In the continued quest to observe Christian holiness (without which non shall see the Lord) I have actively sought after ways to try and keep safe online – more so as one who keeps an online job. Actively looking out for both mobile as well as PC browsers offering features that compliment a Christian friendly internet surfing experience. Be it through natively offered features or via those available as extentions/add-on.

While I am still yearning after a more stable and less complex approach (such as a full featured Christian developed browser, that should then be naturaly complementary) I have been able to find a handful of improvisions that helped. Amongst which was a Chrome extension that lets you blur out web page images as a hopeful alternative to blocking. Yes the approach appeared to have lots of potential for value in enhancing a saint’s internet surfing experience. One that works best in blurring out, for example, those carelessly set forum avatars amongst a host of other web page imagery cases.

What and how it does:

  • The extension aims to blur out all web elements tagged as img
  • It will let you choose blur intensity of bewteen 1-10. I have found 10 to work best
  • It offers a ‘remove background image’ button though the author was/is still hoping to implement blurring for the same. But of cause background images are often not a huge concern.
  • It will let you unblur blurred webpage images indivindually using Ctrl+Alt+mouse left-click. I have often find myself desiring a right-click or content menu unblur option
  • It will let you choose if you wish to blur image elements by default on each new browsing sessions. I have found that it is enabling this gives the extension its coveted function

Advantages of blurring to blocking

  • Blurring hints on what the image could be about while not giving much details to wound one if offensive. Allowing one to then quite easily decide if it be safe to unblur or not, should need be. And attempt to loading up an entirely blocked image is often concerning as you cannot tell what to expect.
  • Blurring quite fairly keeps images that may be materially vain and inappropriate to growing eye but bearable to eldely eyes (such as monsters) . Makingit possible to continue browse amongts children without having completely obscur images.

Limitations and possible recourse:

  • Larger images (averaging 300x300px or larger) appears to require a blur intensity of much more than the set max (of 10). A solution would be to edit the extention code to automatically multiply the blur amount for images equal to or larger than the size of concern.
  • While the majority seems to, few img elements are left unblurred at times. This seems to be owing to the fact that the extension was last updated in April 21, 2018. And this likely meaning that certain parts of the extension’s code may need updating to be able to reliably pick up all img tagged elements.
  • On demand unblurring not easily done. As of now, it can only be done by bringing the main toolbar menu and then from there click to unblur or by using a keyboard keys + mouse click approach. I feel a mouse right-click option may be most preferred for many.
  • This is only available for the desktop version of Chrome browser and not for any other browser. Yes it should not be hard adapt versions for non-Chrome browsers – especially since this extension is open source.

Conclusion

While I for a season appreciated Google Chrome’s universal image blocking (for PC) – which then let you whitelist on demand domains of your choosing, I find the blurring option more complementary compared to complete obscurring (of cause mainly for the above noted benefits). Certainly with the exception of the further noted limitations. Fortunately, the extention is open source on github and this meaning that it could be downloaded and then expanded upon. To both address the noted limitations as well as making any other modifications that may been deemed necessary to enhance functinality or efficiency.

I am in fact strongly considering intergrating a blurring feature to be available as an alternate option to the existing image blocking featuer of the LC Browser using one of the several available blurring libraries. May the Lord show mercy over all.

Categories: General