I use Twitter as a research tool. I’m not very social and I only follow a few dozen people. I share information that I find elsewhere, and the tweets act as a backup of links in case I want to find something and don’t want to bother bookmarking it. But Twitter is always suggesting people to follow or show me trending topics. 100% of the time those topics and people are not things I’m interested in.
When I use Google Chrome, I activate the Hide Twitter Guff extension. It hides the two blocks on the Twitter stream page: Who to Follow and Trends. When I started using Firefox again more often, I found this area once again distracting. Yes, I realize this is a small thing. But I decided to see if I could get rid of it in Firefox as well.
There doesn’t appear to be a dedicated extension for this but I found that I could create a custom filter in Ad Block Plus. Access your Firefox add-ons and click the Options button beside Ad Block Plus. Choose Filter Preferences and click on the Custom Filters tab. There is a default group there. I renamed mine “Social” but it doesn’t really matter. Now you want to add filters to this group. Click the Actions drop down menu next to this group and choose Show/hide filters. The window should look something like this:
Ad Block Plus has some excellent documentation on how to write these filters. In this case, I looked at the source code to determine the HTML containers that held these two chunks – Trends, Who to Follow. They are controlled on the Twitter page by two <div> containers: wtf-module and trends. I created two filters, one with the rule:
and another with the rule:
Once you click close, you can return to your browser window, refresh the Twitter screen, and you should see the blocks disappear.
As I say, it’s a very small thing to remove those two boxes from Twitter. But I’m going to be much more cognizant of other sites that I repeatedly visit and look for other ways to reduce distractions with this sort of filter.