Alternative Search Engines That Respect Your Privacy

It's time to stop relying on corporations which do not respect our privacy. Here are some search engines that, unlike Google, Bing and Yahoo, have a stronger focus on protecting your privacy.

See the recent changes at the end.

Following are some search engines which are more privacy-centric than those offered by the privacy-hating mega-corporations like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Note that several of those listed here are partially or wholly 'meta' search engines, meaning they do not index the web themselves and instead rely either partially or entirely upon third parties for their search results, especially Google and Bing. Although these meta search engines are often referred to as "alternative search engines", they are not true alternatives, however they do provide a valuable service in that they act as a proxy between you and third party services such as Google, thus they can insulate you from the privacy risks associated with using the big search companies directly.

If you have any search engines you would like to suggest, please leave a comment (you need not be logged in).

To install the search engines for Firefox, see Firefox Search Engine Cautions, Recommendations.

Legend:

  • Decentralized: whether the service is controlled by a single entity, such as Google, or distributed among its users, such as YaCy
  • Type: meta: uses 3rd party search indexes, such as Google, to deliver search results
    index: crawls the web and indexes content without relying on 3rd party search engines
    hybrid: a combination of both the above
  • Requires JS / Cookies: whether the web interface requires JavaScript and/or cookies (web storage) in order to function
  • Self Contained: whether the website uses 3rd party resources, such as Google fonts, etc.
  • Client Required: whether you have to install client software in order to use the service
  • Privacy Policy: a link to their privacy policy
  • Privacy / Overall: 1 to 4 star ratings for both the strength of their privacy policy and the overall usability of the search engine

Disconnect

Search Page
DecentralizedTypeRequires JS / CookiesSelf ContainedClient RequiredPrivacy PolicyPrivacy / Overall
search page (SSL)nometaJS: no 2
Cookies: no 3
nonolink2/1

Notes: Disconnect apparently pulls results from Yahoo, Bing and DuckDuckGo, however when i tested it, Disconnect forwarded all searches to DuckDuckGo. Their privacy policy is is OK, but nothing to brag about. Personally i see no advantage to using Disconnect over any of the other meta search engines listed here.

DuckDuckGo

Search Page
DecentralizedTypeRequires JS / CookiesSelf ContainedClient RequiredPrivacy PolicyPrivacy / Overall
search page (SSL)nohybridJS: yes
Cookies: no 3
yesnolink3/3

Notes: Though DuckDuckGo claims to pull its search results from over 400 sources including Wikipedia, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex, as well as from its own crawler. The interface is similar to Google. Revenue is generated by displaying ads in the search results, though this can be disabled in the settings, and also by inserting affiliate links for certain e-commerce sites. DuckDuckGo offers a 'lite' version which does not use JavaScript or cookies. Worth watching is their promotional video, Google vs. DuckDuckGo.

If you want to save search settings without storing cookies, you'll find their URL parameters here. You might want to use a browser extension that will redirect your searches and load the parameters automatically.

Gigablast

Search Page
DecentralizedTypeRequires JS / CookiesSelf ContainedClient RequiredPrivacy PolicyPrivacy / Overall
search page (SSL)CookiesnoindexJS: yes
Cookies: no
yesno?? /2

Notes: Gigablast is a free and open source search engine that maintains its own index. While you can install and run Gigablast on your own server, it appears the source code is outdated and full of problems. The search interface offers some useful options, such as selecting the format of the output, sorting options, date options and file type options. I couldn't find a privacy policy, but decided to include it anyway since it is open source.

Good Gopher

Search Page
DecentralizedTypeRequires JS / CookiesSelf ContainedClient RequiredPrivacy PolicyPrivacy / Overall
search page (SSL)nohybrid?JS: no
Cookies: no
nonolink2/2

Notes: Good Gopher was apparently developed by Mike Adams, editor of the NaturalNews.com website, and appears to be unmaintained. As stated in the Good Gopher privacy policy, their search results are censored in that they filter out what they and their users consider to be "corporate propaganda and government disinfo", while simultaneously promoting the undisputed heavyweight king of alt-media propaganda and disinformation, Alex "Bullhorn" Jones of InfoWars. It is unclear whether Good Gopher indexes the web or is a hybrid. The core of their privacy policy consists of a few vague paragraphs, the bulk of which has nothing to do with user privacy. Revenue is generated by displaying ads in the search results, though they state they are very particular about who may advertise on the platform.

LookSeek

Search Page
DecentralizedTypeRequires JS / CookiesSelf ContainedClient RequiredPrivacy PolicyPrivacy / Overall
search page (SSL)noindexJS: no
Cookies: no
nonolink3/2

Notes: LookSeek appears to be owned by Applied Theory Networks LLC and apparently has been around a while. The software seems to be propitiatory, but they do have a decent, clear and brief privacy policy. The search interface is rudimentary, to say the least, and there doesn't appear to be any configuration options. What is most attractive is that LookSeek operates its own crawler and apparently does not rely on any 3rd party indexes. They also state that they have "no political or social bias".

MetaGer

Search Page
DecentralizedTypeRequires JS / CookiesSelf ContainedClient RequiredPrivacy PolicyPrivacy / Overall
search page (SSL)nohybrid?JS: no 2
Cookies: no 3
yesnolink3/2

Notes: MetaGer, which has been around for a couple decades, is a free, open source search engine that claims to pull results from up to 50 other search engines. The search interface is plain and offers no options. Their privacy policy is lengthy, but strong and clear. Revenue is generated by displaying ads in the search results as well as donations.

Mojeek

Search Page
DecentralizedTypeRequires JS / CookiesSelf ContainedClient RequiredPrivacy PolicyPrivacy / Overall
search page (SSL)noindexJS: no
Cookies: no
yesnolink3/3

Notes: The Mojeek search engine promises to return unbiased results and though the search interface is plain, they do offer some options to customize how searching works. Mojeek is a UK based company that has a solid privacy policy.

Oscobo

Search Page
DecentralizedTypeRequires JS / CookiesSelf ContainedClient RequiredPrivacy PolicyPrivacy / Overall
search page (SSL)no?JS: no
Cookies: no
yesnolink2/2

Notes: Oscobo has a plain interface with no options other than to search the web, images, etc.. Their privacy policy is vague regarding exactly what information they collect. It is unclear whether Oscobo indexes the web or uses 3rd party services but the latter is likely the case. Revenue is generated by displaying ads in the search results.

Peekier

Search Page
DecentralizedTypeRequires JS / CookiesSelf ContainedClient RequiredPrivacy PolicyPrivacy / Overall
search page (SSL)nometaJS: yes
Cookies: no 3
yesnolink4/2

Notes: Peekier provides an interesting, though feature limited interface in the form of zoomable text and thumbnail images of the web pages corresponding to your search results, thus allowing you browse the results before actually visiting the page. Peekier appears to pull its results from Bing only, which is unfortunate. Their privacy policy is clear, strong and brief.

