Hide Web Comments by default with Comment Blocker for Firefox - gHacks Tech News

Hide Web Comments by default with Comment Blocker for Firefox

Shut Up: Comment Blocker is a browser extension for the Firefox web browser that hides comments on the majority of websites that you visit.

The extension is based on a CSS style called shutup.css that hides comment sections by default. While you can use the CSS instead of the extension, using the extension has the advantage that you don't have to add exceptions manually to the stylesheet and that it is easier to update and install.

The downside to using the extension is that you can't add, edit, or remove styles from the Firefox extension while you can do so if you use the CSS directly. Also, if you don't use Firefox or a compatible browser, you can't use it obviously.

Installation and use

The installation of the Firefox extension is a straightforward process. Note that it requires access to all sites you visit so that the comment sections on these sites can be manipulated.

hide comments

You will notice right after installation that the extension hides comment sections by default. All comment sections, or more precisely those that match CSS rules, are not visible anymore on sites you visit.

Here on Ghacks for instance, you will notice that the comment section is gone from view. There may still be indicators that comments exist such as the comment count at the top of each page on the site but that is not the case for all sites that you visit.

A click on the icon that the extension adds to the browser's toolbar toggles comments on the active page; the icon changes to visualizes whether comments are shown or not.

show comments

The toggling of the visibility of comments happens instantly and without page reloads or other loading activity.

A quick check of the CSS stylesheet revealed that it included generic rules and specific rules for individual sites. Sites covered include Instagram, Steam, Patreon, Twitch Chat, VK, ZDnet, PC World, or Reddit.

The instructions cover default WordPress comment sections and comment sections of other popular CMS systems used on today's Internet.

A big issue

The comment hiding works well and automatically. The extension remembers sites that you enabled comments on and will show them on future visits by default. The one issue that users may have with the extension is that there is no indicator whether comments are available.

While some sites display the comment count elsewhere, it is quite possible that you may not even realize that comments are available on some pages. Again, not a problem if you dislike comments in general, but if you do find them useful sometimes, or want to check out a site's comment section on first visit, you better hit the extension button to find out if comments exist.

Closing Words

Shut Up: Comment Blocker is a useful browser extension for users who don't want to see comments on websites that they visit. The option to toggle comments is there so that it may also be useful to users who don't want to see comments on most sites but on some that they visit.

Now You: Do you read comments usually on the sites you visit?

Summary
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Software Name
Shut Up: Comment Blocker
Software Category
Browser
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Comments

  1. 9192631770 said on September 28, 2018 at 1:52 pm
    Reply

    But… aren’t snarky comments the reason for being on the internet? Besides cats…

    1. Tom Hawack said on September 28, 2018 at 3:37 pm
      Reply

      I agree. I dislike the very concept of shutting up comments as a rule, as if comments on the web were to be considered as garbage requiring a cover. Such an attitude is IMO a denial of pluralism, of differentiation and maybe even of democracy should we consider our approach as pertinent and worth being elaborated as this webextension does. There are sites where one may have encountered for a deal of time a constant of behaviors and even comments he got fed up with but such sites are handled as exceptions when the idea of this extension is to reverse the logic : put a cover on ’em all and dig into those you like, which is not my way of seeing things and reading/discovering comments.

    2. crambie said on September 28, 2018 at 4:17 pm
      Reply

      and usually by people who can’t be bothered to read more than the title or comprehended what’s been said. That’s why I use this extension sometimes, I become fed up of that and need a rest from it.

    3. John Fenderson said on September 28, 2018 at 9:28 pm
      Reply

      I agree. Most of my regular websites are my regular websites because I enjoy the comment section. If the comment section is so terrible that I’d want to hide it, I just stop reading that website entirely.

  2. krisu said on September 28, 2018 at 1:54 pm
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    I made several years ago userscript version for Shutup.css, for the easier installing for Firefox: https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/847-shutup-css

    You can also exclude sites with userscript extension settings, but of course it’s more hassle then the extension if you often want to whitelist sites.

  3. klaas said on September 28, 2018 at 2:17 pm
    Reply

    I don’t quite understand the usefulness of this extension or the css sheet/userscript. I always check out the comments section and often pick up interesting stuff, such as on Ghacks, where a number of commenters are quite knowledgeable and have useful tips.

    The comments section is always below the article, therefore out of view to start with. So what is the big deal to, when reaching the undesired comments section, either scroll back up or close the page. What is so really useful about “Shut Up” or its script equivalents?

    1. Q said on September 29, 2018 at 1:47 am
      Reply

      The comments area often increase the length of a web page. This is often annoying when one is only interested in viewing or preserving the webpages when comments are not desired. For example, when printing a webpage for an written article that is accompanied by a comments section, there may be quite a waste of printer consumables (in, toner, paper, parts, etc.) to print an undesired Comments section.

      1. klaas said on September 29, 2018 at 7:23 am
        Reply

        @Q: in my experience if you print an article on a webpage the comments are usually left out. Still, if “Shut Up” is what people want, then let them use it.

