Three sites - 403 error

These three sites are all giving http error 403. I know that means ‘forbidden’ but, for example, Raw Story (in the raw rss feed) is still posting or adding to their feed. I have not checked the other two.

Any ideas?

National Memo -
Alternet -
Raw Story -

Add Wonkette to the list (; I can load the feed directly in my browser, but Newsblur reports a 403 (Forbidden) response. This is being discussed in another post.

My guess is that the Newsblur fetchbot has been added to some shared list of malicious traffic sources and is being blocked by firewalls at the sites using that list. The fix would either be to identify and correct the list, or to have each site add the Newsblur fetchbot to an explicit allowlist.

Ok, I sent this to Raw Story and to National Memo. Raw Story has a support email, National Memo does not but I sent it to the sites founder. Since I’m not technically savvy in rss and 403 errors I have no idea if this will work or not or what to say if they start asking me questions. Alternet’s contact page wasn’t working for me.

Starting around June 30 a newsgathering program (rss reader) I use, Newsblur, stopped receiving your rss feed (site specific rss feed url was here). It is currently producing a 403 (forbidden) error for me.

Can you check in to this and allow the Newsblur fetchbot program to resume getting your rss feed?

Thank you.

1 Like

I received this from raw story:

Hi Mark,

I have copied our technical manager on this email so that they can research the issue and respond back to you.

Thank you for your patience as we get this resolved.


Wendy Greenlaw

Head of Subscriptions /

Tel: 901-482-0743

Just sent this:


Yes, I am.

I see the error for both RawStory and if I’m on my VPN … or just my regular connection … . It’s not working in Win10 (thru Chrome on the website) or in Newsblur’s Android app.

See the attached screenshots. This started June 30th as near as I can tell.

I installed the Feeder extension into Chrome (RSS Feed Reader - Chrome Web Store) and both sites rss feeds look to be working ok in that.


On 7/10/2023 10:42 AM, Ben Nguyen wrote:

Hey Mark,

Are you still seeing the 403 ? That usually means you’re rate limited and clears itself after 10-15 mins but could also be because you’re from a region that we have blocked due to a lot of spam.

Testing the feed today with the validator, it seems to be working and valid ( Feed Validator Results: ).


  • Ben

My IP is:

My IP in the VPN varies: etc…

Newsblur is (for one, there may be more and I do not work for them):

On 7/10/2023 12:35 PM, Ben Nguyen wrote:

Hey Mark, can you share IP and I’ll have our host take a closer look at logs ?


  • Ben

They are likely blocking by IP because my local instance works fine for all three sites.

By what IP? Newsblurs?

Yes, presumably the IP(s) from which the Newsblur fetcher operates. Repetitive fetching can look enough like malicious traffic to fool a classifier, which can then get a fetchbot onto a denylist that’s widely circulated.

In case anybody needs this, NewsBlur publishes a list of IPs that are useful for adding to a whitelist/allow list. Feel free to forward this url and the associated IPs (which are updated dynamically) to any publishers that need them.

I supplied that list to the admin at rawstory…

I see Raw Story is back working again this morning. Still the same issue on the other two…

Alternet appears to be working again as well. Nothing yet from National Memo…

Screenshot 2023-07-13 065038
Screenshot 2023-07-13 065145
Screenshot 2023-07-13 065229

Working, but still intermittent. I clicked on the “Parse this RSS…” button and all three downloaded new story’s a few minutes ago, but still a lot of 403 errors are happening. Any idea why? Does it take that long to propagate across multiple servers? Or something else?

Well, when you hit “Parse this RSS Feed” it fetches it from the app servers, which is a different IP than the task servers. So that’s why it works when you do it manually. But they’re still blocking the task servers.

I’ll contact them again with your info, I assume both of those server types IP’s are in the listing posted a couple of days ago which I sent to them?

sent this to them:


How is it going with getting that list of IP addresses allowed/whitelisted?

My understanding is there are two server types in that listing, app servers and task servers, and the task servers are still being blocked…

Thanks again for your assistance…

I’m going to say yes, the sites have been working ok for the last couple of days.

Thanks for your assist!

Sent From My Phone…

On Thu, Jul 20, 2023, 2:09 PM Ben Nguyen <> wrote:

Hey Mark, I’m told this issue should be resolved now, can you recheck ?


  • Ben

Last weekend Wonkette migrated to Substack, and their RSS feed is now at <![CDATA[Wonkette]]> and is working fine.

I’m not able to contact either rawstory, alternet, and now… Is this a coordinated attack on leftwing news outlets? A virus? Anyone have a solve/workaround yet?