While working on the “Voters on the Hi-Line” series Havre Daily News ran last week, I thought it was interesting that pretty much every person I talked to, no matter who they supported or what they believed, began by saying that they are sick of all of the political advertising and that they couldn’t wait for the election to be over.
Well it appears that this is in no way particular to the Hi-Line. The folks behind picture- and article-sharing website Buzzfeed and Unbaby.me, which removes all pictures and posts about your friends babies from Facebook and Twitter, have teamed up to try and make the Internet a better place with a new Google Chrome add-on called Unpolitic.me.
After you install the add-on, all of the posts about the election that have been filling our Facebook and Twitter pages will be removed and replaced by pictures of cats.
The add-on acts as a customizable filter, which looks for posts or articles that mention at least one of a series of words that users can add to.
By default, Unpolitic.me already blocks obvious terms like “Obama,” “Romney,” “election,” “debate,” “republican” and “democrat.” Both “47 percent” and “1 percent” are flagged. “Bain,” “fox news,” “fore fathers” and “reagan” are blocked, as are “elizabeth warren,” “akin” and “romnesia.” The longest and most specific default blocked term is “how messed up is this country.”
Being replaced by cat pictures is also a default setting, but pretty much anything can be put in their place.
Almost 600 people have installed the add-on in the few days it’s been out, and the reviews are mostly positive, from people who are relieved to have their lives back.
“This is incredible,” Stephanie Walther said. “I've literally not come across something more awesome for a really, really long time. I owe much to whoever created this. ...
“I might make it through election season yet.”
“Works for the most part, and you get to avoid people with IQs of room temperature talk about politics,” Trevor Bernas said.
Now if we could just get one of these for our mailboxes, we might be able to pretend that we are not being seiged by vicious and powerful armies warring over our brains.
But that might interfere with Jon Tester and Denny Rehberg’s plan to save the postal service collaboratively, by mailing 200 million letters to Montana’s one million residents.
(Zach White is a reporter for the Havre Daily News. He can be reached at zwhite@havredailynews.)