Another Complaint About Auto-Play News Videos

It is getting harder to find news sources on just about any topic that don't have intrusive, time-wasting auto-play videos. Lately, more and more major news sites have them. I refuse to link to them, and it takes a ridiculously long amount of time to click through several sources on any topic hoping to find one without a video and popup ads and surveys.

Here's a post I wrote a year ago on how to disable them. But it's still not an ideal solution.

I'd like to start a list of major sites that have the auto-play videos so readers know to avoid clicking on them when they see them elsewhere. Feel feel to name the offending media sites in comments (no links please, I want to avoid giving them traffic.)

< Thursday Open Thread | Friday Night Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I don't know all the reasons (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:01:01 PM EST
    why clicking onto a website these days has gotten so annoying, and, sometimes, impossible. I hear some of the more tech-savvy folks here talking about the remedies, fixes, go-arounds they unearthed in order to make a site readable/viewable. Magster says, if he wants to see this or that, he uses Firefox, but, if he wants to see that or this, he uses chrome. And, then, of course there's "Flash," "Auto Play," "Always ask," Never Ask," but, always, "Eff You."

    One by one, all the sites are getting impossible to enjoy. How much more crap can they cram onto a home page until it blows up your computer?

    I often wonder, does anybody of authority even ever click onto their own sites?

    I truly doubt it, cause, if they did, they'd realize how aggravating it is, and, heads would roll.

    Oh, well, just a Friday rant, and, a reminder of why I hate Silicon Valley, and all its slimy inhabitants.

    Not Complex (none / 0) (#16)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:17:08 PM EST
    A lot less complex than taking apart your gun and cleaning it.

    A little like buying sunglasses or sunscreen and applying it, no more complex.

    You go into your preferences and set the flash player so that it does not automatically turn on.

    It asks you, when a site has an automatic video, and you can say no.

    the results:

    No auto video.


    whooosh... (none / 0) (#19)
    by sj on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:26:21 PM EST
    Does anyone know how to disable those (none / 0) (#1)
    by Angel on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 01:56:07 PM EST
    pesky, annoying AdChoices videos that show up on some news websites?

    AdBlock? (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:26:25 PM EST
    AdBlock works well.  

    Google Search (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:25:22 PM EST
    Google: disable auto play sites and you come up with solutions like Click to Plug in and other custom solutions to stop these automatic videos, no?

    I've done that and can't find anything that works. (none / 0) (#5)
    by Angel on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:51:17 PM EST
    Those AdChoice things are extremely annoying.  I've resorted to turning my speakers off at times.

    Try AdBlock (none / 0) (#6)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:57:31 PM EST
    Thanks, just downloaded it. I'll let you know if (none / 0) (#7)
    by Angel on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:00:18 PM EST
    it works.

    In Firefox you can go into settings (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:31:58 PM EST
    Applications tab and for applications like Windows Media Player, tell it to 'always ask' before starting to play.

    I think that does it.

    I Did that About a Month Ago... (none / 0) (#8)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:04:48 PM EST
    ...for Flash.  Little did I realize exactly how much memory ads are using, more than all other programs combined, including Photoshop and GIMP.

    I am constantly in tech forums and have a lot of tabs open.  It was getting to the point where I stopped going to a couple because of the memory drain.  For some reason I never connected the ads to Flash to memory, it just never occurred to me that ads on one page could use of an entire GB.  They do, with Flash off, Firefox uses about a quarter of the memory.

    Far more effective than any of the blocking programs with the added bonus of not using memory, like Ad-block, to accomplish this.

    Used to drive me nuts, I have a bunch of tabs open and all of a sudden I would hear something, but with so many tabs open, tracking it down was nightmare, usually the vid would end before I could find it.


    I didn't realize it either until Apple (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 04:12:51 PM EST
    brought it up. I do notice now that on my ipad and iphone it does ask me if I want to play a flash object - didn't used to play Flash at all.

    Another friend was telling me just the other day too about how much the Flash based games he plays drain his battery on his droid phone of some make.


    Agreed, it is annoying. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:30:45 PM EST
    Some websites have loaded themselves up with so many different scripts that you can really notice your computer slowing down as it tries to cope -- especially if you have other programs running.

