Flashing Ads and Aspergers / Autism Spectrum Disorders

I’ve been fortunate enough that I was on the internet since the late 1980s. I went to Worcester Polytech for a year when they had some of the earliest access. Then I began working at biotech companies and did a lot of work with FTP and Telnet. I helped build some of the first webpages, and was there when GeoCities opened up the ability to make webpages to the world.

Back then, we didn’t think about ads. If there were ads, they were text sentences asking you to go to another website. It was a milestone when graphics began showing up on websites.

Nowadays, all chaos had broken loose.

At least that phase where pop-up ads would fill the screen have been reined in by pop-up blockers. And many people do try to use ad blockers. But there are still things with flash, make noise, and jiggle around. I have to use my computer with the sound off so that random loud ads don’t jump in while I’m trying to concentrate.

But the jiggling content? What is up with that??

It seems half the sites I go to have things which move, slide, or stream. Even ebay! I use ebay to sell off household clutter. Just going to their site to check on my inventory means I have to deal with items moving and sliding around. Why??? It’s incredibly distracting.

There are times I have to deliberately rearrange my windows on my screen to block a moving ad, so I can read the content I’m trying to focus on.

These types of ads make it challenging for the millions of people who deal with sensory issues. Often these people are the ones who desperately need online content because they can’t handle leaving the house or going to a public space for information. So there they are, in their safe haven, trying to get necessary information, and the page is flashing and chiming and making it hard for them to focus.

I think we should all do a better job of speaking up and complaining when those types of ads present. Those of us who are able to speak up can be heard. The poor people who are so overloaded that they just have to close the browser down, they never even get a chance to express their issues.

What do you think? Do you have trouble with flashing ads and noise-making ads?

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