The Bullshit Web
August 1, 2018 7:07 PM   Subscribe

A story at the Hill took over nine seconds to load; at Politico, seventeen seconds; at CNN, over thirty seconds. This is the bullshit web.
posted by ericost (69 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm running Chrome with uBlock Origin, nothing custom, nothing stupidly hard to configure and I hopped over to thehill.com and pulled up a random story. The load was 1.88 seconds. CNN.com and a random story, 1.84 seconds.

Admittedly my machine is a freaking beast but people on the web just hand you stuff that basically lets you strip out all the crap by default.
posted by Definitely Not Sean Spicer at 7:21 PM on August 1, 2018 [11 favorites]


my favorite thing about the future is how everything is the worst
posted by Bwentman at 7:38 PM on August 1, 2018 [61 favorites]


I use Ghostery, which breaks some single login sites (including Twitter) but for the most part strips out tons and tons and tons of trackers and Javascript and ad networks and it's extremely satisfying.

I particularly like it when the site gets weepy in response and says 'please turn off your ad blocker! our ads are good, we promise' and I'm thinking 'they're not your ads, because if they were your ads, I'd see them'
posted by Merus at 7:38 PM on August 1, 2018 [44 favorites]


I've used every tool I can find to block all the crap mentioned in the article for the past - geez, 15-20 years? something like that. I cannot fathom how people surfing without such tools don't just totally give up on the Internet in disgust.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:48 PM on August 1, 2018 [9 favorites]


I don't disagree with the article, but I always wonder: who's the audience for these manifestos?

Because, honestly: in my experience, the people who are driving all of the font bloat and trackers and useless widgets wouldn't even understand half of this article. By and large, it isn't developers who are sitting down and saying "You know what would make this page better? A bunch of bullshit!"

It's designers who insist on using six different weights and styles of a font. It's marketroids whose entire purpose in life is to get tracking scripts onto people's computers. It's managers who don't know anything about code or UX, but know that the site has to have [insert pointless buzzy feature here]. It's haphazard project planning which causes features to be implemented in an ad-hoc, piecemeal fashion. It's poorly trained clients putting nightmarish stuff into the CMS.

Don't lecture me – write a manifesto for those people.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:49 PM on August 1, 2018 [35 favorites]


I know this isn't an ask me but can anyone point me towards something that'll block all the "one weird trick" crap I get in Safari on my iPad? I’m old and I hate that I can’t properly navigate a page until every god damned thing has loaded
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:52 PM on August 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


I use both Ghostery and Ublock. I am continually amazed/disgusted by the number of trackers/beacons/scripts/etc. that get blocked on various sites. There have been a couple of times the total has hit three digits. I can’t see how anyone could think such a thing is a good idea.

I’ve also noticed an increasing number of sites that simply throw-up a big “NOPE” roadblock if it sniffs you’re running any flavor of ad blocker. Some of the sites are regular MeFi fave links.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:52 PM on August 1, 2018 [8 favorites]


...can anyone point me towards something that'll block all the "one weird trick" crap I get in Safari on my iPad?

I’m not sure what “one weird trick” crap is, but have you looked at Purify? It’s free on the app store.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:54 PM on August 1, 2018


This is great.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:04 PM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


THANK GOD FOR METAFILTER, THAT IS ALL
posted by duffell at 8:07 PM on August 1, 2018 [25 favorites]


...can anyone point me towards something that'll block all the "one weird trick" crap I get in Safari on my iPad?

Try 1Blocker.
posted by standardasparagus at 8:09 PM on August 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


Firefox’s tracking protection is great and on by default. If you’re on iOS, install Firefox Focus and follow the prompts to enable its content blocker system-wide.
posted by adamsc at 8:11 PM on August 1, 2018


I use 1Blocker on iOS. I was a little irritated by their poorly-communicated upgrade to 1Blocker X, but whatever - it's a powerful and flexible content blocker and it syncs custom blocking lists between devices. Occasionally I have to load websites without it, and at that point I glimpse the battery-sucking horror that the web has become.

hmm, an SCP about cryptid advertising JS would be fun
posted by adrianhon at 8:18 PM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


see also The Website Obesity Crisis, from 2015
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 8:18 PM on August 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


Those "subscribe to our newsletter" popups are the worst.

