Block Facebook, YouTube and other site annoyances in Chrome
UnDistracted is a new browser extension for the Google Chrome web browser that has been designed to block distractions and annoyances on the Internet.
The application comes with rules for Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit, and supports options to customize the functionality to a degree.
Installation of the extension is straightforward; it just requests access to the four destinations mentioned as an extra permission: good. Since it is a Chrome extension, it should work in other Chromium-based browsers such as Opera or Vivaldi as well.
UnDistracted adds an icon to the Chrome address bar that you interact with. The extension's initial state is set to passive which means that it won't interfere with any of the sites mentioned after installation.
A click on the icon of the extension displays the four supported site names and a general settings section.
The site sections list two main options:
- Block the entire site.
- Block certain distractions on the site.
Selecting the first option adds a redirect to Google Search to any request that targets that specific site. You can change the redirection target to any valid URL; if you prefer Startpage search or Ghacks, add the URL to the custom URL part to do so.
Instead of opening a YouTube video or Twitter message, you are redirected to Google Search instead.
The distraction blocking part supports options to block certain elements on the supported sites.
- Facebook: you can hide the feed, likes, comments, and the chat sidebar.
- YouTube: hide recommendations, sidebar, comments, and up next suggestions.
- Twitter: hide trends, who to follow, and all media.
- Reddit: block r/popular and r/all
Changes take effect immediately. Blocking works identical on all supported sites and the hiding of elements removes those page elements from the specified site.
The General Settings include options to pause all filters and to change the redirection URL.
Closing Words and Verdict
UnDistracted blocks certain elements or entire sites when installed. The functionality works as described on the extension page; it may be useful to users who need help when it comes to distractions on the supported sites.
Users who install it still need a level of self control as it is easy enough to disable the extension.
UnDistracted is not the first extension to deal with annoyances on the web. AdBlock Plus created filters for Facebook and YouTube annoyances (which you can load in any content blocker that supports the filter system), and there are numerous extensions such as BlockTube for Firefox or Video Blocker that offer similar functionality (albeit usually only for a single destination).
With all those options available, does one need UnDistracted? The main advantage of the extension is that it supports multiple destinations, and that setup is straightforward. Whether that justifies installing the extension is up for you to decide.
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