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First thoughts on Posner linking-ban proposal

Posted on by Superdeluxesam

Just caught the Posner linking ban proposal furore. Aside from the fact that this is total blueskies thinking from a person who perhaps doesn’t get the internet fully, if one does take it seriously, then my initial reaction would be this:

Assuming it would be fully possible to ban linking to certain kinds of content, and practical to enforce, this kind of thinking would only add to the decline newspapers are currently experiencing.

Newspapers are not the only authoritative source of information these days. And in the current state of the web, linking is still the key to climbing the search ranks. If you wish to be discoverable, then you need to allow linking. This goes for featuring in a Google results page, or being passed around Twitter. If you prevent people from linking to you, then you will simply make yourself less accessible and therefore lose traffic. People who wish to link to supporting articles will do so by finding the best free source of info they can link to and use that, therefore helping to promote those sources of information.

Newspapers will continue to decline, only perhaps a little more rapidly than before.

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