No longer the province of concerned parents wanting to keep porn off their kids' screens, Internet blocking apps now allow you to rid your browsing experience of all mention of God or your ex (or Justin Bieber).
Shaved Bieber, a Firefox plugin that eliminates all mentions of Justin Bieber, made headlines and generated death threats last month. But it's not alone. In a reversal of religiously-motivated Internet blockers (like the one that gave sprinter Tyson Gay the new name "Tyson Homosexual"), GodBlock seeks to hide religious content from impressionable kids. Its makers explain,
GodBlock is a web filter that blocks religious content. 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.
But even those old enough to choose their own religion may have wished they could wipe an ex's name off the face of the earth. And now they can — online, at least. According to its creators, The Ex-Blocker plugin "not only removes your ability to look at their Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts, but removes his or her name from the internet entirely." This handy screenshot shows what happens if your ex happens to be Ashton Kutcher —employ The Ex-Blocker, and there is only blankness where once was his name.
Of course, this isn't really fooling anyone. 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.