Qwant

Search Page
DecentralizedTypeRequires JS / CookiesSelf ContainedClient RequiredPrivacy PolicyPrivacy / Overall
search page (SSL)nohybridJS: yes
Cookies: no 3
yesnolink4/3

Notes: Qwant, based in France, is an interesting search engine and index that claims to provide unbiased results. It is currently a hybrid in that they use crawlers, but they pull some results from Bing until their index is more complete. The interface is pleasant, colorful and easy to use, though there are not many configuration options. Quant also has a lite version that does not require JavaScript. Their privacy policy is solid. Revenue is generated by displaying ads in the search results.

'The Hated One' posted an interesting audio interview with European Mozilla founder and Qwant CEO Tristan Nitot on his BitChute channel: Qwant CEO and Mozilla founder Tristan Nitot on Microsoft monopoly, surveillance and Internet freedom. Discussion about Qwant starts around the 46:00 mark.

Searx

Search Page
DecentralizedTypeRequires JS / CookiesSelf ContainedClient RequiredPrivacy PolicyPrivacy / Overall
search page (SSL)nometaJS: no
Cookies: no 3
yesno?? / 3

Notes: Searx is a free, open source meta search engine which i have found to be the best of its type because of its ability to pull results from a wide array of third party services and the comprehensive options it offers. The Searx interface is clean, highly customizable and intuitive. Anyone can run a Searx instance on their own server (see their GitHub page) if they wish, or use any of the existing Searx instances run by others.

Startpage/Ixquick

Search Page
DecentralizedTypeRequires JS / CookiesSelf ContainedClient RequiredPrivacy PolicyPrivacy / Overall
search page (SSL)nometaJS: no 2
Cookies: no 3
yesnolink4/3

Notes: Startpage/Ixquick pulls its search results primarily from Google, though they are apparently in the process of making some changes. They have a strong privacy policy and an extensive Q&A page regarding privacy. Revenue is generated by displaying ads in the search results. Startpage also offers an email service called Startmail. Although Startpage uses 1×1 pixel GIF images, i was told they are not used for tracking purposes. [1]

Swisscows

Search Page
DecentralizedTypeRequires JS / CookiesSelf ContainedClient RequiredPrivacy PolicyPrivacy / Overall
search page (SSL)noindex?JS: yes
Cookies: no
nonolink3/3

Notes: The Swisscows servers are located in… take a guess… and the company has a solid privacy policy. The search interface is modern and interesting in that they use machine learning to evaluate your search terms in order to provide better results. Swisscows is described as "… the first intelligent answer engine because it is based on semantic information recognition and offers users intuitive help in their search for answers." The results are censored in that violent and pornographic content is filtered with no apparent option to disable this. Swisscows is funded by donations and advertising.

YaCy

Search Page
DecentralizedTypeRequires JS / CookiesSelf ContainedClient RequiredPrivacy PolicyPrivacy / Overall
search page (SSL)yesindexJS: yes
Cookies: no
yesoptional?? / 2

Notes: While YaCy doesn't produce a lot of search results since not enough people use it yet, i think it's the most interesting search engine listed here. YaCy is a decentralized, distributed, censorship resistant search engine and index powered by free, open-source software. For those wanting to run their own instance of YaCy, see their home and GitHub pages. This article from Digital Ocean may also be helpful.

Upcoming search engines

  • Presearch: a decentralized search engine powered by the community

Please leave a comment if you know of any others.

Search engines that didn't make the cut

The following are search engines which claim to have a strong focus on privacy but, in my personal opinion, do not.

  • Gibiru – I was anxious to try this engine after seeing it listed in NordVPN's article, TOP: Best Private Search Engines in 2019! and so i loaded the website and read their introduction. I liked what they had to say. Unfortunately, Gibiru not only depends on having JavaScript enabled, it depends on having it enabled for Google as well. Fail! It seems Gibiru is little more than a Google front-end and a rather poor one at that.
  • Search Encrypt – This one was recommended by a commenter and, though i added it to the list initially, i later removed it because, to put it bluntly, its f'n garbage. Their selling point is "Search Encrypt encrypts your search terms between your computer and searchencrypt.com". Well imagine the novelty of that. Or not, because so does every other website that uses SSL, including Google. The site also uses cookies and JavaScript by default. Their ToS is a wall of corporate gibberish and their privacy policy is weak. Lastly, Search Encrypt doesn't seem to provide any information about how they obtain their search results, though both the results and interface reek of Google and reading between the lines clearly indicates it is a meta search engine. Search Encrypt is also recommended by NordVPN.
  • Yippy – Like Search Encrypt, Yippy is another typical POS company with a poor privacy policy looking to attract investors. Yippy uses cookies by default and won't function without JavaScript. This one is also recommended by NordVPN.

Lessons learned from the Findx shutdown

The founder of the Findx search engine, Brian Rasmusson, shut down operations and detailed the reasons for doing so in a post titled, Goodbye – Findx is shutting down. I think the post is of significant interest not only to the end user seeking alternatives to the ethically corrupt mega-giants like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., but also to developers who have an interest in creating a privacy-centric, censorship resistant search engine index from scratch. Following are some highlights from the post:

Many large websites like LinkedIn, Yelp, Quora, Github, Facebook and others only allow certain specific crawlers like Google and Bing to include their webpages in a search engine index (maybe something for European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager to look into?) Other sites put their content behind a paywall.

[…]

Most advertisers won't work with you unless you either give them data about your users, so they can effectively target them, or unless you have a lot of users already.

Being a new and independent search engine that was doing the time-consuming work of growing its index from scratch, and being unwilling to compromise on our user's privacy, Findx was unable to attract such partners.

[…]

We could not retain users because our results were not good enough, and search feed providers that could improve our results refused to work with us before we had a large userbase … the chicken and the egg problem.

[…]

From forbidding crawlers to index popular and useful websites and refusing to enter into advertising partnerships without large user numbers, to stacking the requirements for search extension behaviour in browsers, the big players actively squash small and independent search providers out of their market.

I think the reasons for the Findx shutdown highlight why we need more decentralized, peer-to-peer solutions like YaCy. If we consider the problems Findx faced with the greed-driven giants like Google, Facebook and the various CDN networks like Cloudflare, i think they are the sort of problems that can be easily circumvented with a crowdsourced solution. Any website can block whatever search crawler they want and there can be good reasons for doing so, but as Brian points out, there are also stupid reasons that lead to incomplete search results. Seems to me that one solution is to allow the user (you and me) to be the crawler and let them index the web. On one hand, this would hopefully mitigate most of the problems with misbehaving crawl bots, and on the other hand the ugly web giants such as Facebook would be forced to allow their content to be scraped.

