Block (or improve) US Elections coverage with these tips

If you don’t have an internet connection at home, a TV that hasn’t worked since 2004, and a mobile phone that’s even older than that, it might be easy to escape the 2016 US Elections. Well, that is, if you don’t switch on the radio.

But what if you’re forced to use the net, watch television or communicate with people in the outside world? Although we can’t control the latter, we can give you tips on how to block Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the seemingly excessive coverage of this year’s US Elections.

And here’s how to do just that.

Do you use Twitter daily but getting just a little sick of all the red, white and blue? You can mute specific candidates or parties on Twitter itself using its aptly-named Mute feature. It’s available in your Twitter account settings, and a brief how-to is also available on Twitter’s support page. This is also available on Twitter’s mobile apps.

But to ban specific keywords beginning with “Hill” or “Dona”, you’ll need to use something like Tweetdeck.

Want to replace Donald Trump pictures with pictures of cats? You can

The social dashboard is like Twitter on steroids. Apart from giving users access to tweet organisation tools, Tweetdeck also lets users filter keywords from their timelines. To do this, log into Tweetdeck using your Twitter credentials, head on over to the Settings icon, left click it, and select the “Mute” side-tab.

You can then input the text you’d like Tweetdeck to mute from your timeline (as below).

tweetdeck mute

If you’re forced to use it during work hours, Facebook also presents its own slew of issues.

Apart from the simplest solution of unfollowing those friends who are effectively free campaign officers (they won’t notice that you aren’t getting their posts, either), SocialFixer is a long standing browser add-on for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

It allows users to tweak practically everything on Facebook, from the company’s trademark blue to the layout of the webpage itself. But an overlooked feature is its filtering abilities. Users can choose from filtering specific users, applications, and even matching text references that you can input yourself.

Thankfully, SocialFixer also keeps a list of user-maintained filter lists, including lists for Pokemon Go, “I F*ing Love” and the 2016 US Elections.

Gizoogle will rewrite those serious US Elections articles with a Snoop Dogg-inspired spin

If you’re stick of seeing the US Elections, its candidates or people posting selfies with “I voted” badges, you’re in luck too.

Google Chrome extension allows internet users to replace images on a webpage with cats. Yes. It’s the greatest invention known to humankind.

Download the extension, install it, and tap on the button on Chrome’s top right panel to transform a webpage. We fooled around with Memeburn, and while it isn’t perfect, it’s still pretty funny.

meowser me us elections 2016

Finally, if you’re sick of all the vitriol in this year’s ballot race, perhaps some light-hearted diction is in order. Gizoogle is a Google spin-off that does something a little different — it turns web page text into Snoop Dogg-style lyrics.

The site also has its own text translation tool called the “Textilizer” and a website translation tool dubbed the “Tranzizzle”. We recommend translating Donald Trump of Hillary Clinton tweets for personal entertainment.

Gizoogle’s only flaw, other than its crass humour, is its reliability. But when it is up, it does make the web a much cheerful place.

If you are serious about following the US Elections this year, be sure to follow our social- and tech-heavy coverage here.

Feature image: Arlington County via Flickr

Andy Walker, former editor


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