You click a link to a news site, to read an article that seems interesting.

On the page that loads there is the article, but also, somewhere on the right, often near the bottom, there is a small video player. Inexplicably, it was not blocked by your ad-blocker.

It is auto-playing a news video that is not connected to the article. Sound is often on.


@rysiek I will go very far out of my way to disable these monstrosities, or, failing that, position another window over them so I can read; I literally cannot read with moving video on my screen so for me they are an extreme problem and may as well be blocking the entire content.

@feonixrift @rysiek i only recently realized that in one of my browsers video autoplay was, inexplicably enabled, very much to my great irritation!

@rysiek I just close pages that do this, even if I wanted to read the article. If I REALLY want to read it, I'll drop the URL into so I can read it without all the extraneous BS :)


There's usually a way to close or at least stop the video, so it isn't eating my CPU cycles -- but I wish there was some way to take back the click so it wouldn't be included in their viewing stats.

...or better yet, add a negative click. Or a million negative clicks. Sensory distraction as an eyeball lure needs to be sharply discouraged.


@woozle I don't care if I could stop or mute the video (muting the tab might be the most simple way). I don't want to give in to an acoustic intrusion I didn't ask for.

I nope out. That's it.

@amatecha @rysiek

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not saying that control over the video somehow makes it ok for something like that to just start playing. I totally agree that it's intrusive and really just kind of awful.

@amatecha @rysiek

@woozle @encarsia @rysiek yeah I block autoplaying of audio/video in my Firefox prefs, but of course sometimes a manipulative UX tricks me into clicking, thus “permitting” media playback. That’s another reason I often just close pages that pop up literally anything over the content. I don’t like being manipulated and taken advantage of… I basically see it as a form of psychological abuse, even if it doesn’t meet the technical definition (tho maybe it does!)…

@amatecha @woozle Absolutely agree to you both.

I just don't want to put more effort into it than what it's worth.
If something starts annoying me with whatever (video, overlays, whatnot) my essential thought is: it's not worth stealing my attention and time. How important and interesting can an article wrapped in this whole b*shit be? Exactly.


@amatecha @rysiek click on Readability button usually helps, but still!

@amatecha Since I block JS by default, many sites that require it simply get the !ais DDG bang when opened to the resulting blank page or "you must enable javascript in your browser" nag. FOAD, no I don't.

Of course, itself usually results in a Google CAPTCHA nag. I give the audio test "Go fuck yourself, Google", three shots, then close the tab. Not fucking worth my time.


@rysiek I'm a happy user of GNU Icecat, so videos usually don't work :) Having „reader mode“ it makes even websites that don't work properly, readable.

Nothing goes past my blockers (I usually block scripts by default, it's the only thing that seems to make the web of the 2020s bearable).
But if I saw such a video, I would definitely be pissed, especially if the sound was one.
BTW, even without blockers, I think Firefox has an option to forbid autoplay

@rysiek but autoplay with sound is blocked in any browser by default :blobcatthinkingglare: immediately leave the website, possibly remember the name to avoid it in the future and find my news elsewhere


Video takes processing resources & bandwidth. It is unreasonable to expect that the user will always have these available, or that you know better than he does whether he wants to employ them in that way.

@publius I know this. You know this. News site owners seem to be unaware, somehow.

I've been watching the continued escalation of this battle for at least the last ten years. Firefox has done its best to disable these annoying auto-start videos and a certain large US news provider has continuously found ways to work around it and bypass your auto-play preferences (which I have always set to "ask me"). The best solution I've found is to obtain news from more reputable/ethical sources.
I, for one, would not be offended were you to identify "a certain large US news provider".

