I know websites that don’t rely on paywalls need to raise money somehow, but I know I’m not the only person who is thoroughly sick of the auto play video ads with audio that have started infesting many big media sites of late.
You know the ones I mean. They’re the ads that suddenly erupt in the middle of the screen as you scroll through the article. Until a couple of days ago you could click on the [x] in the corner of the ad so you could shut them up before the audio started playing, but now that option has gone away. It’s as if the people running the ad server noticed that everyone was closing them the instant they appeared, so took that option away.
If, as many people do, you’re listening to music while surfing the web, these things are intensely annoying. Your only option seems to be to close the browser tab without reading the rest of the article. Which is precisely what I’ve been doing.
I’ve seen them so far on The Guardian, The Independent and Forbes, so it’s not confined to bottom-feeding clickbait sites who are cynically concerned with selling eyeballs and nothing else.
Charlie Stross once said that all advertising devolves to the state of spam. Which would imply that, much like your typical make-money-fast or fake Viagra seller, these people know they’re ruining your UX, and just don’t care. Or maybe it really is just a case of sufficiently advanced stupidity being indistiguishable from malice.
What’s a more pertinant question is whether the management of The Guardian or The Independent care.