Blacken Posts on Reddit, Facebook or Twitter based on word matches in Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 8, 2019
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Redactor is a new browser extension for Mozilla Firefox that blackens posts on social media sites so that you are not exposed to the content.

Spoilers are a good example of why Redactor may be useful. If you don't watch Game of Thrones while it airs but plan to watch it later on when the full season is released, you may be exposed to lots of spoilers on social media sites.

From images to small video clips, and a lot of text. The same may be true for other things you are looking forward to, e.g. movies, games, books, you name it.

Redactor is also handy if you don't want to be exposed to something, maybe because you dislike it, it is annoying, or problematic in other ways.

Blacken posts on social media with Redactor

Redactor requires access permissions to the three sites it supports but to no other site; good. The extension does not add an icon to the toolbar and there is no context menu option either to manage it.

You need to open the add-ons manager using about:addons in the address bar, and activate the options button next to the installed extension.

blacken facebook twitter reddit

Adding conditions is straightforward. You specify a term that you want the extension to blacken when you visit the supported sites, and may add OR or AND conditions.

  • OR: the extension checks each term individually and blackens the entire post if any one of them is found (or more).
  • AND: the extension checks for all terms and blackens a post only if all are found.

The words that you enter are case sensitive; an option to make them case insensitive is not available, unfortunately.

All matching posts are blackened the next time you visit the page (anew or on reload). The blackening of text works considerably well most of the time. Redactor blackens the entire post but ignores user names and media.

Some formatting options by post authors may reveal text, however. If the author uses a different font color, it may show even though the text should be blackened entirely.

You may hover over blackened text to display it.

What I would like to see

Redactor is a basic add-on at this point in time. I'd like to see the following improvements to make it more usable:

  1. Option to make entered text ignore case.
  2. Option to blacken/hide media posted if posts match rules.
  3. Support for regular expressions.
  4. Improving the conditions configuration menu, e.g. by adding support for rule titles and making it more comfortable to enter text.
  5. Making sure that all text is blackened even if different colors are used.
  6. Option to disable the hover to reveal feature, or add a modifier key to it to avoid moving the mouse over blackened text accidentally.

Closing Words

Redactor is a useful extensions with room for improvements for Firefox. I like that it blackens text instead of hiding posts entirely as it gives you opportunity to reveal posts if you want to.

Chrome users can check out shush! for Twitter. If you want to block YouTube content, check out Video Blocker for Chrome. Firefox users can check out BlockTube instead.

Now You: What is your take on extensions that hide posts? Do you use them?

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  1. Agno said on March 18, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Kind of too young to be good. The case sensitive is a no to me. But when it becomes better, with a nice UI, I’ll give it a try.

  2. gutierrez said on March 17, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Example of a very old spoiler: “Snahpe kills Dumbledoore”

    Where is the protection now?

  3. John Fenderson said on March 8, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    “What is your take on extensions that hide posts? Do you use them?”

    I don’t find things like this useful, but I’m all for their existence so that those who do find them useful can benefit.

  4. Gabriel said on March 8, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    This might come handy when some liberal-progressive crap comes up on Twitter and Reddit.
    It’ll probably blacken those whole websites though.

    1. Anonymous said on April 5, 2019 at 3:29 am

      I don’t use twitter but i imagine that if you were, you would already be selecting to view content of your choosing says:
      “Follow your interests.
      Hear what people are talking about.
      Join the conversation. “

  5. Thrax said on March 8, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Source code:

    More websites can be theoretically added by modifying “main.ts”.

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