Do you use mobile Facebook web only on Brave for Android?
Then you probably noticed that FB locks you out of selecting text. Irritating, but not a big deal, right?
However, let’s say that you live in Laos, but don’t have the Facebook app (spyware) installed. You can read Lao at a basic level, but need assistance with anything complicated or difficult. (AKA: You are me.) You rely on tools like Google Translate or other translation tools to fill in the gap.
However, how do you select that text if your browser blocks it?
Facebook uses this to force you to either accept their poorly designed mobile website, or to install their surveillance app. I don’t want their app. I’ve discontinuing my use of WhatsApp in May (like many other people). I’ve already got a Matrix chat client, Telegram, and Signal to fill that void.
But, what happens when the Lao COVID taskforce sends out Lao notices on lockdowns in your village and community? If you can’t select the text, and have it translate to [insert other language here], then you are out of luck. (Unless you know some tricks, like using screenshots, Google Lens, and a bunch of other hackish ways to bypass it - not all are so fortunate.)
Why not block sites who abuse text selection blocking from being able to do this in the first place?
It’s simple. Add it to the list of blockable features a site might use (or abuse), and then problem solved.
I’ve reported this issue before, to unwilling ears. Browser developers don’t want to do it, and I don’t understand why. They also refuse to allow users to block repeated attempts (by Facebook) to force you to use their horrendously designed apps… Like sending you off to Google Play Store whenever you try to send a message to someone instead of just letting you send a message with their pathetic web chat system…
There’s a bug report for that one too: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=837900
Brave developers please take the lead an make content selection blocking a thing in the control of users, not tech giants. Stop them from harassing people to install their lame apps.
In the time of COVID, when the Lao government is struggling with a huge case surge, and people need to know what’s going on and what to do, the Facebook stranglehold is literally putting people’s lives at risk (unless your willing to give them all your data and let them snoop on your life in unethical ways).
Let’s put privacy and control back in the hands of the users where it belongs.