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Twitter could put an end to paywalls
By Dave Winer on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 1:23 AM.

Think about the ways Apple enforces policies on content.  #

All songs are 99 cents. No exceptions.  #

Rules about what apps can and can't do. #

No Flash.  #

We've come to accept these rules. After all it is their platform, the reasoning goes. If you don't like the rules, you don't have to use the iPhone, iPad, whatever.  #

A picture named theWall.gifAt first Twitter had a hands-off policy with regard to apps. But that's changing, radically. Read the rules, and see how many of them have anything to do with technology. Now, recall that when Apple first started with the rules, they said they needed to control things because of the technology of phones was different than desktop computers. Clearly there are major motivations that go beyond protecting users in what platform vendors do to control what kind of software and content flows over their networks. #

Then, this evening, I saw a tweet from Eric Hippeau, former publisher of Huffington Post, and a longtime publishing industry exec. #

erichippeau: "There should be a rule on Twitter that no one can link to a page behind a paywall. Useless." #

Now here's a chilling thought. #

If Twitter wanted to, tomorrow, they could block all links that went into a paywall. That would either be the end of paywalls, or the end of using Twitter as a way to distribute links to articles behind a paywall, which is basically the same thing, imho.  #

Twitter already has rules about what you can point to from a tweet, and they're good ones, they keep phishing attacks out of the Twitter community, and they keep out spammers. But that does not have to be the end of it. And if you think Twitter depends on you, I bet Adobe felt that Apple depended on them too, at one point.  #

Please, think. #

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