Beyond Ad Blocking

Ad blockers are one way to make the internet a slightly nicer place. However,  more can be done, especially when it comes to helping yourself from making bad decisions, like reading the comments.

First, you need a browser extension which allows you to run your own CSS. The most popular is probably Stylish which has a directory of thousands of styles for numerous sites, however most just change things to dark themes or other colors, but wait you can do more.

For Hacker News, I modified the Minimal Theme and hide away the entire meta row of data, including the comments link. You can’t read the comments if you can’t click the link.

.subtext {
    visibility: hidden;
}
Hacker News, no tempting comment links

When I still used Twitter, I hid away the Trending Topics module, most topics are just the latest outrage of the day. One reason I gave up on Twitter, just too much snark and outrage.

div.module.Trends {
    display: none;
}

YouTube, though I think you probably could get away with this rule applying to every site you visit.

#comments {
    display: none;
}

ESPN has insider links littered across their site which take you to articles that you can’t read, it’d be better to just not see the links.

.icon-font-before.icon-brand-insider-solid-before {
    display: none;
}

Also, most ESPN articles have annoying videos at the top, which have a longer ad run than the content and I’d much prefer just reading or skimming the article. This rule disabled all videos on article pages.

body.story article figure.video {
    display: none;
}

Those are just a few example of what you can do with a little CSS control. Additionally, if a site has too small (too large) a font, poor colors, or just about anything, feel free to take control and tweak away.

Another helpful tip, you can disable auto playing of videos in Firefox by going to about:config and setting media.autoplay.enabled to false.