Occupy Flash!

The movement to rid the world of the Flash Player plugin

The Manifesto

Flash Player is dead. Its time has passed. It's buggy. It crashes a lot. It requires constant security updates. It doesn't work on most mobile devices. It's a fossil, left over from the era of closed standards and unilateral corporate control of web technology. Websites that rely on Flash present a completely inconsistent (and often unusable) experience for fast-growing percentage of the users who don't use a desktop browser. It introduces some scary security and privacy issues by way of Flash cookies.

Flash makes the web less accessible. At this point, it's holding back the web.

Our goal: To get the world to uninstall the Flash Player plugin from their desktop browsers.

Why, you ask? Why does it matter, when Adobe has already neutered the platform by publicly killing Flash on mobile devices? Why does it matter when HTML5 has clearly won the fight for the future of our web browsing? Well, as we've seen with other outdated web technologies (most notably the much-lamented Internet Explorer 6), as long as software is installed on machines, there will be a contingent of decision makers who mandate its use, and there will be a requirement of continued support, the plugin will live on, and folks will continue to develop for it. Also, for unknown reasons, Adobe is still sticking with Flash as a desktop browsing technology.

The only way to truly force the web to embrace modern open standards is to invalidate old technology.

Now let's be clear: Disabling Flash Player in your browser will likely mean that some of the sites you use regularly are less usable (We're looking at you, Google Analytics. For shame!). Should you choose to join the movement, there will be some pain and sacrifice involved in your decision. But the more of us who run browsers that don't support Flash, the quicker that pain will subside.

Note: This is not a campaign against Adobe, or even their Flash platform. We're sure there are plenty of good uses for it, such as building great Air applications, for example. In fact, Adobe has stated they believe HTML5 is the future of web browsing. We're simply trying to help them get there a little faster (Sidenote: Adobe, if you're reading this, how about manning-up and supporting this site, like Microsoft did with the IE6 Funeral)

Note: this site has no corporate backing, and is not a lobbying effort of any sort. Sad that we have to say that, but the accusations have arisen.

A Final Note: This campaign is in no way meant to belittle the efforts of the more important Occupy movements currently going on. We understand we are fairly shamelessly co-opting populist terminology. And for that matter, we're not really occupying anything. More like evicting. Or banishing. Regardless, we love the idea of normal people taking on big corporations in the interest of the population at large.

Join the Fight!

Here are a few ways you can help rid the world of Flash Player

Uninstall the Flash Player plugin

First, look at the box below. Do you have Flash installed?

If yes, follow these directions:

Spread the Word

Let people know about this site:

Use HTML5 Options when available

Many sites are starting to support HTML5 for things that once required Flash. For example, you can use YouTube without Flash by going to http://www.youtube.com/html5 and opting in to their non-Flash video player

Develop for web using modern, open standards

If you're a web developer, and the choice is yours, choose not to embrace Flash on future projects. If you have lingering Flash dependency on existing sites, upgrade them to use more modern standards.

Let websites know you don't want them to use Flash anymore

We understand that uninstalling may be too big a step right now. After all, it would mean losing access to a lot of great Flash-based games, among other things. If you're not quite ready to uninstall, but in general you sympathize with the cause, how about letting sites and apps that rely on Flash know you would like to see future versions of their software use more open standards? Your voice has power - the more people they hear it from, the more likely they are to listen.

Help less technically-oriented people understand and uninstall Flash Player

Most of us have parents, grandparents and non-tech-savvy friends and relatives who are running setups that are way outdated. Many of these folks don't even know what Flash is. Explain the issue to them. Let them know that if they do this, some websites may not work, but that it's better this way. And if they are willing to make the sacrifice, help them uninstall flash and upgrade their systems - they're probably not gonna do it on their own.

Upgrade your browser

This point is not strictly a part of banishing Flash from the world, but it's an equally important thing you can do to help the cause of modern web standards. If it is within your control, update to the latest version. Especially if you're using Internet Explorer version 8 or below.

Petition your IT department

If you believe in the cause of making the web a better place, let your IT department know you can do without Flash. And while you're at it, have them update your browser to the latest version :-)