Sunday, 10 June 2012

The Problem of Pritzus on Legitimate Web Sites

Part 1/2 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

by Other (See all authors)

There is often a problem of pritzus even on legitimate web sites, that even with filters, accountability software, etc. you still can run into problems. An example I noticed recently: I was on a site that sold a product. This site is completely Kosher and would not be blocked by any filters, nor would it raise any red flags if a "web shomer" sees that you visited this site. But, on the site there was a picture of a girl using the product and the girl was not dressed tzniusly. Goyim consider this completely acceptable but we as the Am HaKodesh do not. The obvious answer is, in addition to using filters and accountability, one should, whenever possible, browse the Internet without images. The way I deal with this is by using the Firefox browser with a few add-ons.

For those who don't know, Firefox is a web browser, the program that you use to view the Internet. Many people use Internet Explorer which comes with Windows. Firefox is an alternative to Internet Explorer that is customizable through "add-ons". Below I will describe how to use 3 of these add-ons to help eliminate pritzus. There may be ways of doing this with other browsers but I know how to do it in Firefox so that is what I am suggesting here. Firefox is a far better browser than Internet Explorer, Opera, Chrome or Safari and should be used whenever possible. Having nothing to do with this discussion of tznius – always use Firefox. Always!

First you have to install and use Firefox as your browser. You can get it from http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/switch.html. The link should give instructions how to install it.

Next I will describe the 3 add-ons that I use which block out pretty much all inappropriate pictures and videos. Note, these aren't classic "filters" and you still have to be careful which sites you visit. This will just help make sure that the sites you do visit won't subject you to inappropriate pictures.

The first add-on is called Ad-block Plus. It can be downloaded from
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865 . Go to that link from inside Firefox and click the "add to Firefox" button.

This add-on will get rid of all the ads that appear around and in web pages. Once in awhile it will miss some ads and a few times I have found that it will block a picture that is actually not an ad but is part of the page but that is very rare. In general it gets rid of all ads which solves a lot of the problems since we are assuming that the web sites you are visiting are good pages, but even those might have ads that can be problematic.

The 2nd add-on is Flash-block. It can be downloaded from
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/433 Go to that link from inside Firefox and click the "add to Firefox" button.

This add-on blocks all flash-videos from starting. Instead these videos will have a button to click if you want to see it. Many sites use Flash to show content, some can be good and useful. But, with this add-on it won't start right away and you won't even see the first screenshot that is usually there. You can choose whether or not you want to see the video. This can be a bit of a nuisance because it now requires an extra click to see videos but it is a small price to pay for what it accomplishes. For the more technologically advanced, you can change the preferences so that certain sites will have the Flash videos not blocked by this add-on. This way, you can set the sites which you trust and frequent the most to show flash videos and for the rest you will have to click an extra time if you want to see them. It may be a little bit of work in the beginning but then you get used to it.

My 3rd suggestion is the one that is most annoying but can be very helpful for those who are willing to go through it. It is an add-on called ImgLikeOpera. It can be downloaded from
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1672

Go to that link from inside Firefox and click the "add to Firefox" button.

The description on the site says 'ImgLikeOpera allows load only the images that you want in Firefox browser. This extension is very useful for non broadband users…'. This add-on was created for people with slow connections who don't want images to make the loading even slower. I use this to block all images. It will block all images from loading so that every page you visit will only show you text and the images will come out as empty boxes. You can load an individual image by right-clicking it and choosing 'load' or you can make all the images for a particular site load by clicking a button on the toolbar. This is an extremely annoying way to browse the Internet since so many sites nowadays rely on pictures for basic browsing of the site. There are ways to make it easier. In the settings you can create filters that will have certain sites always load the pictures. For instance, I have it set for my own sites, as well as sites such as Yeshiva World and Matzav to automatically load all images (as an aside, I also have a filter like this for adblock so that I can see the ads on those sites since I find those interesting though most people find them annoying). For sites that I don't necessarily trust I load the images one at a time by right-clicking them if they are needed. It may be a bit of work in the beginning to set all the filters for trusted sites, and even after that browsing the rest of the Internet can be very annoying but hopefully you can get used to it. Lifum Tzara Agra…