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What Is Adobe Flash And Why Does Everyone Hate It?

Technology experts say Adobe Flash is a security risk, and has been slowing down online innovation. (octobergirl/Flickr)
Technology experts say Adobe Flash is a security risk, and has been slowing down online innovation. (octobergirl/Flickr)

Adobe Flash, the once ubiquitous software that made it possible to play videos on YouTube and Netflix and animate cartoons, has become a target for criticism, with technology experts warning it’s a security risk and saying the program has been slowing down online innovation.

Google, Mozilla and others have all temporarily disabled Flash due to security concerns. Executives at Facebook have asked that Adobe not try to fix the faulty software, but instead kill it entirely.

Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Dawn Chmielewski of Re/code for a look at Flash and what its demise would mean for billions of Internet users, many of whom still use the program.

How To Disable Adobe Flash

Chrome: Go to chrome://plugins in your search bar. Scroll down to Adobe Flash Player. Click Disable.

Safari: Go to Safari > Preferences. Click Security. Click Manage Website Settings. Click Adobe Flash Player. Go to the When visiting other websites dropdown and click Block.

Firefox: Go to the hamburger icon in the upper righthand corner. Click Add-ons. Go to the lefthand column and click Plugins. Go to the dropdown next to Shockwave Flash and select Never Activate.

Internet Explorer: Go to the gear icon in the upper righthand corner. Click Internet options. Click Programs. Click Manage add-ons. Click Shockwave Flash Client. In the lower righthand corner, click Disable.

Guest

  • Dawn Chmielewski, senior editor of mobile at Re/code. She tweets @DawnC331.
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.