    In my opinion, The Huffington Post is probably the most egregious offender in that regard, but sad to say, Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo also appears to be going that route.



    Gotta bear in mind that the hufpost (none / 0) (#18)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:11:11 PM EST
    is now owned by AOL.  I used to help a mother in law enslaved by AOL.  There was so much crapola adhering to the edges of their official browser that it felt like peering at the net through a keyhole.

    Huffington Post (none / 0) (#10)
    by RickyJim on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 06:40:44 PM EST
    My problem with their homepage is not autoplay which is easy to disable with Firefox.  The homepage is not broken up into pages 1234 etc, but is always one long page.  It seems to be constantly updating and hanging up in the process.  I suppose I can change all graphic programs to "Always ask" which would only load text but unfortunately this cannot be done only for an individual site.  I don't have a problem once I select an article to read.

    I hear ya. I detest their home page these days (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by ruffian on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:13:10 AM EST
    They have lost a lot of hits from me.

    I just gave up on HuffPo altogether... (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by unitron on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:36:08 PM EST
    ...because the overall experience kept getting worse instead of better.

    How can they not know this? (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:05:51 PM EST
    Or is there some benefit so great it's worth losing a lot of traffic.  They pretty much lost me too.

    There ya go, (none / 0) (#21)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 07:52:01 PM EST
    EVERYBODY I talk to says the same thing. It's the same question we used to ask about "customer service." We solved that by realizing there's no such thing as Customer Service, and, just fended for ourselves.

    But, I think it has to do with how the advertisers pay the sites. Maybe, just by clicking on, let's say, HuffPo, Arianna/AOL gets paid. Whether you ever get to the item you're looking for magically comes up simply doesn't matter. Then again, someone still has to tell me how a censored, gossip sheet got to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

    But, what do I know? Any industry that can get millions of young people (who haven't been to a dentist in 6 years) to stand in line for days on end, in all sorts of freezing weather, a year's worth of Benjamins burning a hole in their pockets, to be the first idiot on their block to buy the latest I-Whatever, is waaay smarter than me.


    So it becomes (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:42:01 PM EST
    What is called a "click hole"?

    To bad.  Used to be a good site.


    ESPN, CBS, ABC, Discovery Channel, cnn video (none / 0) (#12)
    by magster on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 09:49:48 AM EST
    nfl.com, nba.com all have autoplay. The click to play Flash and Silverlight plug-ins work great to stop auto-play.

    I use Firefox as my main browser, and if I go into the above sites knowing I want to see video (news stories or highlights) I use Chrome where I've kept the plug-ins activated.

    There's a Flashblock plugin... (none / 0) (#13)
    by unitron on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:33:21 PM EST
    ...for Firefox that keeps videos from playing until you click on them.

    Once you do you may still have to wait for an ad to play before the actual video, depending on the source of the video.

    Apparently there are also versions for Safari, Google Chrome, and Pale Moon.

    IE supposedly has an equivalent called Toggle Flash somewhere in its settings.

    Flashblock doesn't prevent static ads from appearing, it just prevents audio and video from happening without your express permission.

    Do you realize that 99% (none / 0) (#22)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:01:19 PM EST
    of normal, average adults (over 40/50) don't have a freakin clue what you're talking about?

    Do a Letterman, "Man on the street," test, read them your post, and, pan in on their faces as they say "WTF are you talking about?" see if I'm telling the truth.


    Annoying true (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jack203 on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 10:58:04 AM EST
    But websites need to find ways to make money.  It's the price you pay for free content.

    Youtube alternates between videos that you can skip within 5 or 15 seconds.  It's a good strategy.  The 5 seconds certainly isn't annoying, and every once in awhile the 15 seconds is reasonable too.

    While I do hope the video ads wane as a trend.  I think they're here to stay.   Just like commercials on TV.   Nothings free.

    It's not just the ads (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 02:27:39 PM EST
    It is any video that automatically starts playing. I don't want it to play unless I tell it to. Sometimes I am at work, or have no headsets in on my phone, or for whatever reason just prefer to read an article, not watch video.

    Meant as a reply to jack203 at #24 (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 02:28:18 PM EST
    Help for Your Problem (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 02:36:47 PM EST
    Here is an short, easy to understand article that may help solve your problem.