Today I sent the following letter to ABC News via the US Postal Service:
December 3, 2012
47 West 66th Street
New York, NY 10023
Re: ABC News website and audio auto-play
Dear ABC News:
I urge you to reconsider the current practice of auto-playing multimedia content when a visitor loads your website (abcnews.go.com) in their browser. The audio auto-play is particularly egregious. It is unexpected, startling, annoying. It wastes bandwidth and user CPU resources. It is poor internet etiquette.
I have discussed the issue with my social media contacts, and I assure you that many internet users feel the same way. Users agree that your practice generates ill will (as a simple Google search will assure you). Users are looking for (and finding) ways to block your domain from their systems. This puts Disney in the company of porn purveyors.
Whatever the benefits of this practice, they are surely outweighed by the long-term damage done to your online properties and the Disney brand. I trust that you will give my letter serious consideration, and will consequently give users more control over what content they consume (and when) as they visit your website.
Atanas E. Entchev
Follow me on Twitter @atanas