Awareness to use Ublock Origin

I listened to Tristan on the Jim Rutt Show recently. They talked about the problem of companies vying for our attention and how this is motivated by advertising dollars. Tristan also mentioned that 70% of Youtube traffic comes from recommendations and auto-play.
I was wondering if there’s an awareness campaign or something to get everyone on Firefox with the Ublock Origin add-on.
Aside from blocking ads I’ve used its “block element” feature to hide:
Youtube: Recommended video list on right side
Youtube: Recommended video overlay at the end of a video
Twitter: Trending topics window
Amazon: All suggested items lists
Facebook: Comment section that gets added to blogs
Goodreads: Cleaned up all banners, suggestions and site clutter
I made a post about this feature awhile ago and I explain how to use this feature at the bottom of this post: Ublock Origin "Block Element" Feature: Block all the things!
I would assume people with more programming experience could create a more comprehensive block list than I have for all the major sites. People could copy and import this list into the add-on.
Maybe HTC could collaborate with the Ublock people or something.


Interesting idea @Hal_Rondo. I’ve been using both in my smart phone and computer Mozilla Firefox + DuckDuck Go + Privacy Badger + UBlock Origin + HTTPS Everywhere. Both the Privacy Badger and Ublock Origin can be both be disabled if something is broken on the website you visit or ads supported sites that needs your support.(only a couple of sites for me) But I learned first hand that even with blocker tracker some websites still sending data to facebook confirming what I read about tracker. I saw those websites on new off-facebook activity feature. I hope those tracker blocker do something about it.

There are similar initiatives (which I’ll add to Awesome Humane Tech and some already there) that constitute collections of (sometimes hundredsof) filterlists. Like e.g.:

I don’t know if any of these already do the specific ‘humane-tech-related’ filtering. Could be valuable to have our own list in a GH repo too.

Thanks, I’m gonna try out Privacy Badger and HTTPS.

Thanks, that first one looks like what I was working towards.
As far as awareness though are there campaigns to get the average person to use this stuff? Like “addon awareness” or something? I think the rest of my family uses default browser, default search, default antivirus and no addons. So I’m working on that.

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It’s really cool that uBlock can be used this way. I’ve been doing the same, also for distracting banners in between paragraphs of some sites. Thanks for the filter list pointers @aschrijver!

Video demo

For awareness, I think it would be very valuable to have a simple video of a few minutes to showcase this uBlock functionality, demonstrating:

  1. Various before/after states of sites to show the value
  2. How to use it yourself
  3. How to use filter lists from others

That’s much easier for people to digest, especially because we’re talking about visual changes on sites. I’ve been meaning to create such a video but miss time now :confused: Maybe there’s already something out there? It could be impactful!

A better extension?

Another good idea. A problem is that block lists seem technical to edit anyway. uBlock’s great feature it that it gives non-technical people the power to add missing blocks.

I envision an add-on in which one user could share their own uBlock-edits with a community. Other users could then pick and choose from community blocks per-site.

It could even go beyond blocking, including changing appearance & behavior following humane tech insights where possible. As an example, the Nudge extension can:

  • Make red notifications icons gray on Facebook: more calm to the eye
  • Hide sections on Facebook, with option to show them again on a hover+click: more intentionality (uBlock is now all-or-nothing. This is a solution in between).

But Nudge only covers Facebook! It would be so cool to have such modifications possible on all sites. All of these will unfortunately require some technical coding.

As a hack this could be achieved in a similar way to uBlock with an add-on like Code Injector, by sharing CSS and JS scripts somehow. I plan to start creating & sharing some scripts as a side-project end of March.

The scope of this add-on idea above is pretty big; I’d love to get in contact with people who have input on it.

Btw, there is also the YouTube-specific blocking plugin DF YouTube. Works well.

Firefox definitely seems to be friendly with uBlock, even if they’re not promoting it all out. They are doing a re-make of Firefox for Android, and in a blog post previous week they commented add-on support in a testing version:

Support for one extension, uBlock Origin, has been enabled for Firefox Preview Nightly.