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Facebook deserves a dry slap. If you’ve used its mobile app lately, you might have seen the message below pop-up, cheerily informing you that Facebook is planning to do you a massive favour by making videos play with sound automatically:
You have to admire the chutzpah of that message. It’s like a traffic warden pinning a note under your wiper, saying he’s going to make your parking fines more enjoyable by automatically fining you the moment your car park ticket expires.
Facebook seems to have forgotten this is dickish behaviour. Apple blocks autoplaying videos in the latest version of its Safari browser because people find it more irritating than a boxset of Mrs Brown’s Boys; Facebook is pretending it “respects your preferences” by enforcing a change that nobody ever asked for. Apart from its advertisers, of course.
So, the next time you’re on the bus and Facebook starts autoplaying Kim Kardashian farting in the shower, you have two choices: uninstall Facebook and never use the anti-social network again or take back control and set all videos to mute, as they were before.
How to stop Facebook videos autoplaying
To switch off this plague in Android, click on the rightmost icon at the top of the screen, scroll down to App Settings, and then uncheck the option that says “Videos in News Feed start with sound”. If you want to go a step further, you can turn off all sounds in the app using the option below.
This irritant doesn’t appear to have arrived in the iOS version of Facebook yet – perhaps because Apple places an ASBO on such behaviour. We’ll update this piece with instructions if it makes an unwanted appearance.