Netflix has made changes to its auto-play preview function, in a Feb. 6, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Netflix finally gives subscribers the ability to shut off auto-play

TORONTO — Netflix is finally letting viewers turn off the auto-play preview function.

The much-maligned feature, which forced viewers to watch clips and trailers of movies as they browsed the platform’s titles, can now be disabled under account settings.

It’s a feature that subscribers have begged the company for in order to give them control.

The company addressed the changes on its Twitter account saying: “We’ve heard the feedback loud and clear.”

The backlash over auto-play intensified a number of weeks ago after Netflix released the documentary “Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer.”

Auto-play of a trailer for the docuseries, about the international hunt for Canadian killer Luka Magnotta, included brief clips of his cat torture videos. Some viewers expressed their anger on social media over unexpectedly encountering flashes of animal cruelty footage with a feature they couldn’t disable.

Other Netflix users have complained that auto-play is especially startling when it’s triggered as they hover over a particular title.

Netflix already made it possible for viewers to deactivate an auto-play feature that kicks viewers to the next episode of a TV series, which is used to encourage binge watching.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2020.

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