The backlash against web sites requiring free registration to access content has begun. Bugmenot.com is providing user names and passwords to such free registration sites so users can avoid giving our their personal information. Since many sites use registration to obtain demographics which then allow them to lure advertisers and pay the bills, some are questioning the morality (see the comments) of bypassing registration.
When a site offers content in exchange for demographic information, is it stealing to not give them that demographic information? Is that sort of agreement actually in effect? Is it lying to use someone else’s user name and password to access content? Or is this simply payback for the inevitable way registration leads to spam? Bugmenot.com leaves the moral ball in your court, though they give plenty of rationale and, interestingly, don’t seem to be profiting from the venture (no ads, don’t accept donations, etc.).