How to block ALL unwanted content in your Chrome Browser
No matter if you search on Google or scroll through your News Feeds on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter or any other adds based social media you will be greeted by Sponsored content.
All the adds based services always ensure that the adds are placed in the most notable places on the web page in order to catch your attention – and they have done a damnd good job!
You are not only getting distracted but also getting biased by information that you never ask for.
If you are using any of these services on a professional level you are in the best case wasting your brain power and time in manually filtering-out distracting information.
In the following text, you will get the necessary information needed to block all unwanted content in order to increase your productivity several hundred percents.
Google Search – a blessing or a curse?
For ‘generation Z’ the World Wide Web is ‘Google Search’, the entry point to anything on the internet. Like an Oracle, the search engine is spitting out search results like a magician.
Let’s for a while forget that the search results and rankings are biased by your own search history, location, Search Engine Optimized web pages and 100+ parameters only known to the algorithm team at Google. But, what is obvious for anyone using the search engine is the Promoted results at the beginning and end of each result page and the shop now adds to the right of the search results.
Yes, we have lived with it for more than a decade, and yes, the adds are the reason why we get all the information for free, but is it sustainable to trick the minds of everybody?
The Linkedin Newsfeed
If you are a freemium member of Linkedin one can maybe argue that a Newsfeed full of adds and sponsored content is a tradeoff you have to live with. But, is it reasonable for premium subscribers to see hundreds of adds in the Newsfeed?
Actually, this was what triggered me writing this article. As a professional using the Newsfeed as an instrument to stay tuned with my 10.000+ connections and voluntarily selected news and posts from companies, topics, groups, and news channels, it was becoming obvious for me how much time I use on a daily basis to manually stay clear of sponsored adds, curated news brought to my feed via ‘likes’ and ‘comments’, and other kinds of content that do not add value to my table.
Weeks of squeezing the feed preferences, following content of interest, and unfollowing connections using the feed for either direct sales adds (for free) or for hiring people, I realized I was stuck.
Well, I admit it, I started using Google search for a solution
The CustomBlocker Extension for Google Chrome
There are probably many solutions out there, but my search stopped at a Google Chrome Extension that looked promising. First of all the extension claimed to be configurable, having templates for different websites (like Google, Linkedin, Facebook, etc.) and last but not least it is open source. The later issue was probably the thing that made me decide to give it a try, as I would have the possibility to check that the codebase did not include some obscure functionality.
I downloaded the CustomBlocker from the Chrome webshop and installed the extension in less than a minute.
Next, I jumped right into the configuration of the extension. I realized that the included templates probably would “kill” a non-tech savvy person, and actually did not help me out much, but it gave a quick intro to the extension, and when I tried to make a template from scratch on my own, I was astonished how quick it was to remove the fixed add block on the right side of the Linkedin News Feed page.
How to get the job done in 5 minutes
The intention of this article was to get the ‘job done’ in less than 5 minutes, therefore I will spare you from all the steps and trials I had to go through on the technical side.
- Start your Google Chrome browser and install the extension
- Import this configuration file
- Select the rules that you want to apply on your browser (or just select ‘all’)
The selectable rules in the configuration file is quite self-explanatory due to the naming, i.e.
- Linkedin | Promoted: Removes the right side add block on the Linkedin feed page
- Linkedin | Promoted Article: Removes promoted adds on the Linkedin Newsfeed
- Linkedin | no like this: Removes curated posts entered your newsfeed due to a ‘like’
- Linkedin | no commented on this: Removes curated posts entered your newsfeed due to comments
So, the first two rules remove sponsored content, and the last two rules ensure that no posts enter your feed just because a first level connection liked or commented on a post.
Now you are almost ready to go. All you need to do is selecting the CustomBlocker icon in your Chrome Browser bar, click on preferences, and enable (click on ‘OFF’) each of the rules that you want to activate. I suggest that you take it step by step and activate one rule at the time.
Google Search, Facebook, Twitter, …
You guessed right, this is a working document, and as soon as I have created and tested the configuration files for a variety of web pages you will be able to download them from here.
As a courtesy to the creator of CustomBlocker the files will of cause be made available to the Open Source community.
Is it legal?
Many of the mentioned companies have sued third parties for scraping private as well as public content on their websites. As the CustomBlocker extension actually do no scraping but merely block specific content shown in the Chrome browser, the actions will not be visible to the content providers, i.e. all content is retrieved from the content providers servers as usual.
In case any of the mentioned companies want to pursue the legal right for individual entities to deselect content in the chrome browser it needs to be on an individual basis by the court jurisdiction in the user region/country.
Please also notice the Resiport disclaimer below.
Resiport is not responsible for any support, translation, advisory, errors or omissions, obtained from the use of this information. All information in this article is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.