Are you tired of seeing stupid comments around the web? Tell those people to Shut Up with this extremely simple Chrome plugin. It blocks comments on most websites, allowing you to ignore the disastrous consequences of sub-par education. If you know a few sites with decent commenters, you can quickly turn comments back on for that site – it only takes one click. The plugin will even remember which sites you actually like seeing comments on.
I love our commenters. You guys ask me questions, give me tips and generally help make this site what it is. It’s particularly true over at MakeUseOf Answers, where for the most part it’s our readers providing the best solutions for technical problems. It’s true on most tech-oriented sites – people just help each other out, outside of the occasional Mac/Windows/Linux flamewar thread.
It’s a different matter elsewhere, however, including newspapers and YouTube. People type what’s on their mind before they think, and certainly aren’t trying to be helpful. Frequently they’re not even talking about anything relevant. This post from NPR sums things up nicely, but it gets much worse than that. XKCD offered one solution for the problem, but if you’d rather not wait for that fix to take hold I highly recommend Shut Up. It’s a simple installation and works so well you’ll forget it’s there.
Get Rid Of Them!
First things first, download Shut Up from the Chrome Web Store. Once the extension is set up you’ll see a new icon on your extension dock; click it any time you want to turn comments back on for a particular site. Like I said before, Shut Up will remember which sites you like seeing comments on.
How well does this work? Very well. I tested it on a variety of sites, and found that comments simply disappeared. For example, here is YouTube with comments:
Hurray, arguments! Here’s how the bottom of a YouTube video looks without comments:
The noise is replaced with white space, allowing you to watch videos without someone stating that they think one girl is hot or calling the uploader a homo. Brilliant! For some reason you can still leave a comment. Don’t.
Similarly, if you’re sick of nuanced news articles being followed by an in-depth discussion of which politician is the biggest douchebag, you can create white space below newspaper articles as well:
Voila! The comments box remains, but the comments are gone, meaning you can continue believing in the intelligence of mankind.
By default, Shut Up remembers which sites you turned comments on for. You can change this simply in the settings:
That’s about it for this extremely simple plugin. It worked for me on a vareity of blogs, including MakeUseOf and Lifehacker. It also worked on every newspaper I tried it with.
Give it a spin yourself and feel free to let us know if it works for you. In the comments (ironic, I know).
The Futility Of Comments
I’m all for people being able to speak their minds, and there are certainly examples around the web of comments sections being helpful and engaging. It’s certainly not the norm, though, which is why I like this plugin.
Of course, this tool can also be used to remove MakeUseOf’s comments. It shouldn’t be. Our commenters are, for the most part, awesome. Sometimes Dave LeClair says something stupid, but that’s worth putting up with for the sake of the rest of you. Speaking of Dave, he recently wrote a half-decent article about extensions for Chrome that clean up the web. It’s pretty good, considering who wrote it.
Do you know of any other cool tools to block website comments? Suggest them in the comments below. I realize you probably won’t, because you’ve blocked our comments, but whatever.