I'm already on your site, looking at it - stop marketing to me
posted by thelonius at 8:19 PM on August 1, 2018 [31 favorites]


Ghostery is kinda dubious, selling user data: https://www.wired.com/story/ghostery-open-source-new-business-model/

I use uBlock Origin and Firefox's tracking protection. Works great.
posted by nnethercote at 8:19 PM on August 1, 2018 [4 favorites]


I love it when I start reading an article then it jumps away from my eyes because some other block of nonsense just loaded on the page. That's the best.
posted by davebush at 8:20 PM on August 1, 2018 [52 favorites]


Kinja websites, for when you absolutely positively need to drain your phone's battery by about 1% per minute to look at some text and pictures.
posted by figurant at 8:22 PM on August 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


I’ve also noticed an increasing number of sites that simply throw-up a big “NOPE” roadblock if it sniffs you’re running any flavor of ad blocker.

I don't know what the endgame is there, but there are (partially effective, at least) countermeasures (and probably counter counter measures etc. ad infinitum). One of the optional filter lists you can toggle in uBlock origin is titled "AAK" something. AAK stands for "anti adblock killer".
posted by juv3nal at 8:31 PM on August 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


I use PiHole to block all that bullshit from even getting loaded before it hits my network, so even on my iOS devices I can benefit from ad & script blocking.

It'll run on basically any Debian based Linux distro, not just a raspberry pi (I run mine on an Ubuntu box that also runs Plex, backup point and a bunch of other random services)
posted by decryption at 8:49 PM on August 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


I have uMatrix, and for the most part I love it, but it's also a total chore to get many sites to work at all. Sometimes stuff just fails to load completely, even after I've turned off all my content control plugins (uMatrix, uBlock, HTTPSEverywhere), cleared the cache, and refreshed. I get to enjoy more secure browsing both because I'm blocking a lot of bad content, and because it's such a chore to use the internet now that I don't always want to bother.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 8:52 PM on August 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


Even giveupandusetables.com has given up and been taken over by a domain landing page.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:46 PM on August 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


Interesting blog post, although the author is cynical (and wrong) about newsletter signups in both B2C and media verticals. Newsletters are popular, and they get read.
posted by JamesBay at 9:53 PM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


...Although the late-loading newsletter signup popups are Very Bad. User experience has got to be paramount when designing a web page.

It's really odd how clunky CNN etc is, since Google and other search engines reward fast page-loading speeds. I guess CNN and other major media properties don't have to depend on search for discovery is the main reason...
posted by JamesBay at 9:55 PM on August 1, 2018 [4 favorites]


The amount of and bizarre behavior of random popups, delayed loading gags, and stuff that tries to take over the tiny browser on my phone have forced me to simply disable Javascript by default. So when I want to scroll down a page, it actually just scrolls and nothing else happens. Only links are clickable. If I really want to see the page, I can "share" to my other browser. It feels like the web before ads went amok. Works for 80% of stuff, and the remaining 20% may not be worth looking at.

It's super weird to open a seemingly normal web page on my actual computer and hearing the fans spin up. What is this web page doing that's stressing out over two thousand dollars of laptop?
posted by meowzilla at 10:07 PM on August 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


It's designers who insist on using six different weights and styles of a font. It's marketroids whose entire purpose in life is to get tracking scripts onto people's computers. It's managers who don't know anything about code or UX, but know that the site has to have [insert pointless buzzy feature here]. It's haphazard project planning which causes features to be implemented in an ad-hoc, piecemeal fashion. It's poorly trained clients putting nightmarish stuff into the CMS.

Don't lecture me – write a manifesto for those people.


I've read some variation on this manifesto more times than I could possibly count, and written it a whole bunch of times to boot, most recently circa this past Monday. I do not exactly disagree with your assessment, but I guess I think what it really is - what all those behaviors of are symptoms of - is that capitalism is:

a) bad

b) totally winning

And as a consequence, the network sucks forever now. It wouldn't matter if you could get through to all of those people, somehow, and convince them to abandon the economic basis on which they live their lives for some conception of the greater good. They'd all be replaced from central casting in a month.

