⌚ January 6, 2014
Comments on web sites are annoying. Poor grammar. Misspelled words. Profanity. ALL CAPS. no caps. Incorrect punctuation. Insults. Flame wars. Nitpicking over minor issues that have nothing to do with the original topic. It goes on and on.
Given the rudeness, meanness, and banality of opinions on the Internet, it seems that the Internet is dominated by people with small minds and big mouths while hiding behind a keyboard. Even though the intelligence level of comments often reflects the target audience of the web site, comments worth reading are still scarce. The result? Unnecessary clutter on a web page and an exposure to increased negativity.
So, it begs the question: Are comments necessary? Wouldn’t it be more peaceful and less visually distracting to simply eliminate this needless text from view and spare ourselves from the idiocy?
If your answer is “Yes, help me! Please!” then you might be interested in trying two Firefox plugins that help prevent comments from appearing in web pages. They are CommentBlocker and Comment Snob. Both are free, and they do a fairly decent task of sparing our eyes from textual refuse while creating a more clutter-free web page. Tested with Firefox 26.0 running on Linux Mint 16.
Blocking YouTube Comments
YouTube [www.youtube.com] is prolific with comments, so let’s use that site as a basic test. We will view the same page twice. First, without the comment blocking addons, and the second time with the comment blocking addons enabled and configured.
It definitely works with YouTube, which is immensely helpful. The page is visually cleaner and the inane comments are eliminated from all YouTube pages tested.
Blocking deviantART Comments
Let’s try deviantART [www.deviantart.com].
These plugins also succeed at blocking comments from deviantART, which also makes the pages feel less cluttered.
Blocking gnome-look.org Comments
Here is a page from gnome-look.org:
Again, the comments are removed.
Both comment blockers can be configured to allow or filter comments based upon your preferences.
Between the two, Comment Snob offers more sophisticated blocking based upon rules, spelling mistakes, profanity, and more, but the default settings will be plenty to get started with. This way, you can selectively allow what Comment Snob thinks might be intelligent comments while hiding the rest.
Do you frequent a web site that miraculously offers constructive and informative comments by its viewers? Both comment blockers provide the capability of whitelisting a web site so you can view its comments while blocking comments on all other web sites. Comment Snob seems to offer the most flexibility in this area, but give both blockers a try. Just keep in mind that when using two blockers together, you will usually need to whitelist the site in both of them.
Why Use Two Comment Blockers?
While both comment blockers do fairly well blocking comments on their own, there will be instances when comments are not blocked — especially on more obscure web sites. Depending upon the site, Comment Snob blocks comments that CommentBlocker misses, and CommentBlocker blocks comments that Comment Snob misses, so the two work together to ensure that as many comments as possible are blocked.
Despite using two comment blockers, some comments will still appear in a number of different web sites. It mainly depends upon the site’s comment system. However, this is a vast improvement over no comment blocking at all. With comment blocking, pages tend to complete their load times faster, and there is less visual clutter.
Comment blocker addons are superb, and there is a noticeable difference in web page presentation when using them. They make pages feel cleaner — both in language (the absence of comment profanity) and increased whitespace. If you find comments to be an annoying, cluttered distraction, Comment Snob and CommentBlocker will make you think, “Where have you been all of my life?”
While other comment blockers are available, these two offer plenty of experimentation with which to begin your journey of clutter-reduced web pages.