As a pacifist I seldom wish actual violence upon another human being, but when it comes to whoever came up with the idea of autoplaying advertisements, I wish nothing but suffering. Advertising is an important part of the relationship between content providers and readers.
We provide free content with the understand that you'll click an ad every now and then to help us keep the lights on. Autoplaying ads are a violation of readers expectations. There is never any justification for causing my computer to loudly play audio that I haven't specifically triggered or asked to be played. I can promise that once your product is featured in an autoplaying ad you will lose me as a customer.
There are steps you can take to help keep yourself from being subjected to these obnoxious interruptions into your every day life. Below you will find solutions for blocking this content in Chrome, Safari, and Firefox -- the three most popular browsers for the Mac platform. Enjoy, and thank us by clicking on one of the nice, polite advertisements you see around TUAW.
Disabling autoplaying video in Chrome is the easiest of all three browsers. Simply enter
chrome://chrome/settings/content into the search/address field, scroll down to "Plug-ins" and change it from "Run Automatically" to "Click to Play." This will help you block the majority of autoplaying advertisements that you'll encounter.
Safari doesn't offer a quick solution like Chrome for turning off automatically running plugins, but the fix is still simple. Safari users should consider the ClickToPlugin and ClickToFlash extensions for Safari. These tools can be downloaded for free right here. These extensions block Safari from launching plug-ins and replace content with a placeholder image like those seen below. When you want to play content simply click on these place holder images.
As with Safari, simply changing a few settings won't rid you of autoplaying ads, but for Firefox there's help in the form of Flashblock. The Flashblock extension blocks all Flash, Shockwave, and Authorware content until you give it the okay to go ahead and play. Simply visit this site, download the extension, and restart Firefox. This will take care of most autoplaying ads you'll encounter on your web browsing adventures.
We get that advertising is an annoying part of dealing with online content, but it's also one of the things that helps keep sites like TUAW free to enjoy. There are extensions available that block all advertising, good and invasive alike, and frankly they're bad for the online economy. If you enjoy the content you find on a site, it's important to support the people who are providing that content, especially if they're not monsters who rudely insert ads into their content that start loudly playing a random Baha Men song without your consent.
We hope that by helping you avoid those advertising jerks, you'll give our polite advertising a look when you really enjoy an article you've just read.