URL bug lets you skip YouTube ads and paywalls by adding an extra period

Some people go through all sorts of trouble to avoid ads and paywalls on the internet, whether that means installing ad blockers or trying complicated workarounds. As it turns out, in many cases, getting past these ‘obstacles’ is often as simple as adding a period to a websites domain.

In other words — assuming you’re not a YouTube Premium subscriber —  ‘youtube.com/reallycoolvideo’ will show ads, but ‘youtube.com./reallycoolvideo’ will not. It’s that simple.

The bug is mostly limited to desktop browsers, but on mobile, you can use the ‘Request Desktop Site’ option in order for the trick to work.

Redditor u/unicorn4sale noted the bug on Reddit‘s r/webdev subreddit. According to u/unicorn4sale:

“It’s a commonly forgotten edge case, websites forget to normalize the hostname, the content is still served, but there’s no hostname match on the browser so no cookies and broken CORS – and lots of bigger sites use a different domain to serve ads/media with a whitelist that doesn’t contain the extra dot”

In other words, it’s a simple oversight — and it’s far from just YouTube. A quick test showed it to be effective at getting past paywalls for The New York Times, Wired, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and several others.

Of course, now that the bug is out in the open, it’s only a matter of time before this little loophole is closed. Enjoy it while it lasts — or, you know, pay up.

Via Android Central

on u/unicorn4sale [Reddit]

Corona coverage

Read our daily coverage on how the tech industry is responding to the coronavirus and subscribe to our weekly newsletter Coronavirus in Context.

For tips and tricks on working remotely, check out our Growth Quarters articles here or follow us on Twitter.

bitcoin
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 50,721.00
ethereum
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,667.96
binance-coin
Binance Coin (BNB) $ 236.14
tether
Tether (USDT) $ 1.00
cardano
Cardano (ADA) $ 1.13
polkadot
Polkadot (DOT) $ 34.33
xrp
XRP (XRP) $ 0.464074
uniswap
Uniswap (UNI) $ 32.02
litecoin
Litecoin (LTC) $ 187.56
chainlink
Chainlink (LINK) $ 27.99