For about the umpteenth time, this morning I responded to a question on a newsgroup by some poor soul who didn’t understand why the images weren’t showing up on his web page. The links were correct. The images were uploaded to the correct directory. But when he viewed his page in his browser, the images were just …. not there. As if they had never existed.
Norton was at it again. People download and install this software that is supposed to protect their computer from harm, but unbeknownst to them it filters out images whose filename contains the word “ad” or “banner” (or any of several dozen other words). It also filters out images inside a directory whose name contains those words. And it filters out images whose dimensions match any of the common “banner ad” sizes.
I’ve never used Norton – I work primarily on my Mac, so I don’t need third-party software to protect me from the rampant malware that’s out there — but it seems obvious me that the good folks at Norton do not make it clear to their users just what their software is doing. I’ve seen many many web site designers and developers get caught out by this program, and these people are by definition likely to be more computer-savvy than your average bear.
What’s both scary and frustrating is that people (like me) who don’t use Norton may never be aware that sites we develop are not displaying to people as intended, and the site visitors who have Norton installed don’t even know that they’re missing anything.