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Facebook Autoplay Causing Controversy

According to various sources Facebook is the alleged reason for “high data charges” that were caused by numerous auto-playing videos when smart phone users recently scrolled down through the Facebook News Feed in both the iOS and Android mobile application. As this story goes to press, the popular social networking site had not yet confirmed whether this autoplay was via the browser or the app.


Using Facebook/Image: PinkInkMag/PicJumbo/ViktorHanacek

Facebook users apparently became aware of the data charges following the trending of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge videos online. Additionally, many users posted videos of their own challenge.

While the videos did aid in creating awareness and raise funds for the ALS charity (to the tune of approximately $110 million) it also lead the way to the high data charge issue. Most mobile users reportedly would have rather donated in a more direct manner than paying high data charges incurred by said videos.

Following a significant number of complaints from smart phone users concerning the high data charges, MoneySavingExpert.com ran tests of their own.  After all, the website specializes in educating users of technology and providing them with money-saving ways to reduce their expenses.

Following their analysis, the site reported that the auto-play feature was indeed the cause of the high charges. They reported that Facebook by default currently “displays videos on the mobile application” following a “recent update” which seemingly drains the data.


Facebook App causes high data charges/Image: BreakSec

The site noted: “We’ve seen many people who have been stung with data bills after exceeding their monthly allowance and who believe it to be because of Facebook autoplaying videos.”

Sites such as TheNextDigit offered a solution to smart phone users. They note that Apple iOS users can disable the auto-play feature simply “by accessing Facebook > Settings > Auto-play.” Android owners “can access the setting via the Facebook app to select ‘Wi-Fi only’ or to turn off the feature.” The auto-play feature can also be shut down on the desktop website by adjusting the current settings.

Facebook Auto-Play Causing Controversy

About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.