When linking to an article, suggest the OP tell us what they think is worth noting about it

I treat paywall sites like books. They are perfectly fine references, and potentially great sources of information. But just like you wouldn’t insist that someone read Chapter 12 of an architecture book in order to understand your position in a discussion, you shouldn’t leave a link to a paywall site and expect that to be sufficient to make your argument.

If you’re using a book as a reference, you would want to quote some of the relevant text, or at least give an accurate summary of the information in the book that applies to the discussion. I’d expect the same if you are using a paywall site. And really, most of the time it’s better to do that for a link to a soft paywall site, or a site with no paywall at all so that people don’t have to track down what you mean.

That’s an almost perfect analogy. Just because something is available in a library (i.e. paywall workaround) or bookstore (i.e. paid-up paywall) doesn’t mean the onus is on the reader to go out and read the book without even knowing if it will be relevant information.

I feel exactly the opposite of this. With the decline of print media, publications have to make money somehow to stay in business. Where do you suppose they get income to run the place?

I like that a paid subscription gives me access to publications I would have gladly paid for in the past (and did), but now I don’t have to worry about disposing of the paper when I’m done reading it. If I really want someone to know what’s in the article I paid for, I can summarize it or quote judiciously. I can even cut and paste into a Word doc if I want to save an article for myself. (And yeah, in the old days, I’m the person who used to send you cut-out newspaper articles in the mail.)

Through a mixture of ads and paywalled articles that don’t spam search engines and message boards with bait-and-switch hyperlinks.

Huh? You lost me there. “Bait and switch hyperlinks”?

But that’s okay. Never mind. Let’s move on…

Yes. A hyperlink that purports to be contain information about something but does not.

In other words, a clickbait link. “You won’t believe the scandal that Tom Hanks is involved in!” Link to an article about some scandals in Hollywood and no mention of Tom Hanks.

I think that’s not the kind of link we’re talking about here. I’m hoping we don’t have posters providing clickbait in threads. I haven’t seen it.

We have had our share of clickbait cites that aren’t evidence for what they purport to be evidence for, and that’s one reason to not want a link to a paywalled site.

I am talking about searches for information that, once you click on them, reveal that you can only read what they are supposedly about if you pay. Searches for news have gotten less useful over the past few years because search results are flooded with pseudo-links. Even if I had several subscriptions it would still not restore my trust in searches. Even if I were willing to pay for every single possible site, it is still a devolution from previous years because I’d face the choice between useless links and the hassle of managing dozens of subscriptions. It would be a different story if they were well-labelled or even segregated into their own “paywall” area.

I learn information from people on this board that they provide for free. If someone, in between doing stuff they get paid for, has time and kindness to “drop a turd” link that teaches me something, I am grateful for that and don’t want them discouraged from doing so.

Quietly reading and learning in hopes of becoming qualified and capable is indeed an alternative to jumping in and demanding an explanation.

Yes, but reading is not quite what we call participating, but it is a solid option, I concur.

I haven’t either. Not saying it never happens, but that’s not the focus of this discussion.

Well, aren’t you just the sweet-talkin’-est thang. Bless your heart.

Yeah, this is what I meant about people’s reactions varying based on what they’re trying to get out of a discussion and how they’re approaching it. I post info that I think can be helpful here. I learn way more than I provide to others. I rarely participate in contentious debates. I almost never am looking to score points or “win” a debate. If someone tells me where to find information that I’m seeking, I’d view it generally as on me if I don’t want to bother tracking it down.

But, I get that, if I were in a contentious debate, and I said, I don’t think you can back up that claim, and then someone said, It’s on p 479 of this book in my hand, which is out of print and unavailable anywhere, but now it’s on you to prove that it doesn’t say that, it would be galling. And I can see wanting to disallow that sort of thing, or strongly discount unverifiable cites. But that’s not how I approach this board.

If someone provides a link that’s behind a paywall, but I can see what it’s about, I usually will Google to see if I can find the same info, non-paywalled.

It’s customary there to post the new strip number, which is a kind of comment. Usually also something like “New strip: #1234”. I’d say that counts as useful comment.

I do not agree with you. Consider a exaggerated hypothetical GQ question:

“Where Did World War II Begin?”

If my answer post consists only of this:

…then I did not “do anyone a favor with my curation”. Yes, the answer is somewhere in the link I gave but it’s still a bullshit answer.

But there are so many more ways to make crappy posts here. Another example would be a GD thread called:

“The Allies Only Won WWII Because of Economics–Their Armies Were Incompetent”

And if my answer post consists only of this:

…then yet again, I failed.

Do you know what’s almost worse than posts that consist only of a link?

It’s when a poster uses a word or initialism that the average person can’t be expected to know. Like “DOI”. You might as well come in here and throw out foreign words (but of course that has a rule clearly disallowing it. We need that for acronyms and initialisms too, don’t you think?)

Why in the world would you just drop “DOI” in here? Why can’t you type out what that means? Never force your reader to look up random shit just because you’re typing on a cell phone and are too lazy to write what you mean.

As I remarked in the thread that birthed this one:

DOI = Digital Object Identifier. It’s a standardized system of persistent identifiers for online content, mainly used for things like academic journal articles, government reports, etc. If you see a DOI in a citation, you can click on it and go to the thing being cited.

But the answer wasn’t in the preview box! IMO, that’s exactly why a preview box (info box, whatever) shouldn’t be considered, by itself, to be a proper answer/post. As others have suggested there always needs to be actual words (and thought) from the Poster.

Also, even if the answer had been in the preview box I doubt most people proofread the box to see if it actually has pertinent information before they post.

If even one person learns a single thing from that link, you’ve succeeded. Could you have written something better? For sure. But if you’re trying to jot something down before I meeting, I’d rather have your link than nothing.

In that post in the other thread you did not write any answer of your own. Your entire answer was just a link. As others have noted, sometimes a bare link can suffice. Your example is not one of those times. When we read that thread here’s what we see as your answer to the OP:

Was McDonaldland plagiarized from the old “H. R. Pufnstuf” kids’ TV show?

That manifestly does not answer the OP’s question (Why did all the McDonaldland characters disappear). If we look at the rest of the info box copy there is nothing even on the subject of the question (just something about “murky origins”.

Could the the answer be somewhere in the link? I don’t know, but I shouldn’t have to click on it and read it to find out.