Dear Zim web developers & media: Please don’t disable right clicking on your websites

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Dear Zimbabwean people that build websites and offer content for reading,


I just thought I would quickly share one frustrating thing that I’m forced to go through almost daily now. Lately, I run into more and more websites that have right-clicking disabled. Selecting text is also disabled. I have to manually enable all these things. Usually all I’m trying to right click for is to share snippets of the very useful information via Facebook or Twitter. The sharing would in turn actually bring more traffic to the website so you’re essentially making it difficult for us to bring more visitors to the website.


First, about a year or so ago, it was just the Zimpapers news websites. On all of them – Herald, Chronicle, Sunday Mail – you can’t right click, can’t select any text, and can’t do any of the things that the web browser’s right click function was created for. Then NewZimbabwe joined in. Today, while working on Zimbabwe Stock Exchange story, I found they toohave disabled right-clicking and selecting. There are more, like this really good political commentary website, and others I can’t remember right now. These are all very useful sources of information. I can’t imagine the frustration you’re causing other readers who don’t know to disable Javascript and have to go to the trouble of retyping the snippets of your content they’d like to share.

I get why you disable these useful functions. It’s those thieving websites that just grab all your hard earned information as is and use it on their websites, commercially, as if they created the content. I get that the piracy is causing you sleepless nights. But really you know as well as I do that this does little to stop the content theft. A simple Googling for how to enable right-clicking when disabled and the thief is well on his way. They have a commercial incentive to do so, so really, the bad guys are not affected.

Meantime, the good guys – the university students doing research, your loyal readers that just want to discuss your content on social media – have to do with a seriously broken user experience. You’re making them pay for the evil things content thieves are doing to you while leaving those thieves mostly happy. You’re making the wrong guy suffer.

Please reconsider. Thanks.TechZim