YouTube is an excellent resource for video content, but it is also plagued by spam, trolls, and lots of video content that you dislike. The trending and recommended video sections on the YouTube homepage, and the suggestions that YouTube lists in the sidebar on video pages may contain content that you would never watch.
We talked about Video Blocker before here in Ghacks We reviewed the Video Blocker extension for Chrome back in 2014 and found it to be an effective weapon against videos on YouTube that you don’t want to see or be exposed to.
YouTube Video Blocker for Firefox
The Firefox add-on Video Blocker by the same author was updated yesterday. It pretty much does what the Chrome extension does but since the last review dates back more than three years already, I figured it would be interesting to publish a review of the Firefox add-on as well.
The developer of the extension suggests using the new YouTube layout with the extension as the extension is less reliable if the old design is used.
The extension adds an icon to Firefox’s toolbar installation which you interact with. It does not add icons or buttons to the YouTube page unlike other extensions for YouTube. The decision means that it is a bit less comfortable to use.
A click on the Video Blocker icon opens its interface. You may use it to add new channels, keywords or wildcards to the blocklist.
- Channels — Enter an exact channel name to block it on YouTube. The channel won’t be displayed anymore in trending, recommendations and other sections on YouTube.
- Wildcard — This blocks channels as well but does not require the exact channel name. All channels that match the keyword you enter will be blocked.
- Keywords — This blocks individual videos and comments that match the entered keyword.
So, to block a channel, you’d select channels or wildcards from the menu, type the full or partial channel name in the text field, and select add to add the new rule to the blocklist. To block specific video titles, e.g., prank, football, star wars, spoiler, let’s play, you’d select type the name, select keyword and hit the add button.
You manage the blocklist in the options. You find all blocked channels, wildcards and keywords listed there, a search to find items quickly if you have many, and an option to delete an item from the blocklist.
You may add items in the options as well which may be quicker than using the frontend for that. Also, there is an option to export the list and import it so that you may use it on multiple devices without having to create it from scratch each time.
The blocking worked well for the most part. I tried it in the newest Firefox Stable release, and the extension would block videos or channels from being shown on YouTube’s front page. It did not block videos or channels in search, however. A search for a blocked channel would still display it and its videos.
Video Blocker is a handy extension for Firefox and Google Chrome, and compatible browsers, that blocks YouTube channels, videos based on titles, and comments based on keywords on the site. While the blocking is not perfect, it still works considerably well most of the time.
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