Hide Twitter Junk

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:

Adding custom filters to Ad Block Plus to block Twitter guff

Adding custom filters to Ad Block Plus to block Twitter guff

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:

##div.wtf-module

and another with the rule:

##div.trends

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.

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