Terms of Use Update

Part of our ongoing efforts to make continuous improvements on our content delivery and availability is to pro-actively curtail abusive and exploitative access.

We’ve already put in place mechanisms to detect and deter malicious access, and we’ve blacklisted thousands of sources as a result. We’ve extended the mechanism to manage additional scenarios.

As of this release, only “visible” visitors are allowed on the site. Legitimate but excessive requests will be temporarily suspended from further access — such visitors will be flagged, and repeat offenders will be blocked permanently (the only exception is vetted indexers and crawlers). Infractions will get the following warning message instead: Terms of Use violation. Come back later.

Suspension will last for several minutes, but can be as long as a few hours. It is our hope that by discouraging and taking a more aggressive approach on usage abuse, our limited resources will be put to better use, that is, improve REAL readers’ experience.

For more information, read our Terms of Use statement.

[ Update ]

We’re releasing this usage guidance to facilitate legitimate readers.

  • Legitimate crawlers are still welcome to consume our content, but request intervals should be at least 30 seconds to avoid getting flagged.
  • Multiple flagged requests count as a strike.
  • Each “Terms of Use” violation counts as a strike. After four strikes, you will be blocked permanently from accessing the site.
  • Attempting to directly access content, such as post, pages and albums, using query strings instead of a permanent link will get you blocked.
  • Probing and hacking attempts will get you blocked.
  • Download attempts on dev, test artifacts will get you blocked. is a production site. Rest assure garbage files are stored offline. We’re not a “cloud storage believer.”
  • Blocked access is permanent, there are no appeals process.
  • You will be denied access if your IP address is hidden or masked.


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