20 September 2008

The HFA plague engulfs the internet

A couple of years back I wrote about the infestation of HFAs (horrid flickering ads, that is, ads displaying moving rather than still images) making many sites on the internet almost unreadable. Since then, the problem has, if anything, gotten even worse. More and more sites -- and I'm talking about mainstream newspaper and news agency sites, not just blogs -- now have HFAs, often several of them onscreen at once. Even the screen which comes up when I access my e-mail has them. The "new message" screen has a banner HFA across the top, and the layout is contrived so that there is no scroll bar to the right, so I can't even scroll the stupid thing up out of sight while I'm typing a message. I actually keep a strip of thick dark paper with a piece of tape at each end near the computer, so that I can slap it across the top edge of the screen in the case of especially distracting HFAs there.

And some of these things aren't even actually ads any more. Some blogs display on their sidebars something called (I think) a "meez", a crudely-made homunculus which twitches and jerks in repetitive fashion. Since these aren't advertising anything, I can only assume they are meant as decorations.

Between the HFAs and "meezes" and other miscellaneous moving-picture annoyances, some sites look as if they were deliberately designed to induce migraines, as you struggle to read the actual text surrounded by a barrage of jerking, flickering, jittering, twitching crap.

Oh, I know, it's a very minor issue compared with AIG and South Ossetia and Rezko and global warming and so forth. But why in the world do people insist on sabotaging their own websites with this kind of utterly pointless irritant?

3 Comments:

Anonymous handmaiden said...

But why in the world do people insist on sabotaging their own websites with this kind of utterly pointless irritant? As Wilford Brimley, used to say back in the 1980's, with those annoying commercials on T.V. for Quaker oatmeal, "It's the right thing to do."
My guess is some people are just sucked into thinking advertising IS..."The right thing to do."

20 September, 2008 11:04  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ads wouldn't bother me as long as they were the still kind. It's this twitching, jumping, jittering $#!T I can't stand.

Ah, well, if they don't mind losing readers (or giving them headaches) by doing the "right" thing.....

Thanks for commenting.

20 September, 2008 16:38  
Blogger ScotsToryB said...

Just discovered your blog and have to say these flashing ads etc annoy the hell out of me too.

What to do?

Use Firefox as your browser and download 2 add-ons: a) No Script and b) Ad Block.

Result? Happiness.

STB.

01 October, 2008 06:11  

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