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.
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:
- Option to make entered text ignore case.
- Option to blacken/hide media posted if posts match rules.
- Support for regular expressions.
- Improving the conditions configuration menu, e.g. by adding support for rule titles and making it more comfortable to enter text.
- Making sure that all text is blackened even if different colors are used.
- Option to disable the hover to reveal feature, or add a modifier key to it to avoid moving the mouse over blackened text accidentally.
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.
Now You: What is your take on extensions that hide posts? Do you use them?
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