Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Removing ads from Facebook and Youtube, and profanity filter

If you are like me, appealing to the Spirit for ever more sanctification, this will mean that you are increasingly sensitive to the things of the world being evil and eternities apart from God's holy standard. I can't think of what it must have been like for Jeremiah or Paul to endure seeing and being around evil every day. Paul was upset a lot of the time, and Jeremiah simply wept. How about Jesus, who was totally holy and sinless, being amid all the earth's sin! Ow! What He endured for us!

In my own way, I also am aggrieved by sin. I hate seeing profanity, looking at television commercials that are licentious even if the program I'm watching is clean. Facebook and Youtube have become crowded with ads that are sometimes not too healthy to see. Though I'm careful to follow clean speaking people on Twitter, occasionally they will retweet something that has a curse word in it. It is all the more starkly vivid for having been absent from my life. It's jarring when you see or hear those words. So what to do?

Greasemonkey. In the web browser Firefox, there is an add-on you can enable which will allow you to customize web pages to your liking, as long as you can find the script someone has written who feels the same as you. Apparently, a lot of people felt the same as I do about Facebook ads and Youtube ads, because there were a lot of scripts some people had written that wiped out the ads on both those pages. Simply adding greasemonkey does not stop the ads, it only provides the platform for adding scripts which will do that job for you.

Here is how to do it-

1. In Firefox, search for and then add-on "greasemonkey"
2. Restart Firefox
3. See monkey icon on top menu bar. Click once to see the drop down menu. Choices are 'greasemonkey options, 'manage scripts', 'get new script', 'web sites' etc.
4. Click on "web sites'
5. This will take you to Greasemonkey's website, userscripts.org. From there you can search for scripts that other people have written which customize web pages in some way. Search for Youtube no ads, or Facebook no ads, whatever you want.
6. Of the search results, look at the reviews. I tend to like 4 and 5 star reviews. Once you find one that is satisfactory to you,
7. Click on 'source code' at the top of the page, which will bring you to the page of the actual script
8. Copy the script
9. Go back to Greasemonkey icon
10. Click on the monkey and click on "new user script"
11. A pop up will come up, allowing you to name it. I named mine No ads Facebook HA HA HA. Lol. Then at the bottom of the popup it asks "add from clipboard? and say yes.
12. That is it! The script is now installed. The next time you go to your website that you just customized, it should be working. I have been ad-free on FB and Youtube for two days now and it is a relief!

It literally only took me half an hour from not knowing Greasemonkey existed to having installed three new scripts and no more ads.

As for the profanity filter, that took a little tweaking because of the unintended consequence. LOL. Get this- I was happy knowing I was not going to see any more profanity. Then I went to the John MacArthur Grace to You page to listen to a devotional about the use of the word raca in Matthew 5:22. It was titled "*** and the Name Caller." Huh? Oh, I get it, the word the asterisks were blotting out was hell.

It turned out that hell is used a lot in my own writing (which the profanity filter blotted out,) and on others' Christian websites, not as a curse but when using the word to describe the place. I went back into the userscript, found the word hell that it was banning, and deleted it fromthe script. Problem solved.

Except not.

Later, I was googling "clean television shows" and one result popped up in someone's recommended list that looked like this

"The *** Van *** Show"

Huh?

Oh, I get it. Dick Van Dyke. Hm, two more banned words in the script, apparently. HA HA I found a clean tv show that my profanity filter wouldn't spell out the title of. Irony!

Oh well, still needs tweaking I guess. Obviously there are two meanings to some words that can be used as a curse. If this gets too onerous I can edit the script. Other than that, so far so good!

I had mentioned this on my Facebook account and others had asked me to explain how I did it so I thought maybe here also would be a help to someone. I think you can use greasemonkey with Safari and one or two other browsers, but not Chrome. You can look it up.

I have seen no ads on FB nor Youtube since I installed it and I could no be happier. Oh, eventually FB and YT will likely write a script of their own to get ads back in, and then some layperson will write another script getting around that and post it. But maybe we will be raptured by then and never have to deal with unholiness again! Hey, a gal can hope...

9 comments:

  1. Based on that, I think I'll kill the YT ads once and for all, but I don't feel like messing with words. I'll probably take care of this later in the week.

    I am actually upset by the "York Peppermint Patty" commercial. If you haven't seen it, it's a young woman unwrapping the candy, accompanied with lip-biting, pupil-dilating and gasping noises that are clearly supposed to imply sexual ecstasy/orgasm. (Lemme know if your profanity filter blocked any of those words).

    But on top of that, I'm insulted whenever one side of a romantic relationship (usually the guy) is presented as a bumbling buffoon, whose partner has to fix all of his mistakes (for a sitcom example, think Everybody Loves Raymond or King of Queens). It gets really tiresome.