The non-bullshit web is done. Stick a fork in it.
posted by brennen at 10:30 PM on August 1, 2018 [7 favorites]


I don't disagree with the article, but I always wonder: who's the audience for these manifestos?

It's a fair point. Honestly, when I wrote this, the audience was me — just a coalescing of my thoughts and frustrations. But it got read far more than I anticipated, and I hope that a few of the developers or designers or managers who saw it went to their bosses and indicated that changes need to be made.

Maybe that's naïve and far too optimistic. I'm familiar enough with the industry to know that it's unlikely that any major website will be changed based on what I wrote here. But maybe a couple of readers will turn off their irritating newsletter popover; maybe a couple more will disconnect from AMP. That would be nice.
posted by nickheer at 10:56 PM on August 1, 2018 [26 favorites]


We wouldn’t tolerate such intrusive behaviour more generally; why are we expected to find it acceptable on the web?

What world is this guy living in?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:37 PM on August 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


I particularly like it when the site gets weepy in response and says 'please turn off your ad blocker! our ads are good, we promise'

ugh it's like a greasy frat boy trying to get you to fuck him without a condom. no thanks, i'll pass on that definite infection.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:15 AM on August 2, 2018 [15 favorites]


I have uMatrix, and for the most part I love it, but it's also a total chore

I have ScriptSafe (+Adblock +Privacy Badger) in a dedicated browser and it's like "playing the internet on hard mode". I do come across lots of sites which, when not allowed to run any scripts and cross domain requests, degrade surprisingly well serving text, layout and pictures. Only once you start enabling things it needs at least 7 or 8 until it starts working again. The domain names of the bigger tracker companies such as scorecardresearch have become familiar through constantly appearing in the "Blocked" section.
posted by yoHighness at 12:51 AM on August 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


(also, on preview, EWWWWWWWWW)
posted by yoHighness at 12:52 AM on August 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


Is this where I can mention/brag that I deployed my first-ever web app yesterday, and the entire site--CSS, images, and all--clocks in at just over 400 kilobytes and loads in under a second?

Okay, yes, it's a small in-house work thing with only two pages and a couple of not-visible-to-users routes, but still. I'm pretty happy with it.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:01 AM on August 2, 2018 [5 favorites]


Late-loading newsletter signup popups are one of the surest ways to get me to realize that I have better things to be doing than looking at your site. When one appears, I reflexively close the tab. Instantly. Your content better be something really fucking important if you think you can hit me with that nonsense and not have me turn on my heel and walk out the door.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 2:21 AM on August 2, 2018 [18 favorites]


> Even giveupandusetables.com has given up and been taken over by a domain landing page.

Table layouts have been dead for over a decade and a half, and have been known to be bad in all possible ways for long before then. Do not bother to disinter and enthrone this corpse, you will find no followers.
posted by ardgedee at 3:33 AM on August 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


Late-loading newsletter signup popups are one of the surest ways to get me to realize that I have better things to be doing than looking at your site. When one appears, I reflexively close the tab.

I wonder how much, if at all, the people who demand that these be implemented think about this. If they could do focus groups and see user after user closing their site rather than deal with their marketing cruft, would they care?
posted by thelonius at 4:32 AM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


My rig is Firefox EME-free, compiled from source so it's fully optimized for Threadripper, with Ghostery, Privacy Badger, Ublock Origin, Tampermonkey, AAK, Nuke Anything, Unfix Everything, and Disable Autoplay; running through squid on my linux router, with carefully tweaked tcp stack settings to minimize bufferbloat, also running the DNS server which blackholes over 30,000 domains. I don't see why everyone doesn't do the same.
posted by sfenders at 4:34 AM on August 2, 2018 [6 favorites]


If they could do focus groups and see user after user closing their site rather than deal with their marketing cruft, would they care?

They don't need to do focus groups. There's an entire discipline (web analytics and optimization) devoted to studying how users behave in response to things like this. And they don't need (or ask for) your consent.

Not infrequently, when you look at a web page (especially on a commerce-oriented site), you aren't necessarily seeing the same page as another visitor. You're a guinea pig in an A/B test: you see version A of the page; another person sees version B. The differences could be as dramatic as a completely different layout, or as subtle as adjustments to the color and font size of a headline.

