Comment Snob

Comment Snob is an extension for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox that filters out undesirable comments from comment threads on the Web. You can install it in Chrome or install it in Firefox.

Before:

After:

It comes with support for YouTube by default, but you can add support for many other sites by installing Comment Snob rules. For each rule that you install, you can choose from the following filtering parameters:

  • All capital letters
  • No capital letters
  • Doesn’t start with a capital letter
  • Excessive punctuation (!!!! ????)
  • Excessive capitalization
  • Profanity
  • Contains any words or phrases that you deem objectionable.

Installing Comment Snob Rules

There are two ways to install a comment snob rule:

  1. Click on a Comment Snob rule link in a webpage. A bar will appear at the top of your browser allowing you to install the rule. (Try clicking this link: Comment Snob Rule for Mashable)

  2. Or, open the Comment Snob options and write your own Comment Snob rule.

Featured Comment Snob Rules

Writing a Comment Snob Rule

Are you familiar with HTML and jQuery? Then you can write Comment Snob rules for any website you want.

Components of a Rule

A Comment Snob rule is a JSON object that tells Comment Snob how to find comments on a website and where to place the “Show/Hide” toggle for each comment. These are the properties that each rule should (or can) have; all selectors should be written for consumption by jQuery:

Attribute Required Description
id Yes A string that should be unique to your rule. This is used to make sure that the same rule is not installed multiple times.
label Yes A string that describes your rule to a user. It will usually be the name of the website that it filters.
url Yes A regular expression (encoded in a string) that describes the URLs for which your rule should be run.
allCommentsSelector Yes A selector that selects the smallest possible container that contains all of the comments for the page.
commentContainerSelector Yes A selector that selects the largest possible container that contains only a single comment, using allCommentsSelector as a starting point.
commentTextSelector Optional A selector that selects the smallest possible container that contains all of the text for a comment, using commentContainerSelector. If not specified, defaults to commentContainerSelector.
commentHideSelector Optional A selector that selects any nodes that should be hidden when a comment is filtered, using commentContainerSelector as a starting point. If not specified, commentTextSelector will be used.
statusElementTag Optional The HTML tag name that should be used to hold the “Show/Hide” toggle and the reason for filtering. If not specified, defaults to “span”.
statusContainerSelector Optional A selector that selects the element that will be used as a point of reference for where the “show/hide” toggle and filtering reason is placed for each comment. If not specified, defaults to commentContainerSelector.
statusPlacement Optional One of “prepend”, “append”, “before”, or “after”; used along with statusContainerSelector to insert the filtering status into each filtered comment. Defaults to “prepend”.
statusElementAttributes Optional A hash containing name/value pairs for attributes that can be added to the placeholder element specified by statusElementTag.
ajaxInitiatorSelector Optional A selector that selects any UI elements that might be clicked to trigger loading more comments via AJAX, using allCommentsSelector as a starting point.
dynamic Optional A boolean value (defaults to false) that indicates whether the website’s comments are not included in the main pageload, but are immediately loaded after the page loads. Disqus is the most common example of this.
updateURL Optional A URL where the JSON for this rule can be retrieved (for automatic updates).
author Optional Your name, email address, or website.
description Optional A text description of your rule, only recommended if the label doesn’t fully describe the functionality.

The simplest possible rule might look like this:

{
	"id": "test@example.com",
	"label": "Example.com",
	"url": "^http://example\\.com/",
	"allCommentsSelector": "#comments",
	"commentContainerSelector": ".comment"
}

Rule Discovery

To let users install your rule, just link to a file that ends in .snob and contains only the JSON, or make your link in this format:

	data:text/snob+json;base64,[base64-encoded JSON here]

Questions?

E-mail me at cfinke@gmail.com.

80 thoughts on “Comment Snob

  1. A says:

    Hi Chris,

    thanks for your extension. However I cannot get it to work. I want to block a few trolls in the comments of vz.lt

    Here’s the rule I use:

    { 
    "id": "vz.lt", 
    "label": "vz.lt", 
    "url": "^http://vz\\.lt/.*$", 
    "allCommentsSelector": ".content", 
    "commentContainerSelector": ".comment" 
    }

    And in the preferences (“Contains one of these keywords or phrases”), I add the IP of the troll. However, only the first or the first few comments are filtered and the rest remains visible. Do I need to correct the rule? Or anything else? Thanks a million!

  2. Benjamin says:

    This is a great idea! Reading news sites without completely losing faith in humanity. Do you think there’s a way to make it work in Safari?

  3. Justin Simonson says:

    Hi Chris,

    Do you have a rule, or would it be possible to make one, that would simply apply my default settings to all websites, rather than specific domains?

    Many thanks,
    –Justin

    • No; the rules have to take into consideration the HTML of each website. If multiple sites used the same HTML (via the same WordPress theme, for example), you could make a single rule apply to both of them by writing the url attribute regex like this:

      "url": "^https?://((site1\.com)|(site2\.com))/.*
  4. Hugh says:

    I know this is a minor, and very specific thing, but…

    It would be great if any comments loaded after clicking the “Show more” button (in the new YouTube design) were also filtered.

