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Adobe Flash is finally gone—and with it, the weird spontaneity of the early 2000s Internet

It was past its prime, but Adobe Flash will always be remembered as the progenitor of much weirdness in early online culture

By David McAllister  

Do you want a webpage solely composed of an animation of squatting badgers on a continuous loop? Nobody’s stopping you! Image: badgerbadgerbadger.com

It’s a deadline that’s been looming for the best part of three years, but now there’s no avoiding it. As the end of 2020 draws nearer, so too does the end-of-life date for Adobe Flash Player, the browser plugin that was once the king of the Internet.

If you said back in 2005 that Flash Player was on the way out, nobody would have believed you. Back then it was virtually impossible to view the Internet without it: everything from games, online chatrooms, videos to entire websites depended on it. Its ubiquity was such that Adobe—who that same…

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