How to block the Web's worst clutter
Reader Andrew Locke has no lack of bad luck with unwanted Web content to look at. He'd like to lock out some of it. He writes:
Over the years I’ve found that webpages get more junked up with pop-up ads, pop-over windows, and redirects to pages I don’t want to see. Is there some way to keep this stuff from happening?
As someone who makes a goodly portion of his living from Web-based advertising, I’ll put in a plug for sites that do this kind of thing: Ads and your clicks are what keep many of these companies in business. In lieu of visits from nattily attired executives rattling a tin cup and shouting “Give us money if you want to look at our pages!” ads become the de facto price for viewing online content.
That said, as someone who spends a lot of time browsing the Web, I agree that at some point enough is enough. If I can’t see what I came to read for all the ad clutter, I’m either going to take my eyeballs elsewhere or find a way to block the most obnoxious items.
As I outlined in “How to block auto-play videos,” installing a Flash blocker and shutting off audio and video that play unbidden are pretty easy to do. But a tool like that won’t block other kinds of effluvia—redirects to ad pages or little drawers that jump out at you from the edges of your browser window.
Given that trade-off, within Safari I tend to click the Reader button that appears next to the Address field when a site is particularly intrusive. Doing so presents you with a page stripped of everything but the story and the images it contains.
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