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Join the conversation and tame your anti virus intrusions

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Subtle Difference technical guru Stephen Neate

Having trouble with Independent Australia's new commenting system? IA's technical expert Stephen Neate clears the air and offers some advice.

Some visitors to IA are not able to participate in the conversations online with other visitors. Sorry about that!

Please be aware there is no conspiracy to hide anything from any visitor, although the reason you cannot view comments may indeed be a greater conspiracy as to the reason why...

Over the past few months, many anti-virus programs (mostly for Windows users) have become increasingly arrogant vigilant in what they allow you to view as decided by their corporate ideals.

These humble anti-virus programs, that used to just assist in cleaning spam / viruses from email, have realised that their diminishing market share, due to online email, meant that new markets had to be explored. Quite rightly, they all started to pre-scan the web page you are about to visit (almost Minority Report-like) to check that it hasn't been reported previously as bad, virus laden, or worse... it has a social button / link.

Social media blocking has also been extended to cover many commenting systems — such as the one used on IA, Disqus.

Up until the scanning and blocking of social media, it seemed ok; protecting a user from accidentally doing the wrong thing – apart from being a little Big Brotherish – is, in essence, a good thing. Yes some social media apps, buttons, add-ons (you name it) can be a little misleading, but they are not exactly harmful. 

Well, I have read some of the comments on IA and the most harm they would do is perhaps incense you to write a reply and perhaps have a glass of water to bring the blood pressure down...

All sarcasm aside, these anti-virus programs do allow you to fine tune your online experience to a very high degree. Enabling social media so that you can enjoy sites like IA – and many millions of other sites in the world – is but a few clicks away.

To explain, a couple of screen shots highlights a common use case (FireFox on Windows with Avast)...

If the bottom of articles on looks like the above
(bland with no comments)


Look for an icon on your browser like the above figure,
click on it to open a nice easy to read panel


Click on the area to allow Social Networks


After refreshing the page you will see social icons,
and can join in with thousands of others talking on IA

NOTE: Do not take this sarcasm as a excuse to remove Anti Virus software from your computer. If you are online, you need protection, this article is just to assist some people fine tune their online experience for IA and other sites across the web.

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