    I’m not sure how this would be achieved, but maybe the extension’s code could be executed on each click of the “Show more” button(?)

    Irrespective of the above, it’s an excellent Extension! Thanks.

  5. Richard says:

    Hello,

    I’ve been using Comment Snob for a long time to block comments on YouTube. Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed it’s stopped working.

    I’ve checked for extension conflicts by disabling all my extensions apart from Comment Snob. That didn’t fix it.

    Is there a bug fix for this, or will it have to involve writing a new version of the extension?

    Thanks.

    – Richard

    Versions:
    Comment Snob 6
    Chrome Version 26.0.1410.19 beta
    Mac OS 10.7.4

    Test videos: http://youtu.be/HYN6AiujIe0, http://youtu.be/ddgyg_5FF_0
    Grabs: http://screencast.com/t/6o0OZZpHHge, http://screencast.com/t/4XqIOdNwC55

  6. Richard says:

    I was using the default filtering rules for YouTube in those test pages, and selected the “Hide all comments” option.
    Today, I installed Comment Snob on a clean Chrome profile and it worked. Then I went back to my usual profile, unchecked “Hide all comments”, and set “Hide comments with at least this many spelling mistakes” to 1, left every exception the profanity filter checked, and the comments were hidden.
    There were a few comments with spelling mistakes that weren’t hidden though. Apart from that it seems to be working.
    It’s a bit bizzarre, but Comment Snob is working. Sorry for the trouble.

  7. How on earth do things like f**cking and sh*t make it through? Any word that has an asterix in it should be disabled. Also, why would I want to know a bad comment was there? Please provide the ability to completely hide removed comments, I don’t need to know how many immature people there are on the web.

  8. Cool. Was able to address the asterix issue with the following in the keyword filter: \w+\*+\w+

    Also, sorry about my harsh tone before. You’ve done fantastic work with this plugin, and I’d love to see it become just that tiny bit better. You’re doing great work. Keep it up :)

  9. Drew says:

    Wow. Just wow. In my humble opinion, this is the greatest extension EVER! Sadly, the level of discourse in comments on the internet has descended well below the level of graffiti on a Men’s Room wall, so, thank you, thank you, thank you, for this marvelous extension!

  10. Benjamin says:

    For some reason Comment Snob is not working on Youtube. I’ve tried disabling and re-enabling it but it just won’t work.

  11. Logcake says:

    Thank you, Chris! Just tested it and it works fabulously on Youtube. A dream troll-free experience at last.

    You deserve a thousand kudos just for this.

  12. Steve M. says:

    Any chance of seeing a rule set for Facebook? Would really make my day, and I’m sure several others! :D

    Pretty pretty please with sugar on top!? =C]

  13. Hi Chris,

    I have a few questions about making rules. I have a rule that works fairly well on a website called Weasyl, but I’m having a few problems. I can hide the comments, no problem, but how would I go about finding a way to show them, like on youtube, where it shows you why it was blocked and a “click here to view comment” button. Also, how would I go about adding multiple “allcommentsselectors”? This is what I have so far:

    }
    "id": "weasyl@aldude999.net",
    "label": "Weasyl.com",
    "url": "^https://www.weasyl\\.com/",
    "allCommentsSelector": "#detail-comments",
    "commentContainerSelector": ".formatted-content"
    }

    and it looks like this:
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BLHxXI-CQAEW5vA.jpg:large

    Thanks in advanced!

    • Okay, forget all of that! I have a new and more frustrating problem. Only the first comment on the page is getting blocked! I’ve tried it on Firefox AND Chrome, and all of them only block the first. I’m pretty sure my rule is right too.

  14. Okay, here’s another bug. I’m trying to install my snob rules from my website, but when I click yes, that I want to install the rule, it just sits there and doesn’t install. It works with the example above, but not on my site. Please fix this bug!

  15. John Smith says:

    Thank you for this add-on, it’s almost exactly what I’ve been looking for. My one gripe is that you can’t completely hide the existence of filtered comments. This is a big thing for me, even being aware of the existence of the comment annoys me. If it wasn’t for this, I could browse Youtube comments blissfully unaware of the world of stupid.

  16. Yuppa396 says:

    Yeah I love ya program,BUT it has soem issues on SRW Iron. Iron is a chromium based program as you well know that is the base code for chrome. Still I am having issues with blocking words and phrases. Can you modify the program to accept Iron? Iron uses alot of stuff from chrome its just streamlined. That the only reason its working at all. I need it fixed for youtube. Thanks for your time,and hopefully your help.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Comment snob seems to have died again, on firefox (my main and nearly only browser) youtube still displays comments.

  18. Patrick says:

    I love this addon!

    Is it possible to hide comments by user? YouTube has no shortage of trolls, and it would be amazing if we could just block by user – they’re fairly well known!

  19. chris says:

    Love love love this extension! I want to use it to block specific commenters on Disqus… but I’m not savvy enough to write my own rule.

  20. mathrick says:

    Could you please add a filter option to hide comments *without* punctuation? Ie. if there are too many long spans with no commas or periods. A lot of idiots out there create those write-only comments and they definitely deserve to be blocked.

