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Software blocks God, your ex on the Internet

If we start building filters for everything we don't want to see online, what's the point of logging on?
Image: Logo from
The GodBlock logo comes in "awesome" sticker
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Sure, when Greg Leuch gave the world Shaved Bieber, a Firefox plug-in that blocked most instances of teen idol Justin Bieber from the Internet, everyone who wasn't a 13-year-old girl thought it was pretty awesome.

After all, kids get all kinds of software to shelter their eyes from grownup Internet garbage. Adults shouldn't have to look at content made for and by brats. Alas it seems, too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing.

The good thing overload comes in the form of two new content filters: GodBlock and the Ex-Blocker. In either case, the free software does pretty much what the name describes. The presentations, however, differ greatly in tone.

The first takes a serious tack: "GodBlock is a Web filter that blocks religious content," says the download page. "It is targeted at parents and schools who wish to protect their kids from the often violent, sexual and psychologically harmful material in many holy texts, and from being indoctrinated into any religion before they are of the age to make such decisions."

GodBlock, of course, may turn out to be a well-executed hoax — despite download prompts, it's not yet available on the site. Originally, the site states, those who joined the GodBlock mailing list received 10 "awesome" stickers featuring the GodBlock logo: A red G covering a fist that is holding a lightning bolt (that could also double for ZeusBlock). Due to "overwhelming demand," 10 stickers now require a $5 donation, the proceeds of which "help with the overall development of this project." (Which, again may or may not be a hoax.)

Odds are, overwhelming demand for the stickers didn't come so much from staunch-minded atheists eager to show support, but rather tongue-in-cheek hipsters looking to jazz up their vintage 1970s moped helmets.

Ex-Blocker, on the other hand, is straightforward about acknowledging its audience: Again, hipsters. "The Ex-Blocker is a multi-browser plugin inspired by (Tumblr blog) Stuff Hipsters Hate."

(Where's the filter that blocks hipster-referencing Tumblr blogs, code monkeys? Build something we really need!)

The Firefox and Chrome plug-in "not only removes your ability to look at their Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts, but removes his or her name from the Internet entirely, may it be Google search results, blog mentions or other."

Even if you're not the type to pick your psychic wounds via cyberstalking, the cathartic value of such a download is readily apparent. Still, as the blog Jezebel points out, "A truly effective ex-blocker would have to replace all mention of the offending party with a decoy name that appears lots of other places, so that you'd never be able to tell which were actual references to your ex. A decoy name like, say, Justin Bieber."

What's more, we're moving into slippery slope territory. If we start building filters for everything we don't want to see online, what's the point of logging on? Take away porn, God, cyberstalking and Justin Bieber and there is literally nothing left on the Internet … except Lindsay Lohan. And you didn't want to see that, did you?

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