The internet is not just a series of tubes. My God! It’s full of links!
Today, while my mind was contentedly numb and was clicking things on the internet like a monkey pushing a button for a reward (mmm, banana!) I happened to click a link that led to ABC News.
What can one say about the ABC News internet experience?
First, before you even get to the page, you are subjected to a full page advertisement and the option to “skip this ad.”
Here’s the link that aroused my ire and prompted this post: ABC News
The next thing you notice is that your browser says, “Hey. Psst! I have prevented a popup window.”
At the top of the page is a giant banner ad. It’s moving, of course. It’s flashing and trying to get your attention.
Near the top right of the screen is a rectangular ad area that flashes every five seconds or so, encouraging you to click “Play” to watch more about some ABC television show.
And then, without your prior consent, on the left side of the page and embedded in the article, is a video window. It automatically starts to play, sucking up your internet connection and most annoying of all, it begins to pump out sound from your speakers!
That’s just damn rude.
What’s the etiquette of stealing bandwidth from people who decidedly did NOT click “Play” on your video? And then surprising them with sound?
Is your baby laying in your arms asleep? Too fucking bad, says ABC News. We’ll wake that son of a bitch up. We have gots to get paid, yo.
Angry, I immediately located and clicked the MUTE button on the fucking thing. I was almost shocked when it actually worked. Alas, I was not that shocked when the click also brought up a popup window with yet another advertisement. Shit, I thought my browser was blocking those? Apparently not this one.
In the time I’ve been composing this post, that embedded video has been happily playing. Each time I go back and glance at that tab, the video is still playing, thankfully still without sound.
In a smaller box, still within the article, is embedded more advertising. This time a small box labeled “sponsored links.” Scroll down a bit to the bottom of the article and you’ll find two more boxes of sponsored links.
All told I found no less than five items on the web page labeled as “advertisement” or “sponsored links.” This does not include the ad I was forced to skip to land on the page. Nor does it include the two popup windows (one blocked, one that got through.) And, lastly, it does not include the commercial video that started playing with sound when I first loaded the page.
Hey, ABC News. I got a question, and then I have a follow-up. Greed much? And why are you such a bunch of motherfuckers?
I can’t help but wonder what percentage of internet traffic is bandwidth consumed by video and sound that no one ever requested? I bet it’s a lot. It probably ranks right up there with spam and porn thanks to the greed of organizations like ABC News.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Television networks are the same people who decided to stick their logo on the corner of the screen when watching their programs. God forbid we forget what channel we’re watching. Except during commercials, of course. And then they decided to build in commercials during the programming in the form of moving images advertising the next show you should be watching. And then, naturally completing the progression, they added sound to those moving promos in the bottom left corner of the screen.
Fuck the viewer. The viewing experience be damned!
Never again will you be able to watch a show without being bombarded at the same time with commercials for the next show.
How much is enough? When will they say when? How many times do they need to get paid?
I’ve got an idea. How about making a web page that is informative with actual content and making the advertising proportional to the rest of the page? And how about keeping video and sound from coming on unless we ask for it?
Is that too much to ask? You betcha!
Is the audience the customer? No. The advertiser is the customer. And they’ll never ever let you forget that.
Moderation is not a word in the Advertiser’s Dictionary. Just how many boats can you water ski behind?
Hey, ABC News. Can I please read a news story without you spamming the fuck out of all five senses? That would be great.