corrected them below.  Limited testing has verified these filters as working in both Firefox and Chrome.

The small number of people who follow me on Twitter are well aware of my distaste for the implementation of the paywall on baltimoresun.com.  Given how obstreperous I found the paywall to be, I opted to remove the RSS feeds for the sun from Google Reader. It would be a cold day in Hell before I would return to view content on baltimoresun.com!

I had not paid much attention to how to workaround the paywall, as I had already implemented a simple workaround–use Incognito Mode in Google Chrome (or the equivalent setting in a modern browser of your choice).  After some time of successfully using this workaround, though, I decided take a deeper dive into how to solve this. Needless to say, thanks to reddit and some tools already at my disposal, the solution is pretty simple.

Some of you who read this might complain that I am stealing content.  I would counter by stating that I am just leveraging technology to take advantage of a feature in the paywall that Tribune Media has invested in.  I would also reply with the following image:

Interestingly, many of the sites that implement this paywall technology–Press+ from RR Donnelleyadmit to knowing about the existence of a workaround to the paywall.  They explain it away, however, by stating that the technical knowledge required to do so is too much for the average user.  In other words, most users are too dumb to realize how easy it is to get around paying for a digital subscription, so we will profit from the dumb.

Following the very simple how-to below, however, shows this to be pretty easy to implement.

  1. Install Google Chrome (if you have not done so already).
  2. Go to the Chrome Web Store, and search for Adblock Plus for Google Chrome (Beta).  Install the extension.
  3. Once it is installed, go to the wrench icon to the right of the address bar, then click Tools|Extensions.
  4. Select the Options link for Adblock Plus.
  5. Click on the Add your own filters tab.
  6. In the text box next to “+ Add filter,” paste the following filter:
    ##div[id="gregbox-overlay"]
    Click the “+ Add filter” button once done.
  7. Repeat the previous step for the following filter:
    ##div[id="gregbox-wrap"]
  8. Once done, open up a new tab to baltimoresun.com.  Enjoy paywall-free browsing, and feel free to say with me “SUCK IT, Tribune Media!”