With the changes that the University has made to its Replay Lecture Capture service, we have noticed that for some users, access to Replay Content within VLE module sites is being inhibited by Web Browser ‘ad-blocker’ software or plugins.
A case of mistaken identity
To many, ad-blocker plugins are a mainstay of the modern web browsing experience. In a highly-competitive market, there are many similar tools for users to choose from, which in effect, all serve to meet the same end and thus function in a very similar fashion. They usually fulfil an entirely benign purpose in preventing annoying, unwanted, and sometimes malicious content and pop-up windows from interfering with how we view the web.
However, sometimes when attempting to target the harmful and spurious material that we don’t want to see, ad-blocking software employs general rules which can have a detrimental effect and inhibit our access to innocent web content – such as Replay Lecture Captures!
The telltale signs
The typical fashion in which we have observed problems to manifest is for a blank view of a ‘Panopto Folder’ within the ‘Replay Content’ area of a VLE site to be displayed (as seen in the first image below).
Whilst it may deceptively appear that there simply are no captures available for a given VLE module site, the telltale difference is the lack of the ‘Nothing to watch here‘ message (as highlighted in yellow in the second image below).
The true view of an empty folder
Disabling your adblocker or adding an exception
If you think that you’re being affected you may need to take corrective measures.
The simplest way to go about resolving the issue is to temporarily disable your ad-blocker. With some of the more advanced plugins on the market, it is possible to ‘add an exception’ to tell the plugin that the content that you’re trying to view is safe and to therefore ‘whitelist’ it for future reference.
In AdBlock, for example, when clicking upon the icon next to the URL bar, there is the option ‘Don’t run on pages on this domain‘. (Picture below, setting highlighted in yellow)
As previously mentioned, there are, however, many pieces of ad-blocking software available – and while the ‘whitelisting’ process for each is much the same, there are subtle differences. As such, compiling a definitive list of guidance for every tool is problematic, but listed below are the knowledge bases for some of the most popular tools:
Have you been affected?
We are continuing to track compatibility issues between ad-blocking plugins and the Panopto platform as they arise. To help us investigate the scope of the problem, we would appreciate your assistance by taking a minute or two to complete a short form.