Google Groups has been a reliable newsreader for those who can't access Usenet newsgroups. If you're trying to get online at work and your employer's server has no newsgroup access (and most of them don't), or if your ISP simply doesn't carry newsgroups, then Google Groups is a useful alternative. However, like all online forums, Google Groups is plagued by spammers who clog up every newsgroup you try to read. The problem seems to have gotten worse as of 2008, as a growing number of spammers are targeting Google Groups specifically.
Enter Grease Monkey!
As Rev. Ivan Stang writes:
- Praise Rev. ChuckKey for bringing this to our attention.
- If you are using Google Groups through Internet Explorer or Firefox to look at alt.slack (as opposed to a newsreader and Usenet service, which already come with these anti-spam features), this simple installation will allow you to "killfile" chronic assholes whose posts you do not want to see. Imagine never again wading through another all-night 11D Meow flood!
- This works on Mac OS or Windows.
- Go to this site:
- There are three links there – one to download Firefox browser, one for GreaseMonkey (a Firefox extention), and one for the latest Google Groups Killfile Script.
- #1. If you aren't already using Firefox, you might want to try it. It's more secure than Internet Explorer. There are ways to copy over your bookmarks.
- #2. You go to the GreaseMonkey site www.greasespot.net/ and click on DOWNLOAD GREASEMONKEY and then ADD TO FIREFOX on the resulting page. It will automatically download the extension and put it where it needs to go in Firefox. (Ignore the warnings re: malicious software! Show no fear!)
- #3. Then you must RESTART FIREFOX. You will probably be prompted to do this, although in my case the prompt window was hidden at first.
- #4. Now you reopen a Firefox window, return to www.penney.org/ggkiller.html and go to the next link, "Latest Google Groups Killfile Script:" www.penney.org/googleGroups.user.js
- If you've done everything right so far, just clicking on that link (which ends in "user.js," telling Firefox it's a script) makes the newly installed GreaseMonkey present a dialog box with the option for installing that Google Groups Killfile Script. Ignore the warnings and let it install the script.
- The next time you go to Google Groups, EVERY POST now has the option of IGNORE USER between the name of the poster, and the PROFILE link. (On Windows this may appear as an X in a box as well.) You can also IGNORE THREAD. (This is good for killing crossposted flame wars from other newsgroups.)
- Once you have clicked the IGNORE USER link for a given asshole, the next time you return to alt.slack, all posts initiated by that asshole will have VANISHED, and you won't see any future posts by that asshole either.
- If you have trouble, here are the instructions that helped me:
- Under TOOLS menu (on Mac Firefox anyway) there's now a GreaseMonkey option where you can uninstall the script or reinstall it.
- Finally, even Googleposting Jackadandies, to borrow a Nensletic term, can truly and effectively "plonk."