@rysiek when a website does this to me :
1- it’s a hint that this website isn’t worth it
2- i block the whole domain and i never go back to one of those website like 01net

@wekeys @rysiek oh, how do you block the domain? I’ve got this idea in my head that I want to make a browser extension where it will warn me before navigating to domains that engage in that behaviour (or onerous cookie banners, stuff like that)… I could have a central list I manage and my machines can load it daily or whatever… I thought of this mostly because completely blocking with Pi-Hole makes it a bit of hassle if I really do want to visit the site, haha 😅

@amatecha @rysiek sorry for my part it’s blocking the domain, i never saw a website with this bad pratice to have content that i can’t have elsewhere. It’s always a copy/paste of another website.
If you want to be less radical, with Ublock Origin you can select the script that launch this shitty video and block it. This way you can still « enjoy » the website.

@wekeys @rysiek, that's why I use StevenBlack's hosts list (on GH) and then added a lot of domains on my own.

Now I feel like we need support for an `/etc/hosts.d` directory, it would do wonders when it comes to organizing these blocked domains. But yeah, `cat my-hosts.d/* > /etc/hosts` works, if you really need it to. option d: use my ad-blocker to block the element, so the next time i browse to this website, i don't see the video anymore

if i cared slightly more, i'd report the issue to my ad-blocker's support page so it gets blocked for everyone else as well

(though I keep javascript disabled as much as I can, so this issue probably wouldn't happen in the first place)

@rysiek I leave the site and remember to never go there again.

Either don’t be annoying or let me pay for content.

@rysiek For a while (and when I was using desktop systems rather than mobile devices) I'd often find the video distribution network these sites were based on, and blackhole the motherluvin' heck out of those. Since media companies are cheapskate asshats, for a while at least there was a relatively small set of these that was ridiculously effective at killing most of this annoyance.

That said, the practice reveals an utter contempt for their audience and readership.

it's super annoying when they have two or three pops on the bottom on a mobile device, including the "we eat your cookies" and can't click any of them off because they are overlapped. So have to close the browser and never go there again.

@rysiek Someone voted for the first option???

To whomever that was, YOU are what is wrong with the internet today. :P

@rysiek "time to hit that "reader mode" icon" sounds in my head

whatever small nuissance. always.

@rysiek @Flarnie It's the worst. I assume it's done to inflate video view stats shown to advertisers. Like many innovations under capitalism, it's a good idea for someone, just not you or me.

@ashfurrow @rysiek Woo! Actually, you can probably watch your nginx access log to get an idea. If you use Netdata, you can get graphs from that.

@Gargron @ashfurrow also, goaccess is great for watching your nginx logs. Did this many times when we published something big at $OLDJOB.

@rysiek You know this can be disabled, right? Never happens to me these days.

Of course this shouldn't be necessary and it's a terrible practice, just saying using an adblocker is already more h4xx than that.
@rysiek * i block that website in my hosts file so i may never have to deal with that bullshit again

I really wish browsers would come with a way to block <video> elements. As in, literally pretend they have no idea what a <video> is. Back when flash was a thing, you could usually set it to only load when you click the element, with per-domain exceptions.

@grishka I'm ready to advocate an HTML entity whitelist basis.

A site starts off permitted <p> and nothing else. If it turns out it can be trusted to not abuse markup, a wider scope of permissions is afforded.

Non-semantic use of elements revokes privileges.

Any annoyance of users / betrayals of trust are of course prohibited.

Penalties should apply both in browser and in search rankings / reputation.


@rysiek I use a few different tools to reduce this down to pretty much only on mobile (and I've managed to reduce that too) but it takes a decent amount of front loading configuration (e.g. uMatrix, ScriptSafe + probably piHole next).

#AdTech is the second most garbage industry in the history of tech, right after the blink tag.

@jens @rysiek I actually see some potential for NFTs, but I have a bias in that I myself have side hustled for decades as an illustrator and painter, but I still think that the conditions currently are more favorable to day trader style hucksters than an actual art market. That has the possibility to change, while ad tech will never change and always defaults to lowest common degenerate equine dung.

@zeruch How dare you denegrate <blink> in this utterly undeserved manner!!!


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