Sick of Obnoxious Web Comments? Block 'Em With Cats

An extension for Google Chrome lets readers see a random photo of a cat instead of the comments.

Ido Kenan
Ido Kenan

Are comments at the bottom of Web stories a bit more obnoxious than you can stand? Etay Liberman has done something about it: He has developed an extension for the Google Chrome browser that replaces comments with pictures of cats.

“My girlfriend Judy Van Der Levin and I talked about putting something else up instead of comments, which are usually ads or are gross, annoying or racist,” says Liberman. “She suggested cats.”

Liberman, who taught himself how to build Chrome extensions, developed Comments to Cats in a month. His sister, illustrator Noa Liberman Plashkes, did the design.

The extension adds special icons to the browser. A smiley face means the extension is compatible with the site and readers will see a random photo of a cat instead of the comments.

If you like, you can reload the page with the comments, or change the settings so that the page will always show comments, not cats. If you want to see your own cat, just send in photos.

The extension is only compatible with certain websites, including several Israeli and foreign news sites, though not Haaretz. Liberman says he’ll be adding more sites in the future.

“As a user, you enter the site, read the article and install the extension. As far as you’re concerned, the comments don’t have to be there,” Liberman says. “You’re taking the responsibility. It’s like you’re saying: ‘I’m forgoing the comments because I don’t want to deal with all the nasty people.”

He notes that more options are on the way — just in case you’re sick of cats as much as obnoxious comments.

“As everybody knows, cats are the most prominent thing on the Internet, but I don’t see anything to prevent you spending X amount of time on dogs, people, models or your Flickr photos — whatever you want. But I said we’d start with a common denominator and go from there.”

Liberman and Levin are behind other Internet projects such as Van Der Levin’s Hebrew-language Facebook page “Tel Aviv apartments that depress me.”

The view from the site's Facebook page. Credit: The site's Facebook page

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