Friday, June 26, 2015

How to Stop Autoplay for Video on CNN

CNN hit the perfect combination in a Web site in which there's just enough information to make it worth a periodic visit ... and more than enough video to ensure you never come back.  Even better, they're so greedy about it that they force you to accept thirty-second commercials which cannot be halted.

Yes, they can.

The most generic kill is if you go to Safari Preferences and disable Javascript but that will likely break a great many sites, most of which use it responsibly (CNN specifically excluded from that class).  So, that approach will work but it's probably more destructive than you want.

Likely a more preferable although more intensive way to solve the problem is through a selective Javascript Blocker and there are different plugins available for the various browsers.  Whatever plugin gives you the ability to block Javascript by domain name is the one you want as then you can murder the scripts CNN runs and limit the misbehavior of their Web site as much as possible.  This approach will definitely kill the commercials and the feature video as well but it usually has little value as usually it's just talking heads seriously risking brain damage by interpreting the news for us.

Your needs will vary and you may not want the hassle of tuning what you will permit Web sites to do with your browser but controlling Javascript gives the power back to you and is one of your best defenses against abusive Web sites.

CNN is getting murdered for ratings by Fox News.  They will not solve that problem by getting progressively sluttier about what they do for money but I wouldn't bet a dime on the organization surviving if they continue with this.  There's nothing left but the Tabloid Tarpits down the path they have chosen.


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