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The latest SE blog post looks to me like this: enter image description here

It gives me the message "This content is not available in your country" in white on a black background. I am in Russia. Is this intentional behaviour? If so, why?

Update: Also not available in Belarus, per @PashaPash's comment.

It seems that the reason is the Spotify platform used for the podcast isn't available in some countries. But that arises new questions. Was SE aware of that? What steps should they take to make sure their content is available to all users?

Update 2: The post has been updated, now it displays properly for me, and (hopefully) for users from other countries as well.

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    overcast.fm/+UwBrtOquA overcast link should work for you, try it! – user1306322 Oct 15 '19 at 11:46
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    @user1306322 Thanks, it works indeed. But the question still stands, WTF? – Yaant Oct 15 '19 at 11:50
  • it's the plague of the entire music industry, don't worry about it, just use proxy servers or Opera VPN where you can manually select the region from which you are downloading podcasts next time :) – user1306322 Oct 15 '19 at 11:52
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    @Shadow Er, if it's the case, then why block access only to the podcast, and not to entire SE network? – Yaant Oct 15 '19 at 11:52
  • @Shadow regardless of current politics, the US has not imposed a general embargo on Russia that would place an affirmative duty on SE to block random Russian users (and even then, US embargoes usually have an "informational" exemption that would permit podcasts). Why would SE want to impose such a restriction? I can maybe see blocking Iran or North Korea, but Russia? That doesn't make any sense at all. – Robert Columbia Oct 15 '19 at 11:53
  • @RobertColumbia sorry, just some venting. Will delete the comment. – Shadow 10 Years Wizard Oct 15 '19 at 11:54
  • @Yaant like I said, it's Spotify decision, not Stack Exchange. – Shadow 10 Years Wizard Oct 15 '19 at 11:54
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    @Shadow however, it is Stack Exchange decision to use Spotify as a podcast platform – PashaPash Oct 15 '19 at 11:57
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    @Shadow Still, because of that the blog post doesn't look very inclusive to me. Just opposite to inclusive, actually. It may be not intentional, but looks do count too. – Yaant Oct 15 '19 at 12:00
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    I guess it might be related to the history of all those fishy MP3 pirate sites that were based in Russia. Something about music industry and piracy, not related to SE. – Lundin Oct 15 '19 at 12:03
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    @Lundin not available in my country too (Belarus). We don't have enough kudos. No idea what kudo is. – PashaPash Oct 15 '19 at 12:07
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    The direct url to the podcast feed is: feeds.simplecast.com/XA_851k3 You should be able to use that to add to whatever app you use for podcasts – Kip Oct 15 '19 at 16:36
  • @Kip Thank you, though until this moment I was unaware that there were separate apps for that. So far all my experience with podcasts was limited to clicking "play" button on some webpage or another. Actually, having a direct MP3 link extracted from that XML feed is good enough for me. :) – Yaant Oct 15 '19 at 16:46
  • @Yaant looks like blog post edited to use Overcast onebox banner, can you please verify? – Shadow 10 Years Wizard Oct 16 '19 at 7:28
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    @Shadow Can't tell for sure if it Overcast or some other service, but yes, it now works for me. Issue is solved. – Yaant Oct 16 '19 at 10:33
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Spotify was never launched in Russia.

There's a pending request to launch it in Russia, which is still in "Not Right Now" status.

List of countries where Spotify is available can be found here.

That said, Stack Exchange did pick another host, Overcast, which appears to work for everyone.


Update: Less than a day after this issue was reported here, and after couple of comments on the blog post itself, the blog post has been edited to use a different banner/onebox which works everywhere.

| improve this answer | |
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    Maybe Stack Exchange should choose another podcast platform then? – PashaPash Oct 15 '19 at 12:03
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    @PashaPash they do have another one, Overcast. Does it work for you? – Shadow 10 Years Wizard Oct 15 '19 at 12:20
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    Yes, thanks, Overcast link works for me. Do Overcast support embedding? Or at least some other indicator than a plain text link? Big black "not available" block draws the attention. No chance user will seek for a alt link when "not available" is clearly stated right in the middle of the screen. – PashaPash Oct 15 '19 at 12:29
  • @PashaPash I did and I'm user :p – user1306322 Oct 15 '19 at 13:06
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    @Shadow blog post was updated, "This content is not available in your country" is now right on the top – PashaPash Oct 15 '19 at 15:19
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    @PashaPash yes that's ugly. Posted a comment, hopefully that blog post author won't ignore it. – Shadow 10 Years Wizard Oct 15 '19 at 15:32
  • @Shadow they replaced embedded version with simplecast player, works fine for me now – PashaPash Oct 16 '19 at 18:42

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