Resources

Footnotes

[1] Startpage uses 1×1 pixel transparent GIF images in the page that serves search results. I had assumed these were tracking pixels and originally stated so in the notes above, however a representative from Startpage contacted me and explained that i was incorrect. Following is a Q&A from a couple of emails i exchanged with them:

Startpage: BTW StartPage/Ixquick do *not* use tracking images. What you noted are non-tracking clear GIFs. Here's a KB article about that.

Me: regarding the 1×1 gif images, i don't understand how an image can be used to prevent a 3rd party from setting a cookie – can you explain?

Startpage: We have a proxy service that lets you view a result anonymously (by clicking `Proxy` near a result). When you view a webpage this way, our servers load the page on your behalf, and then provide the content to you. That way the website you are viewing won't see you. Their website content is served through our domain. Webpages have many ways to set cookies – through Javascript and otherwise. When we proxy the webpage on your behalf, we take many steps to prevent them from doing so. (If they did successfully set a cookie, the cookie would be stored on our domain.) To add extra protection, we then display this extra 1×1 image from our domain that includes cookie headers to *clear* any such cookies. That way, if any external website you viewed through our proxy manages to set a cookie on our proxy's domain, we immediately clear that cookie.

Me: why several 1×1 images are used – why not just 1?

Startpage: It is simpler to offer a different image for each different aggregate count we are keeping.

Me: why do the file names appear to contain a UIN that changes with every search apparently?

Startpage: There is no identifier. Rather, there is something called an "anticache" parameter that has a random number. This prevents the image from being "cached" by the browser – as browser caching would prevent the loading – hence would prevent the aggregate counts from being correct.

Me: why are these clear gif's are not loaded when 0 results are returned?

Startpage: A different part of the code is used when there are no results, so it might not include the same aggregate counts.

[2] Some functionality is lost if JavaScript is disabled.

[3] Personal preferences/settings are not saved if cookies are disabled.

[4] Setting preferences requires JavaScript

Recent changes

  • updated information for Qwant

Firefox Tweaks and Fixes and Styles and Things

Customize the appearance of the Firefox web browser and its derivatives without using add-ons.

See the recent changes at the end of this document.

Introduction

Following is a collection of tweaks and fixes for the Mozilla Firefox web browser and its derivatives. Keep an eye out for changes as i tend to update this stuff fairly often.

For the non-techies, here are brief descriptions of some of the Firefox configuration files which are in play in this article:

  • prefs.js: This is the primary Firefox configuration file that controls much of how the browser works. This file exists in the root of your Firefox profile directory. The contents of this file can be viewed and edited by entering about:config in the address bar, however you should typically not edit this file unless it's only to test something. All of your custom preferences should be placed in a user.js file (or a user-overrides.js file if you're using the 'ghacks' user.js).
  • user.js: This file does not exist until you create it in the root of your Firefox profile directory. Any preferences that you wish to change in prefs.js or about:config that are not available in the Firefox options interface, and which you want to preserve across Firefox updates or resets, should be entered in this file.
  • userChrome.css: This file does not exist until the you create it in the chrome folder of your Firefox profile. This file is used to modify the appearance of virtually any element of the Firefox user interface (UI).
  • userContent.css: This file does not exist until the you create it in the chrome folder of your Firefox profile. This file can be used to modify the appearance and behavior of web pages, however i would recommend using the Stylus add-on instead because it makes working with CSS much easier.

If you need help with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), selectors and what parameters they can take, see the CSS Introduction and CSS Reference documents at w3schools.com.

Changing how Firefox looks

CustomCSSforFx

Since Mozilla removed support for the older XUL/XPCOM add-ons in favor of WebExtensions, the much loved Classic Theme Restorer add-on won't work with Firefox version 57 or newer. The developer of CTR is still very active in maintaining the CSS code that was used in the add-on however and you can find it in the CustomCSSforFx GitHub repository. Using the new code, we can continue to tweak the crap out of Firefox, though it will require a bit more elbow grease. I've removed several of the CSS tweaks i used to have here in favor of using the CustomCSSforFx code because it covers so much territory and saves a lot of time without adding too much overhead. You can also hide Firefox context menu items with CustomCSSforFx or you could roll your own styles and dump it in userChrome.css.

Instructions for implementing the CustomCSSforFx code is on the page i linked to, though i might recommend implementing it a little differently, especially if you already have code in your userChrome.css or userContent.css that you want to keep. The method i use keeps my custom code separate from the CustomCSSforFx code which makes updating the CustomCSSforFx code easier. It also allows to quickly troubleshoot problems that might arise because you can just comment out a single @import line to easily eliminate large chunks of code. Here's what my userChrome.css contains:

/* @namespace url("http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul"); /**/

/* Aris-t2/CustomCSSforFx (https://github.com/Aris-t2/CustomCSSforFx) */
@import "./custom/aris-t2/userChrome.css"; /**/

/* all of my other custom code is below */

Notice that the @namespace line is commented out. You need to do the same, else some of the tweaks in the CustomCSSforFx code might not work. To understand why you don't need the @namespace line, even though you may have read that you do, and why it can cause styles to break, read Adding Style Recipes to userChrome.css.

As you saw above, the userChrome.css in my /chrome folder is a rather bare-bones affair in which i use @import to link to the CustomCSSforFx files and all my other CSS files that reside in sub-folders of /chrome. Here's what the directory hierarchy looks like if you're confused:

/chrome
    userChrome.css
    userContent.css
/chrome/custom/aris-t2
    /config
    /css
    /image
    userChrome.css
    userContent.css
/chrome/custom/some-other-stuff
    whatever.css

And here's what my userContent.css file looks like, which just points to the userContent.css file contained with the CustomCSSforFx package:

/* Aris-t2/CustomCSSforFx (https://github.com/Aris-t2/CustomCSSforFx) */

@import "./custom/aris-t2/userContent.css"; /**/

/* all of my other custom code is below here */

Once you've got the files in place, it's just a matter of editing the /aris-t2/userChrome.css and /aris-t2/userContent.css files to suit your needs. The instructions for doing so are contained in the files. It will take a while to go through it all, but i suggest doing so because some tweaks are OS specific.

Dark Fox

Firefox ships with a few default themes and one of them is the 'Dark' theme. To activate it, right-click on an empty part of the tab bar or the navigation tool bar, or click the 'Customize' menu item in the Hamburger menu. At the bottom of the 'Customize Firefox' tab you'll see a 'Themes' button. Click it and select the 'Dark' option. If you also use a 'dark web' add-on to darken the entire web, such as Dark Background and Light Text, you may experience the dreaded 'White Flash Syndrome' which is a brief white flash when you load a website. This can be very annoying when using a dark web theme but it can be minimized by adding this to your userChrome.css:

/* eliminate white flash when loading web pages */
#browser vbox#appcontent tabbrowser,
#content,
#tabbrowser-tabpanels,
browser[type=content-primary],
browser[type=content] > html {
    background: #000 !important;
}

Another way to darken more of the Firefox UI, including some about: and extension pages, is with Shadowfox, however i find it to be overkill. If you use Shadowfox the 'white flash' code above is not needed.