    I could go on. But I have an exam in 2 hours...so. :)

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    1. Hakam, I completely agree about the comedies that depict the husband as a bumbling fool. I think Everybody Loves Raymond is hilarious but also very sad. The wife calls her husband idiot to his face and in front of people,the way he won't stand up to his parents and protect his wife, who he is supposed to be cleaved to, neither one sacrifices for the other...it shows a contemporary marriage but I long to see a biblical marriage instead.

      I also agree with the Peppermint ad and the chocolate commercials in general. TOO lascivious!!

      The world accepts unholiness at an increasingly depraved rate while we are being sanctified at an increasingly fast pace...poor Noah! How did he stand it!

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    2. Thinking of commericals...I was watching TV and a new Activia commerical came on with Jamie Lee Curtis whispering, "I'm having an affair." She was seen sneaking around eating Activa Greek Yogurt, so I guess she was "cheating" on her original non Greek brand. Anyway I was thinking that our world is pretty depraved if you can't have a simple yogurt commerical without making it sinful; however subtle.

      Marrell

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    3. Hi Marrell,

      I saw that too, and thought the same thing! And have you seen the insurance commercials, and there are two different companies, which promote their insurance based on the "cheating" and "affair" theme?! Selling insurance based on sexual infidelity... not only is that a stretch, but shows how low we go! Yes, I dislike that Activia commercial too.

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  2. I like the sentiment here. I use a separate firewall computer at home and considered using the approach of cutting off ads at the source, basically by making my network think the ad servers didn't exist.

    Then I got to thinking about the services that use advertising dollars. This is how they pay for your use of the services and there is something of an implied social contract. You download ads and in return, you get free services. I asked myself, was it theft for me not to 'pay' for the services I was recieving? I really wasn't sure of the answer.

    I don't use YouTube because of my limited bandwidth, but for Facebook, I click the 'x' by the ad if I find it offensive. Yes, there is a lot of x-clicking, but the morality is clearer to me. It also allows me to stand up for Jesus, providing some Christian weighted input for the advertising that others still see.

    Just to be clear, I'm not actually accusing you of theft. I'm just relating my own thoughts on this and would definitely appreciate your perspective.

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    1. LOL, I bet you send money to PBS when you watch NOVA.

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    2. Well you could spin that around and say that you cost the advertisers more money the more their ads get shown to you despite that you're not interested in them. Google gets the money either way, whether the ad gets shown to you or someone else. :)

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    3. I admire your thought on the morality of cutting out ads. I don't go that far, else I'd be in a tangled web that has no end. Companies sell ads based on speculation, for placement purposes, with the idea that the more prominently and the more frequently a person sees an ad, they will be influenced to then buy the product.

      There is no implied or actual contract, guarantee, or tacit agreement between the ad company and the end user of the middleman service. (I ran a newspaper for years which was a free weekly that relied on ads as a lifeblood).

      Is the newspaper reader, who is using the service, then bound to use all the companies which are promoted in the paper? No. The user uses the service and makes a choice who to use and the company places the ad knowing some may use and some may not.

      If I go to a sporting event, say NASCAR, am I then bound to use all the products on the ads that I see there? What about if I go to an Open House, and I am given a pen with the realty company's name on it/ Am I bound to use that realty company if I write with their pen? What about all the ads placed on a product that I use, and I DON'T see their ad? Have I failed an implied agreement in some way? You see how this gets tangled.

      No, As a Christian I attempt to screen out as much of what the world is selling as possible, with no apologies. Just because I see a Coke ad on Youtube and I continue to view the video, does not mean I have to go buy Coke. Nor am I failing a contract by using the video service to view a clip and screening out the ad.

      As long as I am not implying a contract by engaging in behavior where the advertising company has an expectation that I will follow through in some way, we're good. Ad companies can do what they want, and I can make my consumer choices accordingly.

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    4. My focus was actually more on the service provider rather than the advertiser. Obviously advertising works well enough to be useful, but it is kind of a gamble and I wasn't suggesting any sort of obligation to use a product because it was advertised in free service provider media.

      I understand how easily one could expand the thought process, hence the confusing web, but my question was strictly related to the entity providing the free service like Facebook and YouTube where they pay for development costs, bandwidth and storage through advertising dollars.

      The 'social contract' as I call it, really refers to the underlying acceptance of advertising in media as a normalized way to pay for certain services which are freely consumed by the public.

      Interesting, now that I've better explained my thoughts, it seems more like a pre-programmed social response of some Orwellian society than an actual issue with moral implications. Thanks for tossing the idea around with me anyway. I'm quite certain of my stance on this now.

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