Butchering the web for fun and profit with µBlock

I recently started using the µBlock ad blocker. One advantage it has, in addition to blocking ads, is a nice interface for blocking arbitrary CSS elements from pages. This turns it from a single-purpose ad blocker into an incredibly versatile tool that can displace any number of site-specific addons.

For instance, I decided I didn’t like the sidebars or newsfeed on Facebook, because I never used them and they cluttered up the interface. Ordinarily I could install an add-on like Social Fixer to get rid of them, but that requires another addon (and more bloat) for each site. With µBlock, I could just right-click the offending parts of the page and block them.1

Another great thing about uBlock is that the configuration is text-based, so you can share snippets easily. You can borrow my Facebook blocked by pasting the following lines in the “My filters” section of your config:

www.facebook.com###leftCol
www.facebook.com###rightCol
www.facebook.com###topnews_main_stream_408239535924329
www.facebook.com###pagelet_sidebar

If you also hate Facebook messages, like I do, you can block those too (don’t do this without warning your friends first):

www.facebook.com##.jewelButton[name="mercurymessages"]
www.facebook.com###pagelet_dock

The Stack Overflow “network questions” sidebar is distracting too, so it gets nuked:

stackexchange.com###sidebar
stackoverflow.com###sidebar

If you use an app like MightyText that has a bunch of buttons for “pro version only” features cluttering it, you can tear them out:

mightytext.net###share-button-main[href="#"]
mightytext.net###goProWrapper
mightytext.net###events

And of course it makes a decent procrastination-blocker:

news.ycombinator.com###hnmain > tbody > tr:nth-of-type(3) > td
www.reddit.com##.content

Now if only it would replace the blocked elements with cat pictures.


  1. The “block element” menu item brings up a dialog with a list of progressively more general selectors that you might want to block. You can click on each item to highlight the area of the page that it would block. I usually just click down the list and find the lowest-down item that doesn’t block anything I want to keep. ↩︎

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Tom Ash

µBlock rule to block FB notifications: www.facebook.com###fbNotificationsJewel

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Tom Ash

You can also do this in Chrome AdBlock plugin > Options > Customize > manually edit > add this:

www.facebook.com##DIV[id="topnews_main_stream_408239535924329"]

And for notifications:

www.facebook.com##A[class="jewelButton"][name="notifications"]

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