Auto-open/hide the sidebar

WARNING: Because the sidebar is essentially always open, but hidden, if an item in the sidebar has focus and you press, for instance, the delete key even when the sidebar is hidden, the sidebar item that has focus will be deleted! I stopped using this style myself for this reason, and also because it will no longer be possible to drag stuff (like a bookmark) into the sidebar, however i decided to keep the code here in the event others aren't bothered by these issues.

This CSS tweak allows to open the sidebar by simply moving your mouse cursor to the extreme left of the browser window and close it by moving your mouse off of the sidebar. You many not want to use this if you don't usually keep Firefox maximized. There are two issues with this style: Because the position of the sidebar is set to 'relative', it shares the same space as the page you're browsing and so it narrows the page by 1 pixel. May not sound like anything worth a complaint, but it bothers me. Problem is, i've been unable to get the sidebar to display properly if i set its position to 'fixed'. Also, in the original code that i found (stole), the author removed the sidebar header and i wanted to keep it. This creates the second issue in that, if you change the contents of the sidebar using the drop-down menu in the header, the sidebar will collapse and must be reopened.

Don't forget to set --sbarwidth to your desired value.

/*
/*
* AUTO-OPEN SIDEBAR
*
* Contributor(s): img2tab
*
*/
:root {
    --sbarwidth: 420px; /* set width you want the sidebar to be when it's open */
}
#sidebar-header {
    border-bottom: none !important;
}
.sidebar-header, #sidebar-header {
    font-weight: normal !important;
    color: white !important; /* comment out for a light theme /**/
}
#sidebar-box {
    overflow-x: hidden;
    min-width: 0px;
    max-width: 0px;
    position: relative;
    padding-left: 5px !important;
    padding-right: 0 !important;
    background-color: #2e2e2e !important; /* comment out for a light theme /**/
    border-right: 1px solid; /* width of the border which opens the sidebar /**/
    cursor: pointer;
    transition: all 0.1s ease 0.15s; /* first number is transition time and second is open/close delay time */
}
#sidebar-box:hover,
#sidebar-box #sidebar {
    min-width: var(--sbarwidth);
    max-width: var(--sbarwidth);
    padding-right: 10px;
}
#sidebar-box ~ #sidebar-splitter {
    display: none;
}
.sidebar-placesTree {
    color: white !important; /* comment out for a light theme /**/
}

/* bookmark panel item spacing - optional */
.sidebar-placesTree treechildren::-moz-tree-row {
    margin: -2px;
}

Adjust vertical space between the bookmark items

This will change the vertical space between your bookmarks in the sidebar. You can use CustomCSSforFx for this, or copy the following code to your userChrome.css. Change the -2 to whatever suits you.

/* bookmark panel item spacing */
.sidebar-placesTree treechildren::-moz-tree-row {
    margin: -2px;
}

Styling the link target/network status tooltip

The link/status tooltip is the text that appears in the lower left or right of the browser viewport when you hover over a hyperlink or when there is certain network activity. Some people (me!) find the link tooltip really annoying because it can cover part of a webpage and get in your way. This style will have the following effects:

  • move the hyperlink tooltip to the top of the browser, overlaying the tab bar (adjustable)
  • make the hyperlink tooltip the full width of the browser (almost)
  • make the hyperlink tooltip background transparent black and the text white
  • center the hyperlink tooltip text
  • leave the network status tooltip on the bottom of the viewport, but make the background transparent white and the text black
/* move the hyperlink tool-tip to the top of the browser */
#statuspanel[type="overLink"] {
  position: fixed;
  top: 26px; /* adjust as necessary */
  left: 0;
  width: 100%;
  z-index: 3;
  text-align: center;
}

/* style the hyperlink tool-tip */
#statuspanel[type="overLink"] #statuspanel-label {
  background-color: #0000008c !important;
  color: white !important;
  height: 27px !important; /* adjust as necessary */
}

/* style the status tool-tip */
#statuspanel[type="status"] #statuspanel-label {
  background-color: #ffffff9c !important;
  color: black !important;
}

/* make sure the the status tooltip is hidden when it's inactive */
#statuspanel[inactive] #statuspanel-label {
  display: none !important
}

Changing how Firefox works

In addition to the smooth scrolling tweak below, see the articles, Firefox Configuration Guide for Privacy Freaks and Performance Buffs and The Firefox Privacy Guide For Dummies!, as well as my user-overrides.js.

Smooth scrolling

Smooth scrolling is apparently enabled by default in Firefox, but i don't care for the way it works. If you want to try my settings, copy the smooth scroll code from my user-overrides.js file on my GitLab repository (scroll down until you find the line === 12BYTES.ORG SMOOTH SCROLLING ===).

Making the user interface (UI) bigger on small displays

The Firefox UI consists of several parts including toolbars, the tab bar and the viewport where web pages are displayed. If you're working on a high resolution, small format display, such as a laptop with a 1080p screen, everything may look too small. From the Firefox preferences you can easily enlarge the font sizes used by web pages. By the way, when you change font sizes in the "Fonts & Colors" section of the Firefox preferences, make sure to set the same sizes for "Other Writing Systems" in addition to your language (which is Latin if you read English). If the toolbar buttons, address bar text and other parts of the Firefox UI are also too small, adjusting font sizes will do nothing to enlarge them, so here's what you can do:

  1. Enter about:config in the address bar
  2. In the search box, enter layout.css.devPixelsPerPx
  3. Set the value of this preference to whatever decimal number (0.9, 1.1, 1.2, etc.) you want until the toolbars and icons are a comfortable size (the change will take effect immediately). Don't use too large of a number. What is too large? I don't know, but once you get close to 2 you might notice very strange issues with the UI. I use a value of 1.3 for a 17 in., 1080p display.

This will also enlarge all web pages and so you may want to adjust your desired font sizes in Firefox's options, both for your preferred language and 'Other Writing Systems'.

If you use the developer tools you can enlarge all of that using the devtools.toolbox.zoomValue preference.

When you're done, you should put those preferences in a user.js file.

Changing how websites look or work

The styles below can be used in a userChrome.css file, but i would recommend using the Stylus add-on mentioned earlier. If you dump them in userChrome.css you'll need to make some changes so that they affect only the websites you want them to affect.

Making the interwebs dark

Many of us who have been staring at computer monitors too damn long cannot tolerate bright displays. White web pages with dark text feels like looking at the sun, which is one reason why i use a dark theme for this website. A lot of people seem to have this problem and there are many solutions. In the case of Firefox, there are quite a few add-ons that can darken the web and they use various methods to do so. The simplest ones invert the colors which is a dumb method for a couple reasons, one of them being that this can make dark pages look bright. To see my preferred extension for darkening the web, see Firefox Extensions – My Picks. In addition, also see the 'Dark Fox' section above if you want to reduce the 'white flash' when a you load a new tab.

