Discontent falls in the latter category.
This new launched entrant into the ad-blocking category costs a dollar in iTunes, but it doesn’t work quite like other ad blockers. Instead, Discontent blocks the articles and leaves everything else untouched.
Here’s what this blog’s homepage looks like with Discontent enabled:
This is obviously a less than perfect solution to the problem of distracting and informative content; the app is neglecting to filter the comment section.
But the filter is still a good start, only to what end?
Discontent is the work of Paul Miller, formerly of The Verge. In a blog post, Miller rants at length against the idea of blocking adverts. He explained the rationale behind his war on content thusly: “More than half the time when I’m at Buzzfeed and The Verge (I keep using Buzzfeed and The Verge as examples because I visit them a lot apparently), I get the distinct feeling that this publication has “no special interest in publishing beyond value extraction through advertising“. And if that’s the case, then it’s really important that I, as a human being with presumably better things to do, should avoid publications that make me feel this way.”
He goes on to write: “I want to stop reading ad-supported websites,” he writes. “I don’t want to steal their content by browsing with an ad-blocker, I want to ignore their content. I need a content blocker that blocks content too. Will I miss out on some stuff that’s truly impressive, truly hilarious, truly insightful? Undoubtedly. But I’ll also miss out on a lot of garbage, and a ton of garbage ads. So that will be nice.”
Discontent is not the first content blocker to filter out news articles. The Ethical ad blocker does that, and it goes one step better: it blocks entire sites based on the present of adverts.
You can find Discontent in iTunes.