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The very best headlines are written by Russian trolls to get you to click on their infected websites. The next best, generally without infection, are the news sites that require you to subscribe to a service before they’ll tell you a dirty little secret.

It’s a free country – you can click away as much as you like and accept the consequences. The worst that can happen is that your computer system will be hijacked and frozen with a demand for ransom money. Then you’ll have a perfectly legitimate excuse to set fire to the whole thing in the back yard and just read books and drink beer. Tempting, or what?

I think there is a money-making opportunity going begging here. Based upon my experience with several contributors to Facebook, there would be a good market for a service that took a subscription with the promise that you could read less. It’s not so much a blackmail scheme as a no-mail scheme. For a monthly fee they would promise not to share the next chain letter or photo of the children. A premium service would hold back anniversaries of previous photos and the gold-card standard would entitle you to avoid personal information fyshing disguised as “fun” contests.

Can I put you down for a six-month trial?

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