Allow text selection/copying

In a silly effort to prevent copying text, some website admins will try to prevent you from selecting it, or at least make it appear that you can't select it by changing the selection color to the same color as the background. This tweak will often solve the problem.

Name: [global] allow text selection
Applies to: Everything

/* override CSS preventing text selection */
* {
    -moz-user-select: text !important;
    user-select: text !important
}

Copying/pasting text without formatting

Sometimes you may want to copy text from a website and paste it without the HTML markup. While i'm not aware of any way to accomplish this without an extension, you may be able to do the next best thing by using Ctrl+Shift+V to paste instead of Ctrl+V. This works for me on Windows and Linux, however i've had some feedback that indicates it does not work in all cases. If you have a problem, look for a global or application specific Ctrl+Shift+V hotkey setting and consider deleting or changing it.

Copying text from hyperlinks

Copying the text of a hyperlink can be a hassle, that is until you press the Alt key. Just press and hold your Alt key while dragging the cursor to highlight the text you want to copy. You can even copy text from the middle of a hyperlink this way. There are extensions that can do this too, but the less you install, the better.

Display website content hidden by JavaScript

I'm noticing more and more websites using JavaScript and a DIV layer to hide page content until the page is fully loaded (Engadget employs this stupidity). While this CSS tweak will not work in every case, it will work in some, including many more than those listed as examples. Note also that it may occasionally break how a website is displayed, though i haven't had any trouble with that as far as i know.

Name: [global] anti-JS - display html
Applies to: Everything

/*
* display html when disabled by JS
*/

/* ex: https://www.engadget.com/ */
html {
    display: unset;
}

/* ex: https://www.idownloadblog.com/ */
body {
    opacity: 1;
}

/* ex: https://accesswds.com/ */
body #load {
    display: none;
}

/* ex: https://www.trafiklite.com/ */
.preloader {
    display: none;
}

/* ex: http://www.knoxseniors.org/ */
#preloader {
    display: none;
}

/* ex: https://truthstreammedia.com/ */
#loader-wrapper {
    display: none;
}

/*ex: https://aladinsmiraclelamp.wordpress.com/ */
.site {
    opacity: 1;
}

Display images hidden by JavaScript

Many websites will not display images unless you enable JavaScript. While this tweak is certainly not a universal fix (many websites use a lazy-load script that requires JavaScript), it will work in some cases.

Name: [global] anti-js - display images
Applies to: Everything

img {
    opacity: 1 !important;
    filter: none !important;
}

Display YouTube videos hidden by JavaScript

Many websites will not display embedded YouTube videos unless you enable JavaScript. This will make the video display without having to enable JS in some instances, however JS must still be enabled for youtube.com.

Name: [global] anti-JS - display YouTube player
Applies to: Everything

/* ex: https://www.healthnutnews.com/airbnb-wants-to-pay-you-to-move-to-italy-for-3-months-really/ */
div.player-unavailable {
    display: none !important;
}

Normalizing fonts

I like fonts styles and sizes to look somewhat uniform across websites, plus there are privacy issues for some websites that use 3rd party fonts, such as the "free" fonts that Google provides (hint: when something is "free", you are likely the product). There are various ways to achieve this, but here's the method i suggest:

  1. In Firefox preferences, find the 'Fonts & Colors' options and click the 'Advanced' button.
  2. If you read English, select 'Latin' in the combination control, else select your preferred language.
  3. Set the 'Proportional', 'Monospace' and 'Minimum' font styles and sizes and remember your choices. I set the 'Proportional' option to 'Sans Serif' and all the other options to one of the sans fonts (not serif or sans-serif fonts)
  4. In the combination control, select 'Other Writing Systems' and set the preferences to the same values as in the last step.
  5. Disable the option, 'Allow pages to choose their own fonts'.
  6. Install the Toggle Fonts add-on by Manuel Reimer.

Fonts should now look much more uniform across all websites and if you don't like the way a particular website looks, just click the Toggle Fonts toolbar button which will allow the website to specify its own fonts. Another option is to use something like the ReFont add-on, but that's a bulkier solution that introduces other issues and so i don't really recommend it, especially if you use uBlock.

Lastly, if you use uBlock, read the part about fonts in the Firefox Configuration Guide for Privacy Freaks and Performance Buffs.

Redirecting this to that

Using an extension like Redirector, you can automatically redirect one resource to another. Here i'm just providing some generic examples that you should be able to adapt depending on which redirect extension you're using.

Bypass YouTube short links

Redirect shortened YouTube video links (youtu.be) to youtube.com, thus avoiding the unnecessary middleman.

  • Name: YouTube short link bypass
  • Include pattern: https://youtu\.be/([a-zA-Z0-9]*)
  • Redirect to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=$1
  • Pattern type: Regular expression

Turn off LiveLeak safe mode

This will disable safe mode for LiveLeak videos without having to log-on.

  • Name: LiveLeak disable safe mode
  • Include pattern: https?:\/\/www\.liveleak\.com\/view\?i=(.+?)(?!&safe_mode=off)*$
  • Redirect to: https://www.liveleak.com/view\?i=$1&safe_mode=off
  • Pattern type: Regular expression

Disable BitChute channel sensitivity filter

If you don't mind getting your 'fee-fees' hurt.

  • Name: BitChute disable channel sensitivity filter
  • Include pattern: https:\/\/www\.bitchute\.com\/channel\/([^/]*)
  • Redirect to: https://www.bitchute.com/channel/$1/?showall=1
  • Pattern type: Regular expression

Redirect BitChute embed links to video page

Sometimes people (here's looking at you James Corbett!) post links to a BitChte video that loads the embed page instead of the video page. Annoying! Here's how to redirect those links to the video page.

  • Name: BitChute embed link to video page
  • Include pattern: https:\/\/(?:www\.)?bitchute\.com\/embed\/([^/]*)
  • Redirect to: https://www.bitchute.com/video/$1/
  • Pattern type: Regular expression

Fixing stuff that's busted

Firefox doesn't remember its window size after restart

If you maximize the Firefox window and then close it, it may not reopen in a maximized state as one might expect. This annoyance can be caused when the preference privacy.resistFingerprinting is set to true (as it should be). This preference does a number of things to make it harder for websites to fingerprint your browser and one of them is to set a generic viewport size. If this bothers you, try the Maximize All Windows (Minimalist Version) add-on by 'ericchase', but know that your browser will be much easier to fingerprint and track if JavaScript is enabled since the browser viewport size is far more unique than something like its User-Agent string for example.

Dark text on a dark background

If you run Linux with a dark GTK theme, it can happen that text labels and other controls can have a very dark background color while the text itself is also dark, making these areas unreadable. Mozilla has known about this for 18 years! The solution that partially worked for me (thanks to Moritz Kammerer and Evan Klitzke) was simply to add a new string preference to my user.js file and give it a value matching the name of a light colored GTK theme installed on my system, then restart Firefox:

user_pref("widget.content.gtk-theme-override", "Adwaita:light");

You can replace Adwaita:light with the name of any other light colored GTK theme, such as Breeze. I also found that omitting :light works as well and the string value is not case sensitive, so just plain adwaita will work.