The people conducting the test monitor how many "conversions" they get from each version. A conversion can be any desired outcome: a purchase, a newsletter signup, submission of an inquiry form, even simply clicking on a "Read More" link.

If version B gets 12% more conversions than version A, then version B will become the new default. And then they'll repeat the process, testing various hypotheses to gradually optimize the page's conversion rate over time.

These tests are easy to conduct via tools such as Google Optimize. It takes minutes to set up, and (unless you're actively looking for it) you'll never know it's happening.

(They aren't "optimizing" the page for user experience or social responsibility, of course. Only for their desired commercial ends.)

Point is, everything you do on any kind of commercial website is tracked and measured. If their analytics folks are doing their job competently, then they know that a certain number of users bounce from the site when they see one of these modals. But they've found that, even so, on average, late-loading modals convert better than early-loading ones. The way that (nerdy, savvy, early-adopter) MeFites behave on the web isn't necessarily representative of the way that average users behave on the web.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:59 AM on August 2, 2018 [23 favorites]


(Oh, and the JavaScript necessary for running these tests is one of the many kinds of cruft that TFA is talking about. Insult, meet injury!)
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:01 AM on August 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


It’s the capitalism, stupid.
posted by mondo dentro at 5:25 AM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


Late to the party, but this statement, right here, is everything:

"You know how building wider roads doesn’t improve commute times, as it simply encourages people to drive more? It’s that, but with bytes and bandwidth instead of cars and lanes."
posted by martin q blank at 6:20 AM on August 2, 2018 [8 favorites]


A/B testing is the devil's honeytrap. It sucks companies into local maxima and stops them from ever breaking out into the green fields beyond. A/B testing must die.
posted by Mogur at 6:52 AM on August 2, 2018 [13 favorites]


Sorry, hot button. For the "B" version of that comment, say "I agree", now.
posted by Mogur at 6:53 AM on August 2, 2018 [5 favorites]


In the transportation biz, we call that "latent demand" -- build it, and it will get used.

Sure, for a while everything's better, and in some cases it's a net win ... until people change their habits and take the expanded road instead of their prior path.

I want to read (or document and write up) the New Era of Throbbers. It started with Mosaic, and the throbber changed with Netscape. Jamie Zawinski has a fun write-up on those early throbbers, and his Easter egg to display his favorite throbber, but I digress.

As I understand it, after most internet connections became fast enough, and technology changed, and throbbers were deemed unnecessary or confusing. Sometimes the pages loaded so fast the throbber wouldn't throb, or other times there would be some element loading that didn't register as traditional "page loading," so the throbber wouldn't move.

Instead, webpages and elements have their own throbbers now, telling you that something is still working and isn't stalled or locked up, please be patient.

But now you couldn't customize throbbers like you used to, and instead developers could switch things up on their end.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:55 AM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


The people conducting the test monitor how many "conversions" they get from each version. A conversion can be any desired outcome: a purchase, a newsletter signup, submission of an inquiry form, even simply clicking on a "Read More" link.
This is common but unfortunately so is ignorance about the limitations of these tools. I frequently encounter people who work in that field professionally and yet believe that networks are perfect and ad blockers have 0.001% usage, and thus they assume that what their tool sees is actually reflective of their site's traffic. Since neither of those assumptions are even close to true A/B tests often end up optimizing for things like users on corporate desktops because e.g. their A/B system is too slow to reliably get data before a smartphone user closes the tab.
posted by adamsc at 7:17 AM on August 2, 2018 [10 favorites]


I was once chided for posting a 3MB PDF to the front page without adding a (PDF) warning. After getting the mods to add the warning, I grumbled to myself a bit and then measured the webpage size of some of the other FPPs that day. Some of the linked webpages were 7-8MB of code, images, and HTML - and that was without ads.

I add (PDF) warnings now. They seem increasingly out of date.
posted by clawsoon at 8:25 AM on August 2, 2018 [5 favorites]


>> Late-loading newsletter signup popups are one of the surest ways to get me to realize that I have better things to be doing than looking at your site. When one appears, I reflexively close the tab.

I wonder how much, if at all, the people who demand that these be implemented think about this.


Everyone here in this thread probably works in some with "the web" but the problem really is "people". That is, there are multiple stakeholders when it comes to deciding what's on a web page.

