Be Even More Passive! Sit Back and Watch Us! NOW!
We are beautiful people with all the right cultural traits. And we are all naked below the waist. So stop reading the news right now and watch us interact with each other. It’s more fun. We know you can read the text twenty times faster than we stumble our way through it all coked and boozed up. So what if your Internet is as fast as a snail going backwards. Just be patient: Sit and wait for the little whirligig to stop rotating and return with us in glorious motion. It’ll be worth it. It won’t do anything for you, but we’ll be even bigger celebrities than before. And, after all, what you read isn’t as glittering as having a celebrity mouth it for you and titter complicitly.
It seems as if all the news websites are intent on ramming videos down your throat—even when your browser is set to exclude videos. It doesn’t help matters that we are forced to watch an ad of indeterminate length for starters, always beginning with loud voices assuming a corporate tone that only vaguely resembles human discourse.
My reaction is to start by turning the sound all the way down and then hitting the STOP button on the lower left. For good measure, I scroll down past the video so it disappears from view. Some websites like CNN have gone one better: They put a miniature video screen off to the side in case we want to return to the Blah Blah Bling Bling.
All I can say is Double Ugh!
You Can Also Stop Autoplay Videos in I.E.
Here, from the February 2015 issue of PC World, are Lincoln Spector’s instructions for suppressing autoplay videos in Internet Explorer:
- From the menus at the top of the window, select: Tools>Manage add-ons.
- In the resulting Manage Add-ons dialog box, make sure that Toolbars and Extensions is selected on the left. Wait for the list to appear.
- Find and double-click Shockwave Flash Object on the right. (It’s listed under Adobe and will likely be near or at the top.)
- In the resulting More Information dialog box, click the Remove all sites button. Then close the dialog boxes.
According to Spector, the Flash windows may not appear at all, or they may appear blank. A bar at the bottom of the window will offer options to allow Flash to play. Click the x on the right to indicate No.
Yes, You Can Retain Control Over Videos
Last summer, I wrote a blog posting entitled Streaming Agony in which I bewailed the tendency of websites to push streaming videos in your face when you open websites—particularly prevalent among news websites. Most of these streaming videos are controlled by Adobe Shockwave. Using your Internet browser, you could request that the video be grayed out, as in the three examples in the above screen shot from the Buenos Aires Herald, and activated only when you specifically request it. By clicking on “Activate Adobe Flash,” you can see the video once, or grant blanket permission to the website.
Because I use Mozilla Firefox as my browser, I will reprint the instructions by Lincoln Spector from the February 2015 issue of PC World on “How to Stop Autoplay Videos” using this browser. If you should be a user of Google Chrome or Internet Explorer, reply at the bottom of this post and I will post the equivalent instructions for your browser. If you use Safari, you are out of luck.
Here are the instructions for suppressing autoplay videos on Firefox:
- Press Ctrl-L to go to the address bar and type in the local URL field: about:addons.
- Click Plugins in the left pane.
- Find Shockwave Flash in the list of plug-ins.
- Click the Always Activate pop-up menu on the right, and select Ask to Activate.
The article in PC World continues:
When you visit a page with an embedded Flash video, the video window will be in a box, but this time it will be white with Adobe’s Flash logo (a stylized letter ‘f’ in the center). A gray bar at the top of the page will give you options to continue blocking or allow the flash.
If you click Allow, you’ll get options to Allow Now or Allow and Remember. If you want to allow it at all, I recommend Allow Now.
Hopefully this will protect you from loud NSFW (Not Safe for Work) loud ads and most autoplay videos.
Video Is Great—When You Want It!
Over the last year, I’ve noticed that when I visit many websites, I automatically activate videos, usually advertising some sh*t I don’t want. Even if my mouse rolls over some areas of the screen, it is interpreted as a wish to be sold to. In that case, my first reaction is to turn down the sound; and then I hunt for active video screens and hit the stop button.
Webmasters are allowing advertisers to push them around. One instance is the “obliterad” that covers the screen and forces you to hit the X to shut it down. I have complained to several websites, but it was like asking them to empty their cash registers into a bag I am holding. They need the money, but they also need not to annoy their readers. I know I can get many more readers at Tarnmoor.Com if I started running ads, but the intention is not to become the most visited site on the Internet. In fact, greater popularity would force me to spend gobs of time interacting with people with whom I would prefer not to interact.
One easy way to counteract the automatically activated videos is for browsers to ask whether you want to run any videos. That way, I retain the ability to choose. YouTube is great, but I don’t need video when looking at a news story about Syria or our dysfunctional Congress.
Unfortunately, many of the news website stories involve activating a video. CNN, MBCNEWS, and others are trying to ram not only their stories, but their stupid ads down my throat. Do you wonder why I sometimes feeling like spewing back at them?
If, on this website, you see no ads or involuntary streaming video, it’s because I’m trying to apply the Golden Rule.