If you still have problems with dark text on a dark background in other areas or controls, try these styles in a userContent.css file:

/* prevent  black text on black background for text input controls on some about: pages */
@-moz-document url-prefix(chrome://mozapps/content/extensions/extensions.xul), url-prefix(about:addons) {
    input, textarea {
        color: black !important;
        background: white !important;
    }
}

/* prevent black text on black background for context menu in some about: pages */
@-moz-document url-prefix(chrome://mozapps/content/extensions/extensions.xul), url-prefix(about:addons),
url-prefix(chrome://mozapps/content/extensions/extensions.xul), url-prefix(about:config),
url-prefix(chrome://mozapps/content/extensions/extensions.xul), url-prefix(about:downloads) {
    menupopup, panel {
        color: white !important;
    }
}

/* prevent black text on black background for buttons in some about: pages */
@-moz-document url-prefix(chrome://mozapps/content/extensions/extensions.xul), url-prefix(about:webrtc) {
    button {
        color: white !important;
    }
}

Disappearing tool-bar and/or Start Panel icons

This seems to happen when duplicating my Firefox profile without first exiting Firefox, so you can possibly avoid this problem altogether by exiting the browser before creating a copy of your profile. If you still have issues however, load about:config in the address bar and in the search box enter extensions.databaseSchema, then right-click this preference and click 'Reset'. Restart Firefox and your icons may reappear. Why this works i have no idea because, in my case, the value of extensions.databaseSchema returns to the same value as it was previously.

Troubleshooting problems with add-ons

If you notice a problem that you think may be related to an add-on, there are some simple steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue before contacting the developer. In my experience problems with add-ons are usually a result of a conflict with 1) a setting in prefs.js, 2) a setting in user.js, 3) another add-on, or 4) something in userchrome.css or usercontent.css. Whatever the case, the following information should help you to troubleshoot the issue.

If you suspect an add-on is giving you trouble…

  1. Backup your Firefox profile! Load about:profiles if you don't know where it's located, then exit Firefox and find your profile folder in your file manager and press Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to make a copy. When you are prompted for a new name, just add -bak to the existing name.
  2. If you have any custom configuration files, such as a user.js, userChrome.css or userContent.css, rename them (add .bak to the existing name), then start Firefox and verify whether the problem still exists.
    1. If the problem no longer exists, go to the Troubleshooting preferences section below.
    2. If the problem still exists, continue with the next step.
  3. Start Firefox and load about:support by entering that in the address bar, then click 'Restart with Add-ons Disabled'.
  4. Open the about:addons page and, one by one, enable each add-on until the problem reappears, at which point you will know which add-on is causing the problem.
  5. Go to addons.mozilla.org and install a fresh copy of the problematic add-on and verify that the problem is still exists.
    1. If the problem no longer exists, your finished.
    2. If the problem still exists, submit a bug report to the add-on developer (see below).

How to submit a bug report like a pro

If you have a problem with an add-on, or with Firefox itself, you need to be able provide the developer with enough pertinent information so they are able to reproduce it, else they may simply ignore you. Comments like "it don't work" are useless to a developer and you shouldn't be surprised if they ridicule you for submitting such non-descriptive tripe. When describing the problem, be as brief as possible while still including every necessary detail. Here's a template which you can use for bug reports:

Operating system [name]
Firefox [version]
Add-on (if relevant) [name] [version] [link]
Affected webpage (if relevant) [URL]

Brief but accurate description of the problem...

What, if anything, you tried to solve the problem...

Precise steps to reproduce the problem...

With that information in hand, you need to find where the developer wants you to submit bug reports. If it's a buggy add-on, load up about:addons and see if there's a support link in the information for it by clicking the 'More' button. If there isn't, go to the add-on page at addons.mozilla.org and see if the developer provides a link to a support website (preferred!) or at least an email address. If they provide neither, then you're left with no other choice than to post your issue in the add-on comments, but do this only when no other option is available and don't down-vote the add-on. Lastly, make sure the title of your submission is descriptive of the problem. Titles like "bro its so borked LOL" are meaningless to a developer who is now more likely to disregard your issue since you just exposed yourself as a 12 year old slab-fondler.

Troubleshooting Firefox preferences

Problems resulting from settings in your prefs.js file can manifest in different ways, from breaking desired Firefox or extension functionality to causing web pages to not work properly or failing to load at all. Following is one method of troubleshooting preference issues for those who are not comfortable using the Firefox console, or where the console did not provide useful information. Though tedious, this method almost always works. You should have a decent code editor with syntax highlighting for editing the Firefox prefs.js file, such as Kate (Linux), or PSPad or Notepad++ (Windows).

  1. Start Firefox and enter about:profiles in the address bar, then load that page.
  2. Create a new profile for testing, naming it something like '__testing__' so it cannot be easily confused with your default profile.
  3. In the 'Root Directory' row, click the 'Open Directory' button for both your original and your testing profiles to open the folders in your file browser.
  4. Start Firefox using your testing profile. it may ask which profile to load since you now have more than one, but if it doesn't then load about:profiles again and select the option to open your testing profile in a new window. Nowverify that the problem still exists, then exit Firefox.
  5. If the problem no longer exists, continue with the next step. If it does, troubleshooting the problem is beyond the scope of this troubleshooter, suffice to say that it may due to an add-on or custom CSS in your Firefox /chrome folder if you have one, etc..
  6. With Firefox closed, copy (Ctrl+C) the prefs.js file in your original profile folder and paste it (Ctrl+V) in your testing profile folder, overwriting the existing one.
  7. Repeat step 4. If the problem reappears you have verified it is due to a preference in the prefs.js file. If it does not, then it is beyond the scope of this troubleshooter.
  8. With Firefox closed, open the prefs.js file from your testing profile in your code editor and select roughly half of the contents of the file, making sure your selection starts at the beginning of a line and ends at the end of a line in order to avoid further problems. Next, cut (Ctrl+X) the selection (don't just delete it!) and save the file. If your editor complains it is important that you ignore the warning and force the save. If it automatically reloads the file, you will need to disable that behavior in its settings.
  9. Keep repeating steps 4 and 8 until the issue disappears, at which point you know the preference causing the problem is stored in your clipboard (the last section you cut from prefs.js).
  10. Select all of the contents in prefs.js (Ctrl+A) and delete (not cut!) the selection, then paste (Ctrl+V) to paste the contents of your clipboard and save the file, again being sure to force the save if your code editor complains.
  11. Again, continue repeating steps 4 and 8 until you have narrowed down the problem to a single preference at which point you know what preference is causing the problem.
  12. Once the problem is isolated to a single preference, you can then copy it to your user.js file (or user-overrides.js file if you have one) in your default profile and change it's value there after which you can verify the problem was solved by running Firefox with your default profile.

