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Sun May 17, 2015, 11:49 PM

Experiment: Hide DU names CSS script:

I've been trying an experiment recently whereby I hide almost all identifying information about DU posters.

I downloaded the Stylish plugin for Firefox (there's also one for Chrome), and added the following code:

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

@-moz-document domain("www.democraticunderground.com" {

}

table.default-table .author {
display: none;
}

table.reply-table td.author {
display: none;
}

p.post-author2 a.author2 {
display: none;
}

p.post-replyto {
display: none;
}

.post-sig {
display: none;
}

p.post-author {
margin: 0px;
display: none;
}

p.post-avatar {
display: none;
}

div.content-container {
padding: 17px 0px;
margin: 0px 13px 0px 20px;
min-height: 34px;
}


table.input-form-table tr:nth-child(1) {
display: none;
}

h2.usersection {
display: none;
}

a.mp-author {
display: none;
}



This code will remove all usernames of all posters except on their profile pages (because that uses a common CSS code that the rest of the site uses and I couldn't figure out how to fix it). This includes in PMs, in My Posts, in the main forum author pages, everywhere I can find on the site. This code will also remove all signatures and avatar pictures (and make a bit more space for the forum display so it's not ugly when removing the avatars).

I literally don't know who is replying to me or who I am replying to without going to the effort of figuring out who it is. So far I have found myself doing it twice when I felt attacked (just by turning off the style or by going to the profile page).

Try it out, it can be quite refreshing. And telling about some others. And before anyone asks, yeah, it's actually pretty hard to differentiate posters by writing style, only a few ones stand out, so I really don't know who I'm responding to.

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Reply Experiment: Hide DU names CSS script: (Original post)
joshcryer May 2015 OP
Make7 May 2015 #1
joshcryer May 2015 #2
Make7 May 2015 #3

Response to joshcryer (Original post)

Mon May 18, 2015, 03:54 AM

1. I set up my user stylesheet and user scripts for the 'www.democraticunderground.com' domain.

To disable them I just go to sync.democraticunderground.com and they don't execute. Because I am using a userContent.css file, turning off stylesheets isn't just a matter of clicking a few buttons. That idea may not be useful for you, but someone might find it to be a nice shortcut.

BTW you can turn off signatures in your account settings - hiding .post-sig is not entirely effective because quite a few people are breaking the signature element with their code. It's easiest to just remove them under your account settings.

To target things on specific pages on DU, you can use a CSS selector for the id of the <body> tag of that page. For example:

[div class="excerpt" style="margin-left:1em; border:1px solid #bfbfbf; border-radius:0.4615em; box-shadow:-1px -1px 3px #bfbfbf inset;"]body#profile h1.pagetitle {
    display: none;
}

That will hide that class of that tag only on profile pages. Since there is only one instance of that class it works - depending on what you are trying to do it may be easy, difficult or impossible. Check out w3schools for a refresher on CSS selectors.

I actually prefer to know DU members' names - mostly to know whether or not it is worth the effort in replying. YMMV.

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Response to Make7 (Reply #1)

Mon May 18, 2015, 04:41 AM

2. The idea was that I was only reading posts of familiars.

I actually had a legitimate problem whereby I would "look right" at the various posts to see who was posting. We all have our built in biases, be it people we agree with, people who strum up the most excitement, people we dislike, whatever.

I did not realize I had this problem until I "inspected" all the username elements and then went through them one by one removing the usernames. I found myself "looking right" at the forum list, to see who was writing something, and who wasn't. And all that was there, after the experiment, was how many people replied. My eyes actually ached from looking at that absence of usernames.

Really disturbing to me because it means I was, subconsciously, browsing DU looking for responses from people I liked or who were interesting or exciting to me (whether I agreed or not). It led to me ignoring a lot of posters whose posts are interesting or who I would like to read. It has resulted in my reading topics more accurately and reading posts without consideration of who has posted them.

In that vein I feel I can respond without regards to past grudges or commentary by people I have had spats with, because I genuinely have no idea who I am responding to. I don't know, and simply don't care, I am merely expressing my opinion.

This to me is what "reverse ignore" would look like. Being able to force ignore people I disagree with because I simply don't want them responding to me. Except, in this instance, I don't know who is responding to me or not, and I am able to simply evaluate their words regardless of their past commentary. They can talk shit, I can just respond, until of course it escalates to the point of them insulting me repeatedly then I have turned off the script to see who it was.

Thanks so much for your comments about CSS selectors, I am not sure how will work with the profile page but I will definitely try it when I wake up (and edit the main post with the proper css?). I think it is an awesome experiment, and I honestly have had less angst and hatred from it except from two posters since I implemented it (oh and that resulted in being banned from a DU group without cause, but there's that).

Oh, btw, about sigs, aren't they contained in a div and any sensible browser justs display: none;'s the div itself so any corrupt code is hidden? I ask because I haven't seen even one sig since I implemented that bit of the code quite a few days ago. Not even a corrupted sig. I should definitely turn it off in my settings but I like to know I can just turn off the .css and see the site as it is meant to be seen. I would have to go back to the settings to turn sigs back on...

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #2)

Mon May 18, 2015, 09:11 PM

3. One can definitely form habits when browsing and posting in online forums.

Hiding all usernames is definitely one way to break up one's routine. Perhaps I'll give it a try when I get some larger blocks of time to spend roaming and posting here.

About the signatures, you're probably right - they used to be in a [font style="color:#000066;"]<p>[/font] element and anyone using a [font style="color:#000066;"]<div>[/font] or [font style="color:#000066;"]<center>[/font] tag would break it making their signature visible. I think I had four or five CSS selectors to try to hide all of them (and still didn't succeed 100%). The current [font style="color:#000066;"]<div>[/font] signatures are much better in that regard but can still be broken (or at least closed prematurely), but I can't recall seeing anyone do that (and leaving it broken). Turning off signatures in my account settings prevents the server from even sending code to display them - which eliminates the need for my browser to load animated gifs that I was hiding from view anyway. Poh-tay-toe / Poh-tah-toe.

Another great tool for customizing websites is GreaseMonkey - it does for Javascript what Stylish does for CSS. Used by me mostly for an 'Ignore Threads by Author' script here. You might be able to figure out how to hide some things that can't be filtered out with CSS - assuming you have some moderate knowledge of Javascript.

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