  4. Anonymous said on September 28, 2018 at 3:20 pm
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    “Do you read comments usually on the sites you visit?”

    If the comment system is first-party, then yes.

    But honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been “offended” by a comment online. It seems like you have to be really sensitive (dare I say “insecure”?) to go and just remove all comments from your sight (unless we’re talking about usability and/or resource-demanding sites).

  5. Pierre said on September 28, 2018 at 3:21 pm
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    For asocial persons…

  6. TelV said on September 28, 2018 at 3:41 pm
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    I had a look at it on the Moz addons page and so far 1204 users have installed it which is bizarre. After all, sites don’t force you to read the comments section and since it’s usually located at the foot of the paqe, it’s hardly interfering with the ability to read a given article.

    Also it’s often the case that the comments section is a lot more interesting than the article itself. So why anyone would want to hide it is a bit odd.

    1. Rush said on September 28, 2018 at 7:52 pm
      Reply

      I agree…as I presume Martin B. does as well. Hence, the ability to completely by-pass the meat, in favor of selecting premium homemade Vanilla Ice-cream dripping with Grand Marnier…..

      Also, comments develop a sense of community, a learning tool, the banter of back and forth…saving the online world, with a good case of solid argument…

      Comments are hits, hits promote advertising, which can be deemed as time worthy for the Web-Master…to get a little something back…the exchange of payment for devotion.

      The least that one can do…is to allow the ads on this site.

    2. user17843 said on September 28, 2018 at 8:38 pm
      Reply

      It’s fun to control the experience of using the web. Maybe some people just make this the default in one browser or one browser profile to use for a specific purpose.

      I suspect one reason for it’s use is for people to better focus on what they think is relevant when browsing.

  7. sfe said on September 28, 2018 at 6:44 pm
    Reply

    the likes of noscript and ubo blocks all that and more as it is. i would assume a lot of people who need to block comments would be blocking ads and such already, so why bother adding another layer?

    1. Diana Golfa said on September 28, 2018 at 8:51 pm
      Reply

      because it’s my browser and I can install whatever I want!

  8. basicuser said on September 28, 2018 at 8:27 pm
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    Do you read comments usually on the sites you visit?

    You Betcha. Comments are the main reason I visit a lot of sites. ;)

  9. Malte said on September 28, 2018 at 8:39 pm
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    In the comments we often read more truth than in the articles itselves. I am not talking about ghacks but let’s face it… websites without comment sections simply feel dull and dead. They don’t have as much views. People love online interaction.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2018 at 8:59 pm
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    “Shut Up” :(

    This so-called “Design Engineer”should consult a psy and learn the “savoir-vivre” included politeness IMO.

  11. Dan said on September 29, 2018 at 4:41 am
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    I often find the comments valuable. Bought an electronic device that didn’t come with the CD it was supposed to have. Comments contained a link to the drivers needed. Comments sometimes warn which item to buy when more than one is available on places like Amazon when some of the items are fakes. I wouldn’t want to do without the comments.

  12. ha said on September 29, 2018 at 7:41 am
    Reply

    Blocking all FB comments by subscribing the “Fanboy’s Social Blocking List” in uBO is already good enough for me.

  13. noemata said on September 29, 2018 at 8:11 am
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    almost like in earlier times. there were only guestbooks and forums (and /irc/telnet), mostly _separated_ from the actual content (but with _content_ in contrast to today).

    not every idiot needs to give his idiotic, limited and anyway fundamentally insane opinion (like me now) to really everything.

    finally close yourself off from the surrounding idiocy (youtube, winfuture, heise .. .. .. . even if it’s only for a short while. vacation. good idee .. if i didn’t hate additional addons now.

    1. Deo-et-Patriae said on September 29, 2018 at 10:19 pm
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      noemata,yeah, I only use 2. Ublock Origin and Mouse Gestures. NOTHING else.

      1. noemata said on October 2, 2018 at 10:37 am
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        @Deo-et-Patriae you’re stricter than me… 5 (too much, but what should i do?):

        “ublock origin” (of course, because ff content blocking is _still _under all criticism; let’s see how that develops), “i dont care about cookies” (the web is really clean again. if i add the blacklist in ublock o., it won’t work 100%.), “in my pocket” (for quick storing and fast access of temporarily used pages; pocket in ff = deactivated), “invidious redirect” (to avoid f.. youtube), “popup blocker ultimate” (necessary for ff, otherwise: “pop-up – insanity” on some pages (and thus security risks) even if no pop-up permission is granted in the ff – standard settings :-/ .

        i wish i could do without most of the addons. but everyone probably says that.

  14. Deo-et-Patriae said on September 29, 2018 at 9:29 pm
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    I don’t think it’s necessary anymore to burden your browser with yet another extensions. Nowadays most comments load only if you want ’em to load.

  15. Tim Bonham said on September 30, 2018 at 1:30 am
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    Is this available for the Chrome browser?

    you know, the one used by 2/3rds of Internet users.

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