Once you have solved the problem in your default profile, you can delete your testing profile from about:profiles or from the profile loading prompt when Firefox starts.

More Firefox stuff

Other articles i've written about Firefox and its derivatives can be found on the Everything Firefox page.

For more CSS tweaks, see:

General Firefox stuff:

Recent revisions for this article

  • removed Header Editor reference since i no longer use that extension and re-wrote the applicable code for use with the Redirector extension
  • added some BitChute redirects

The Pirate Bay and its cryptocurrency mining script – why this might be the best thing since DOOM

People are now creating scripts to mine cryptocurrencies using your computing power while you visit any websites which employ these scripts. I first learned about this when The Pirate Bay used such a script in certain sections of their website.

This is an extremely interesting development and it will be just as interesting to see how wide-spread it becomes. Just days after TPB was found running such a script, there was already a cryptocurrency miner WordPress plug-in on wordpress.org with 300+ active installs as of Sep. 27, 2017.

At first i categorized this as outright malware and, in fact, i would say this was accurate in the case of The Pirate Bay when they introduced it secretively and didn't make it an opt-in option for its users. It also appears that ad-blockers, including uBlock Origin, as well as anti-virus software vendors, are targeting these mining scripts. After giving it some thought however, this seems like it might be an excellent way for independent journalists and others to generate some "cash" to support their work whilst dumping, or at least cutting back on their intrusive ads.

The company apparently responsible for all the hub-bub is Coinhive and, frankly, i very much like what they have to say about their cryptocurrency miner. There are millions of people — me being one of them — running ad-blockers to remove all the in-your-face garbage that people and corporations use to monetize their websites and the service offered by Coinhive could be a revolution in this regard in that everyone, from the Google's of the world to individuals like yourself, could monetize websites and services with cryptocurrency miners that are virtually transparent to their visitors. I say "virtually" because i think it is absolutely critical that such mining scripts only run if the visitor chooses to run them. Apparently Coinhive feels the same way. Here's some comments from the Coinhive blog:

Our goal was to offer a viable alternative to intrusive and annoying ads that litter so many websites today. These ads are not only a distraction to end users, but also provide notoriously unpredictable and non-transparent revenue numbers. We set out to change that.

[…]

We're a bit saddened to see that some of our customers integrate Coinhive into their pages without disclosing to their users what's going on, let alone asking for their permission. We believe there's so much more potential for our solution, but we have to be respectful to our end users.

[…]

It's probably too late to do anything about the adblockers that already prevent our current JavaScript from loading. Instead, we will focus on a new implementation that requires an explicit opt-in from the end user to run. We will verify this opt-in on our servers and will implement it in a way that it can not be circumvented. We will pledge to keep the opt-in in tact at all times, without exceptions.

I like their ethics and motivation for creating this service. Their privacy policy is also very good, at least for the time being.

Right now i'm blocking these scripts, but hopefully this will change in the future.

YAMR (Yet Another Mozilla Rant) – Battling "fake news"

This is it folks. This is a 'rotten cherry on the top of the stinking cake' moment with a big fat pit right in the middle of it.

I recently learned that the multi-million dollar Mozilla corporation has decided that i (and you) are idiots; that we are incapable of analyzing news stories in order to determine whether they are creditable; that we should be reading the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times and the like to get our "news". And so Mozilla has decided that it is they, the developers of a freaking web browser, that should step in to help steer us back on the right track by saving us from … FAKE NEWS!

Yes, on 8 August, 2017, the Mozilla foundation launched their incarnation of the Great Firewall of China by deciding to combat "fake news" via The Mozilla Information Trust Initiative, aka MITI. And what news does the Mozilla Information Trust Initiative consider "fake news"? Well, apparently any news that doesn't originate from a mainstream source:

Imagine this: Two news articles are shared simultaneously online.

The first is a deeply reported and thoroughly fact checked story from a credible news-gathering organization. Perhaps Le Monde, the Wall Street Journal, or Süddeutsche Zeitung.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL!?!? "… a deeply reported and thoroughly fact checked story …". Are You Kidding Me Right Now!

Let's just have a quick look at the track record of the Wall Street Journal which, by the way, is essentially as biased and corrupt as any other mainstream government/corporate mouthpiece:

20 Reasons Not to Trust the Journal Editorial Page | FAIR (1-Sep-1995)

When Anita Hill took a polygraph test to try to substantiate her charges of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas, the Wall Street Journal attacked her in an editorial (10/15/91) titled "Credibility Gulch�: "Lie detector tests are so unreliable they are rarely allowed as evidence in court.�

But just eight months later (6/9/92), when the Journal argued against an Iran/Contra perjury indictment of former secretary of Defense (and editorial page contributor) Caspar Weinberger, this was its main evidence for Weinberger's innocence: "Mr. Weinberger has taken and passed a lie-detector test on the matter.�

[…]

The Continuing Decline of McDonald's : The Corbett Report (10-Jan-2017)

The global giant's [McDonald's] influential PR machine has used sleight-of-hand and other tricks to make this restructuring look like a smash success. They used their cheerleaders at the Wall Street Journal to hype "stronger-than-expected� profit and sales figures and their boosters at US News & World Report to hype some highly-selective earnings comparisons suggesting that this "turnaround� is, to use the WSJ's phrase, "sustainable.�

But one doesn't have to scratch too hard to reveal the rusty reality beneath this PR paint job.

Wall Street Journal circulation scam claims senior Murdoch executive | Media | The Guardian (12-Oct-2011)

One of Rupert Murdoch's most senior European executives has resigned following Guardian inquiries about a circulation scam at News Corporation's flagship newspaper, the Wall Street Journal.

The Guardian found evidence that the Journal had been channelling money through European companies in order to secretly buy thousands of copies of its own paper at a knock-down rate, misleading readers and advertisers about the Journal's true circulation.

WSJ sourced Obama skinny quotes from Yahoo Message Boards (4-Aug-2008)

A journalist at the Wall Street Journal has been caught sourcing quotes for an article on Barak Obama being too thin to be President from a Yahoo Message Board.

In the article Too Fit to be President?, Wall Street Journal political correspondent Amy Chozick endeavored in the best News Corp tabloid style to create a story around the rather bizarre notion that voters wouldn't vote for Obama because he was too thin, saying that "some Americans wondering whether he is truly like them.�

In the piece, she includes the quote "I won't vote for any beanpole guy,� and originally didn't attribute the source. Sadly No reports that the source was a Yahoo Message Board where Chozick actually asked for negative comments using her own name:

Plagiarizing? If the President Can Do it, Why Can't We? – Lawyers.com (article removed) (28-Dec-2009)

An online columnist for the Wall Street Journal was caught plagiarizing. Freelance writer Mona Sarika, who wrote the "New Global Indian� online column, used content from the Washington Post, Little India, India Today and San Francisco magazine.