Personally, as the head of the newsletter team, I'd rather just see an embedded form in news articles where people can sign up. But to get that to work, it's a discussion between the IT who have to design a tool, the editorial team who have to ensure it's implemented, and leadership who could decide to allocate more resources to create an easier solution.

And since there are other organizational priorities, an unobtrusive newsletter signup form gets pushed down the priorities list.

That's just my scenario. And most of the people who actually control high volume website have no idea how web technologies work. They're focused on the content, typically.
posted by JamesBay at 8:32 AM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


I add (PDF) warnings now. They seem increasingly out of date.

I appreciate the warnings regardless of file size, since I prefer not opening PDFs in a browser window and would rather download the thing properly. Thank you!
posted by asperity at 8:45 AM on August 2, 2018 [7 favorites]


It's designers who insist on using six different weights and styles of a font.

No, it's not our fault. You should thank for the beautiful mockups we do that, they're truly works of art.

LOVE US OR GTFO!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:53 AM on August 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


Depending on how the PDF is structured, it can break usability and accessibility in multiple ugly ways. Ideally a PDF will be a relatively lean document that at least uses my device's native font rendering engine even though it's trying to cram print-formatted text onto a landscape-orientation browser engine and I can zoom in rather than having to switch glasses (assuming we're not dealing with multiple columns). Often, a PDF is a stack of scanned pages with lossy compression. A warning that I'm about to jump out of a context of flowed text to something that was "designed" for print and pushed to the interwebs as a bureaucratic afterthought is welcome.

Annotating when links are going to jump out to formats that have minimal or no accessibility or device-independent formatting alternatives isn't just about payload size. (And while we're on the subject, your favorite vlogger mumbles, the whistling background noise is hell on some hard-of-hearing people, and they refuse to provide proper transcripts.)
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 8:58 AM on August 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


Some people seem to hate PDFs for other reasons than size. Safari handles them very cleanly and its easy to forget that other browsers download them instead of displaying them, is one thing, too.
posted by thelonius at 9:32 AM on August 2, 2018


Sometimes the pages loaded so fast the throbber wouldn't throb

Hush little baby
Put down that shiv
Papa's gonna buy you
A throbber div
posted by thelonius at 9:34 AM on August 2, 2018 [4 favorites]


When I rule the world all websites will be required to obtain design approval from Jakob Nielsen.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:37 AM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


Firefox and Chrome desktop both open PDFs in-window. That doesn't fix the multiple accessibility problems that come with PDF text.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 9:59 AM on August 2, 2018


And I'm not saying "don't use PDF." I'm arguing it's a good practice to warn users when a link is going to direct to different media type.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 10:04 AM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


I have nothing to add to the topic, but thanks for pointing me to UBlock. David's always complaining about how slow the web is at home - perhaps this will help.
posted by corvikate at 10:12 AM on August 2, 2018


HAH! The WIRED.COM link in the post just before this one is such a perfect example of this. Let's take a moment to appreciate Mefi, in all it's simple blue perfection.
posted by es_de_bah at 10:24 AM on August 2, 2018 [6 favorites]


corvikate, make sure you use uBlock Origin, not uBlock! As the article mentions, uBlock isn't supported by the original developer and not recommended.
posted by devrim at 12:14 PM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


corvikate, use this: https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock#installation

There's a bunch of clones and rip-offs out there which are effectively malware.
posted by Bangaioh at 1:12 PM on August 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


I particularly like it when the site gets weepy in response and says 'please turn off your ad blocker! our ads are good, we promise' and I'm thinking 'they're not your ads, because if they were your ads, I'd see them'

That really is the irony of it. Website owners moan and pule about how ad blockers are stealing and they'll go out of business without advertising, but... third party ad services make it way too easy to block ads. I get it, it's hard to get advertisers to work with you directly, but it's not, you know, impossible, especially for larger publications like Wired.com. Print publications have rolled their own advertising departments for decades. An ad hosted on Wired.com would be less trivial to block, and probably be less objectionable for readers to boot.

