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article imageGoogle Chrome to start blocking Flash content on every website

By James Walker     May 16, 2016 in Technology
Google has outlined a proposal to start blocking Flash content altogether in its Chrome web browser. It already disables Flash content by default and is now planning to take this further. It wants to completely block Flash media, excluding only 10 sites.
Google explained its idea in a presentation. It intends to further de-emphasize the importance of Adobe Flash Player to the Internet by "not advertising" its presence by default. Flash will still come bundled with Chrome for now but will be taking a backseat role.
The changes will see HTML5 content favoured above all else on websites. This means that sites that have both Flash and HTML5 versions, such as YouTube, will be forced to use the HTML5 one by default.
For sites that only work with Flash Player, users will be prompted by the browser to allow it for that site. Flash will be turned on for the current site and will be automatically approved on subsequent visits.
To ensure people don’t end up facing pop-up messages when visiting the most popular sites, Google has curated a list of the top 10 websites that still use Flash. These will have Flash content automatically enabled in the browser and will not prompt users. The list will expire after one year. It currently includes YouTube, Facebook, Yahoo, VK.com, Live.com, Yandex.ry, OK.ru, Twitch, Amazon and Mail.ru.
Google said it is making the change to continue to encourage websites to adopt HTML5 over aging Flash media. Despite once being the go-to solution for interactive web content, Flash is now old, insecure and relatively slow. HTML5 is able to do all the things Flash can and with greater performance and much better security.
"While Flash historically has been critical for rich media on the web, today in many cases HTML5 provides a more integrated media experience with faster load times and lower power consumption," said Google presentation author Anthony LaForge. "This change reflects the maturity of HTML5 and its ability to deliver an excellent user experience. We will continue to work closely with Adobe and other browser vendors to keep moving the web platform forward, in particular paying close attention to web gaming."
Even Adobe has now moved to distance itself from Flash. It now advises developers create new content in HTML5. Although the company has not officially discontinued Flash, today it is viewed as end-of-life by many. The browser plugin is frequently hit by devastating zero-day vulnerabilities, sending Adobe rushing to fix another critical bug almost every month.
Google already disables non-essential Flash content on most websites, a movement it started last June. Since then, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge have moved to follow Google's lead. The three biggest browser vendors are actively putting barriers between users and Flash content, creating a better Internet for the future.
More about Google, Google chrome, Web browser, Flash, Adobe Flash
 
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