  21. mathrick says:

    Oh, a bug: it treats comments with no letters at all (like just a time link on youtube, i.e. “50:34″) as all-caps too. My guess is that if it doesn’t see any letters it can recognise, it concludes that 0% (0 out of 0) were lowercase and thus it’s all caps it’s looking at.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Snob blocked one of my own comments for “too many spelling errors”, apparently because I used “polygyny” and “polyandrist”.

  23. unidentified says:

    I would like to use this as a method to completely hide profanity… is there a way that I can do this globally, not just in comment sections?

  24. mathrick says:

    It sounds like a job for something else than comment snob. It should stick to what it’s designed to do and not grow unrelated functionality, IMHO.

  25. B says:

    Hi,

    Love your plugin but I havn’t gotten the hang of how to write my own rules yet.
    Would it be possible to write a rule that filters out a special users comments on a wordpress blog ?

    All the best !

    -B

  26. pcai says:

    Is it, or would it, be possible to support more than one spelling dictionary at the same time, such as “en-US;es-ES”, so that your bilingual and polyglot users don’t have to choose which of their languages gets flagged for “spelling errors”? Thanks for your consideration, and thanks for a great extension!

  27. Anthony says:

    Hey chris, is there a way that you make a rule that blocks links in the comments section? In other words make it so that comments that have http://, or bit.ly are blocked. I’m not quite understanding on how to make rules.

  28. I don’t know if this can be done, but is there a way that this program can filter out comments from a Facebook user that I’m not friends with (without blocking all together). This person tends to make comments after me of a mutual friend (trying to up one on me). I just don’t want to see her name and her commends. I’ve tried the “Hide” option within Facebook, but that only works with one commend, I’d have to hit the Hide option each time she comments on something.

    • Anonymous says:

      You could use Comment Snob to do this. Add a Facebook rule that targets the comment *author* as the text (instead of the actual text), uncheck “Use the default filtering preferences”, and put the offender’s name into “Contains one of these keywords or phrases”.

  29. Daniel says:

    I can’t get this addon to do anything in Chrome on Youtube. No matter the settings on Youtube, even “hide all comments” has no effect.

  30. Blake says:

    Something I’ve noticed with the Reddit rules is that the “All capital letters” rule seems to trigger on comments that are just a url.

  31. Vladimir Vilimaitis says:

    Might somebody be kind enough to provide me with SoundCloud comment snob code? I am not familiar with programming too much, sadly.

    • Daniel says:

      afaik, it was never updated after Youtube integrated with G+ so it’s been broken. It isn’t really the fault of Chrome.

  32. shubat says:

    Hi Chris! .. there is this site that i and my friends love very much, but recently “troll” activities started to raise up. we wonder if -comment snob- can hide specific users comments..??
    that site is most popular (after youtube) in my country. thousands of people going to be happy if there is a chance.. would u check it up please!?
    here is the link…
    http://alkislarlayasiyorum.com/

  33. sdfg says:

    This is bullshit.
    The comments with bad spelling and punctuation are not the ones we need to get rid off.
    The comments that have to go, are the comments by youtubes “top users” that instantly get 100 votes up by their retarded fanboys, and thus stay RIGHT under the fucking video for all eternity…
    The youtube comment page is now basically only usable for people that manipulate their posts, and THAT has to change. I REALLY don’t care what PressFartToContinue has to say about EVERY video i watch. This guy is one of the biggest assholes on youtube, needs to die in a fire and i can’t understand how it’s not possible to remove comments from people like that. Youtube is literally fueling a war. You know how “gangs” kill each other because they… i dont even know… think that different things are cool?
    I can’t wait to hear news about youtubers getting killed because they are part of the “other bro army”.
    Youtube and their top youtubers are doing their best to fuel the hate, and it’s not even possible to watch youtube without seeing the most spammed comments anymore…

    • Martin says:

      Hey, calm down! Isn’t it possible to block users for yourself in YouTube? I don’t know by myself, and I’m not sure if will be notified, if I get the answer here. But if not, it would be a great idea, to implement a user block like function in here!

  34. tutu says:

    hello, i dont understand how to make a rule. can someone write me a common rule, for hiding different words that i dont want to read in youtube comments?

    so that i only have to insert the word into the rule. thanks

  35. Is there any way to remove those “trackback” type of comments?

    For example:
    Lynn Fox shared this via Google+1 year ago

    and

    Lynn Fox via Google+1 year ago
    spamspamspam

  36. MixavitaPlus says:

    Hi!
    I love the idea of this program, however, I can’t get keywords working. The comments will stay there whether or not they include the word i put there.
    I kinda downloaded this program for just that feature, ’cause some channels I have subscribed have their regular commenters who really annoy me. They rarely have any content in their messages, and often don’t even make any sense. And they take space from the actual rational opinions. But since they don’t make any spelling errors, they don’t fit any of the existing categories.

  37. MixavitaPlus says:

    Actually, nothing else than block all comments work on youtube, which could have been done with the regular adblock. Firefox is up to date and CS is at version 5.0a1.

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