Tom Gilson

Correction (with apologies) to Newsblur and Newsblur Readers

Update: the accuracy of the following information has now been reviewed, and Newsblur is not guilty as charged. See the comments. I’m more than happy now to commend to you as a news reader.

I posted the original of this article at 7:31 pm EST, 7 Feb. 2015. I have adjusted the time on it to slide this post down the page. It needs to remain on the blog, as a record available to the Newsblur folks I’ve emailed, but it doesn’t need to be featured.

I am a great fan of RSS feed readers, but it has come to my attention that Newsblur’s version of a feed reader is something different. According to what I’ve been able to discover, especially from here, is that Newsblur copies content off blogs and uses it as a hook to sell the premium version of its services. That violates my both my copyright and my intentions for this blog.

I’m posting this now so that any Newsblur reader will know I am implementing a security feature to block Newsblur’s access to this blog. I trust you will understand.

I have sent the following email to [email protected] and [email protected]


This is a friendly first request that you immediately remove all existing content from from Newsblur’s servers, due to gross violation of copyright.
Thank you.
Tom Gilson

 Further update: Following the tests now completed, I have emailed the same persons:

I owe you an apology. Please see for the correction I have made, and please disregard my earlier email.




Commenting Restored

The comment function here has been out of service, possibly causing frustration, for which I apologize. You can comment again now, and it will save and post as it should do. First-time commenters' comments will not appear, however, until approved in moderation.

5 thoughts on “Correction (with apologies) to Newsblur and Newsblur Readers

  1. For what it’s worth, on my Newsblur with the full site view, Chrome is reporting that it’s actually fetching the content directly from That shouldn’t be spoofable. I have already paid for the full version quite some time ago, because I find Newsblur useful, so I don’t know how it behaves on the free version.

    The article you linked mentioned having copies made from other views (other than the full site view). That may still be happening, although if your RSS feed contains full text, that’s no different from the former Google Reader behavior or that of other RSS readers.

    Do what you need to do, but the reporting I’m seeing from Chrome might be an indication that Newsblur has changed their ways since that old post was published.

  2. That’s possible. I’d be surprised if they’d made that change without making it obvious. (Something similar was going on at Feedly once, and they openly fixed it.)

    Could you do me a favor to help test this? I’ve just unblocked Newsblur so you should be able to do it, if you don’t mind. Please go to this comment in Newsblur and click this link: .

    If it’s really drawing material straight from here I should be able to see that action in my logs. (Note: if it comes as any surprise that those actions can be monitored, please review the privacy policy below.)



  3. I clicked on that. To add some more signal, I also went through the last 10 or so posts in reverse order by navigating to them within Newsblur. (Some of those could be in my browser cache, though, perhaps making a false negative possible depending on how your server handles the page modify date check requests.)

    Being able to monitor that won’t shock me. I’m a computer scientist. 🙂

Comments are closed.


Subscribe here to receive updates and a free Too Good To Be False preview chapter!

"Engaging… exhilarating.… This might be the most surprising and refreshing book you’ll read this year!" — Lee Strobel

"Too Good To Be False is almost too good to be true!" — Josh McDowell

Purchase Here!

More on the book...

Discussion Policy

By commenting here you agree to abide by this site's discussion policy. Comments support Markdown language for your convenience. Each new commenter's first comment goes into moderation temporarily before appearing on the site. Comments close automatically after 120 days.

Copyright, Permissions, Marketing

Some books reviewed on this blog are attached to my account with Amazon’s affiliate marketing program, and I receive a small percentage of revenue from those sales.

All content copyright © Thomas Gilson as of date of posting except as attributed to other sources. Permissions information here.

Privacy Policy