Then again, it's not so much about the ads any more. It's about tracking people and harvesting their personal data, and no amount of advertisements hosted on Wired.com are going to do that, are they? And "Please turn off ad blockers so we can trace and sell your every movement across the internet" just doesn't have the same appeal, does it?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:25 PM on August 2, 2018 [4 favorites]


If I hit your site and 2/3rds of the page isn't what I came there for, why should I stick around or link that page for other people?
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 4:48 PM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


My pet peeve is when they collapse all the share buttons into a single, rotating button that changes every few seconds. That motion in the corner of my eye as I'm trying to read triggers nausea and I have to leave the site.

I don't actually know how common these are anymore, I added a tampermonkey script to block them (if ghostery doesn't catch them first) when they were EVERYWHERE, and my life is now much better.

A well-regarded local news blog is undergoing a redesign and the guy who runs it asked for opinions about what he should change, and I suggested reducing the SEVENTY-FIVE third-party trackers and scripts that load. He was unimpressed. It's so painful, even with ghostery and adblock it takes FOREVER to load.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:32 PM on August 2, 2018 [4 favorites]


It's not just that ads include autoplaying audio, video, seizure-inducing flashing, or controls that sometimes break them out of their assigned boxes on the page, or the insanely slow page loading times, it's also the tracking and lax security in third-party ad networks that STILL allow for the occasional drive-by malware install anymore.

Until the ad networks fix their shit or just vanish, my answer is and shall remain to harden my browser and not run a browser on Windows at all.
posted by Enturbulated at 7:10 PM on August 2, 2018


I run Flash Block, Privacy Badger, Disconnect, uBlock Origin, and uBlock Origin Extra, and still see Chrome peg my CPU quite often. Is there any layman's guide to profiling the CPU consumption and further blocking whatever is causing it?

I would seriously be okay with a text-only browser, if it were secure and up to date. I have a few specific things I do on the internet that need graphics, audio, and video, but otherwise I primarily read the internet.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 8:16 PM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


Meaty shoe puppet: the killer UI feature in the Brave browser is the persistent per-site settings menu. I set it to default to not loading scripts at all and only enabled them on sites where they do something useful and the web is a very fast place.
posted by adamsc at 7:15 AM on August 3, 2018 [2 favorites]


I run Flash Block, Privacy Badger, Disconnect, uBlock Origin, and uBlock Origin Extra, and still see Chrome peg my CPU quite often.

This seems like a lot, they might be competing against each other to read each webpage. Are you sure there isn't any overlap, especially between Privacy Badger and Disconnect? I haven't had to think about Flash for years.
posted by rhizome at 10:31 AM on August 3, 2018 [2 favorites]


> I run Flash Block, Privacy Badger, Disconnect, uBlock Origin, and uBlock Origin Extra, and still see Chrome peg my CPU quite often.

The extensions are causing the bloat, not the web pages. Get rid of the redundancies. Usually uBlock Origin plus one other is sufficient (Ghostery (with caveats as noted earlier in this thread) or Privacy Badger). uBlock Origin is highly configurable and can do almost anything any of your other extensions are doing -- for example, blocking Flash.
posted by ardgedee at 4:21 PM on August 3, 2018


The way that (nerdy, savvy, early-adopter) MeFites behave on the web isn't necessarily representative of the way that average users behave on the web.

I feel like every time someone complains to me about their computer being old I quickly figure out they're using stock IE or Safari.

But if you're used to landing on Facebook (or god forbid Yahoo or aol for that matter), you've already signed up to be bombarded with bullshit all day.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:47 PM on August 3, 2018 [1 favorite]


Nthing the sentiment that it seems weird to single out web developers as the source of the problem as if we're the ones who decided to junk up pages with trackers and other BS, as if we ever have a say in the matter. I remember trying to raise privacy/load time concerns way back during the first project I was on that included tracking "pixels" and my concerns were dismissed - because the client wanted what the client wanted - and I've always wondered about how developers tend to have a strong set of ethics (for example: page bloat is bad, users should be treated with emapthy and dignity) but we have little to no means of communicating them in typical agency settings, where the only reasons developers are often allowed to give for backing a certain decision are technical ones.
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:37 AM on August 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


Also Safari works fine and web pages that are built with only Chrome in mind are problematic in that one is forcing one's users to use the web browser made by the company whose entire business model is spying on and collecting data about its users.

Also Chrome is a notorious CPU hog, extensions or not.
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:40 AM on August 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


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