Fix broken plugin content on the Web with NoPlugin

NoPlugin is a browser add-on for Firefox, Chrome and Opera that has been designed to fix web content that requires plugins on the Internet.

Plugins are on their way out, with all major browser developers having announced that classic plugins won’t be part of future browser versions anymore.

The web is moving to a HTML5 future, and plugins are a relic of the past. While Flash is still being kept around, at least for a little bit longer, depending on the browser that you are using, plugins other than Flash may not work anymore already.

See Firefox, DRM and the end of NPAPI, or Chrome launches without NPAPI plugin support for further information.

The removal of support for plugins however may have an effect on an Internet user’s web experience. While browsers may not support plugins anymore, plenty of sites out there still require them for some content.

plugin not supported

If you visit such a web page in a modern browser, you usually get an error message. Chrome for instance displays “this plugin is not supported”, and Firefox that the “video format or mime type is not supported”.

The disabling of plugins in browsers makes this content inaccessible. While plenty of sites are using HTML5 now for their content, it is fair to say that some sites will never be updated. Pages or sites that are no longer maintained for instance, or sites for which the operator cannot or won’t make the investment that is required.

NoPlugin

NoPlugin has been designed as a solution for this issue. It is a cross-browser, open source, WebExtension.

Basically, what NoPlugin does is scan web pages that you visit for plugin content (embedded content).  Note that the extension is limited to media content.

Depending on the content, two things may happen. If the browser can play the content without plugins, the embedded content is replaced with a HTML5 player so that the content can be played directly in the browser.

If the content cannot be played, a download option is provided instead so that the content can be downloaded to the local system and played in a local player then.

The message on the screenshot below for instance links directly to the media file so that you can download it to your local system (This page is trying to load plugin content here. Click to open it in your media player).

noplugin

A click on the open content button downloads the media file to the local system so that you can play it using any media player that supports the format (mov in this case).

NoPlugin may play mp4, mp3, m4a and wav files directly in the browser. Any other media cannot be played directly, but is provided as a download option instead.

Verdict

NoPlugin has been created as a remedy to make left-behind media sites that rely on plugins to play content work in modern web browsers. The use of the extension depends largely on your browsing habits.

If one of your favorite sites requires plugins for instance, you will benefit from NoPlugin provided that it detects the embed code correctly on it and provides you with a download or direct streaming option.

Now you: Do you need plugins for some stuff on the Internet?

Facebook Moderation Guidelines Leaked, Show How It Reviews Hate Speech, Extremist Content

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Challenges such as revenge porn have overwhelmed Facebook moderators
  • It reviews around 6.5 million reports of potentially fake accounts a week
  • It confirmed that it was using software to intercept graphic content

Leaked Facebook documents show how the social media company moderates issues such as hate speech, terrorism, pornography and self-harm on its platform, the Guardian reported, citing internal guidelines seen by the newspaper.

New challenges such as “revenge porn” have overwhelmed Facebook’s moderators who often have just ten seconds to make a decision, the Guardian said. The social media company reviews more than 6.5 million reports of potentially fake accounts a week, the newspaper added.

Many of the company’s content moderators have concerns about the inconsistency and peculiar nature of some of the policies. Those on sexual content, for example, are said to be the most complex and confusing, the Guardian said.

Facebook had no specific comment on the report but said safety was its overriding concern.

Facebook Moderation Guidelines Leaked, Show How It Reviews Hate Speech, Extremist Content

“Keeping people on Facebook safe is the most important thing we do. We work hard to make Facebook as safe as possible while enabling free speech. This requires a lot of thought into detailed and often difficult questions, and getting it right is something we take very seriously”, Facebook’s Head of Global Policy Management Monica Bickert said in a statement.

Facebook confirmed that it was using software to intercept graphic content before it went on the website, but it was still in its early stages.

The leaked documents included internal training manuals, spreadsheets and flowcharts, the Guardian said.

The newspaper gave the example of Facebook policy that allowed people to live-stream attempts to self-harm because it “doesn’t want to censor or punish people in distress.”

Facebook moderators were recently told to “escalate” to senior managers any content related to “13 Reasons Why,” the Netflix original drama series based on the suicide of a high school student, because it feared inspiration of copycat behavior, the Guardian reported.

Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the documents published on the Guardian website.

After London Attack, Facebook to 'Aggressively Remove Terrorist Content'

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Several people were killed in London attacks
  • Facebook has condemned the attacks
  • Twitter also said it was working to tackle the spread of terror

Facebook said it wanted to make its social media platform a “hostile environment” for terrorists in a statement issued after attackers killed seven people in London and prompted Prime Minister Theresa May to demand action from Internet firms.

After London Attack, Facebook to 'Aggressively Remove Terrorist Content'

Three attackers rammed a hired van into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed others nearby on Saturday night in Britain’s third major militant attack in recent months.

May responded to the attack by calling for an overhaul of the strategy used to combat extremism, including a demand for greater international regulation of the Internet, saying big Internet companies were partly responsible for providing extreme ideology the space to develop.

Facebook on Sunday said it condemned the London attacks.

“We want Facebook to be a hostile environment for terrorists,” said Simon Milner, Director of Policy at Facebook in an emailed statement.

“Using a combination of technology and human review, we work aggressively to remove terrorist content from our platform as soon as we become aware of it – and if we become aware of an emergency involving imminent harm to someone’s safety, we notify law enforcement.”

 

May has previously put pressure on internet firms to take more responsibility for content posted on their services. Last month she pledged, if she wins an upcoming election, to create the power to make firms pay towards the cost of policing the Internet with an industry-wide levy.

Twitter also said it was working to tackle the spread of militant propaganda on its website.

“Terrorist content has no place on Twitter,” Nick Pickles, UK head of public policy at Twitter, said in a statement, adding that in the second half of 2016 it had suspended nearly 400,000 accounts.

“We continue to expand the use of technology as part of a systematic approach to removing this type of content.”