Sarika copied direct quotes from other articles, without providing sources. She also changed the original speakers' names apparently making up new ones.

WSJ Fakes a Green Shift Toward Nuclear Power | FAIR (24-Jun-2016)

The Wall Street Journal has a long history of editorial page support for nuclear power (4/17/01; 8/5/09; 11/9/09; 4/6/11; 5/24/13, to cite but a few) and against wind power (5/22/06, 3/1/10, 8/24/10, 11/8/12, 5/18/14 and others). In publishing this piece as edited, perhaps it is telling a story it wishes were true. As Harder's article itself acknowledges, nuclear power is in decline due to a combination of economics, displacement by renewables and opposition. The green groups' supposed change of heart "comes at a critical time, as several financially struggling reactors are set to shut down� even as other reactors already have, due to the low price of natural gas and state policies "that favor renewables over nuclear power.� As if to prove that point, the story provided a list of a dozen reactors that have been or will soon be shut down.

At Wall Street Journal, Government-Enforced Monopolies = 'Free Market' | FAIR (22-Jul-2015)

Ingram bizarrely touts the "flowing pipeline of new wonder drugs spurred by a free market,� which he warns will be stopped by "government price controls.� This juxtaposition is bizarre, because patent monopolies are 180 degrees at odds with the free market. These monopolies are a government policy to provide incentives for innovation. Ingram obviously likes this policy, but that doesn't make it the "free market.�

Yes, Wall Street Journal, It's Possible to Be Not Generous Enough | FAIR (10-Mar-2015)

The Wall Street Journal is soon to run a piece on improper denials of disability claims.

That's inevitable, since any fair-minded newspaper that ran a column on improper approvals would surely want to balance it out.

At Wall Street Journal, Reporting Assault Through Israel's Eyes | FAIR (13-Jul-2013)

In a news report on the Israeli military's investigation of its own deadly raid on the Gaza aid flotilla, the Wall Street Journal (7/13/10) passes off as fact, with no qualifier, the Israeli government's claim that members of IHH, a Turkish humanitarian organization, "attacked the Israeli soldiers as they boarded the ship.�

On Islamist Terrorism, WSJ Entitled to Its Own Opinions—But Not Its Own Facts | FAIR (16-Mar-2011)

This is a complete misrepresentation of the Rand report. The report is exclusively about Muslim radicalization and jihadism, not about domestic terrorism in general, as the WSJ would lead you to believe—if anything, it's surprising that there are any non-Muslim jihadist plotters. (The exceptions were two men who agreed for their own secular purposes to collaborate with undercover FBI informants purporting to work for Al-Qaeda.)

The vast majority of "homegrown� terrorist attackers—those of all ideologies who successfully carry out an attack—are not Muslim, the report finds: Of the "83 terrorist attacks in the United States between 9/11 and the end of 2009, only three…were clearly connected with the jihadist cause.�

I could go on and on for months and months digging out the literal fake news pumped out by the Wall Street Journal or any other mainstream publication, but you can do that yourself if you're so inclined. The point is, it is the mainstream media that is garbage; that is FAKE NEWS. Why? Simple: greed. Whenever there is greed involved — greed for money or greed for power or greed for control — there will always be corruption. Now granted, there is certainly boatloads of disinformation and misinformation all over the world wide web, but mixed in there are also some highly ethical people and small organizations that actually report the facts and back them with references. And who the hell is a multi-million dollar corporation (Mozilla) to dictate to you or i who is creditable and who is not? I have been watching probably an average of 50-100 news sites almost daily for many years and as a result of studying these sites and fact checking their content, i can confidently suggest some real news sites to follow if you're interested:

How about NPR, Mozilla? Are they a creditable resource? I'll bet they are in your eyes.

It is sites like those listed above that are actively being targeted by war-mongering, self-serving, psychopathic globalists who profit from endless war and stunting the development of the human species. The truth is irrelevant; all that matters is that you and i swallow whatever story it is that supports whatever agenda is being promoted at the moment by whatever government or corporation promoting it and now, to my surprise, even Mozilla has joined the ranks of those that want to control what information is available on the web, an architecture that was built with the free flow of information at its heart.

There must be some sort of funding that is being dished out to those willing to get on the "fake news" bandwagon. There is quite obviously a huge push to combat so-called "fake news" and return the masses to digesting the puke that spews out of the rancid bellies of corporate giants like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and all the rest of the mainstream presstitutes. Facebook, Google, Youtube – they are all doing the same thing. Are they getting paid to censor? Is Mozilla getting paid to take part in this? I don't know, but i just may dig in and find out one of these days.

From The Mozilla Information Trust Initiative article:

This is why we're launching MITI. We're investing in people, programs, and projects that disrupt misinformation online.

Why Mozilla? The spread of misinformation violates nearly every tenet of the Mozilla Manifesto, our guiding doctrine.

Disrupt? So you want to use your corporate leverage to "disrupt" the flow of information? Sounds a lot like censorship, doesn't it? Is that the principle on which the internet was built? From the Mozilla Manifesto:

The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible.

Well tell us Mozilla, how is it that the internet can remain open and equally accessible when corporate gate-keepers intend to steer the rest of us in a direction that benefits the powerful few and leads to total information control for the rest of us?

I think i'll take their survey once again. In the mean time, go screw yourself Mozilla – i'll do my own homework and decide what's fake news and what isn't.

New tut: Firefox Search Engine Cautions and Recommendations

A new tutorial has been published titled Firefox Search Engine Cautions and Recommendations which covers the risks to your privacy when using any of the major search engines in general, but specifically when using the default search engine plugins that are packaged with the Firefox web browser, though this problem is certainly not limited to Firefox. I also cover how to circumvent the risks to your privacy when using the default Firefox search engine plugins, as well as make suggestions for alternative search engines.

I have to say that i'm becoming more and more disillusioned with the multi-million dollar Mozilla corporation and its flagship product, Firefox. Firefox was never a great web browser in my opinion, but it is/was appealing to many because of how completely customizable it is. In it's earlier days it was just a little slow and buggy, but more recently Mozilla is making highly unethical choices with regard to the privacy-hating corporations they willingly partner with and how these partnerships have manifested and have been monetized in Firefox is a result of utter stupidity and greed in my opinion. I stuck with Firefox all these years because it has always been one of the most hackable browsers out there, but these days i stick with it primarily because i'm not (yet) able to reproduce the functionality i have added to it via add-ons with any other browser, and Chrome is out of the question, much less Google's spyware version of it.

It's sad and frustrating that a company who produced a decent, super-highly customizable browser for a niche market has lost its way and turned its back on the very market it once served by deciding to become a Google Chrome clone in order to appeal to the masses.

Screw you Mozilla.

But let's end on a lighter note, shall we? Here, have a look.