Murdoch-detector browser add-ons warn you when you're reading Murdoch-tainted news

Two new browser plugins are here to help you with your Murdoch-detecting needs: Murdoch Block is a Chrome extension that warns you when you're about to visit a news site controlled by the Murdoch empire and gives you the chance to turn away before the phone-hacking, ethics-lacking propaganda meets your eyes; and Murdoch Alert puts a helpful warning bar at the bottom of your browser whenever you land on a Murdoch-controlled news page. New Firefox Add-on Warns You About The Dangers Of The Murdoch Propaganda Machine (via Reddit)


  1. Does anyone know of a plugin that would blackout Tony Blair’s name and pixelate his smiling face wherever it appears online?

    1. I did that when I installed. It works fine for the NY Post, and the Times in the UK but not

      Oh well. I installed it as an amusement anyway. I’m pretty sure I’m not accidentally wandering onto any of Mr. Ruprecht’s propaganda sites anyway.

  2. Good joke but an implication that non-Murdoch journalists have ethics would be a serious misstep.

    1. Not a joke and no such implication has been made. It’s filtering the worst of the worst.

      If you don’t understand the issues that make Murdoch’s empire especially heinous, then Murdoch’s joke is on you.

      You don’t like it, make your own plug in. One that filters the entire Internet maybe? Good luck with that.

  3. “Your computer’s IP address has been exposed and may be logged.”

    So the plan is to fight senseless fearmongering with senseless fearmongering?

    What the hell is this?

      1. 1. An IP address is useless without the power to subpoena ISPs for the account owner’s information.

        If you want to accuse ISPs of being corrupt and handing customer data over to News Corp, go right ahead. I could use a good laugh.

        2. The very allegation that the entirety of News Corp is as corrupt as News of the World was is an assumption that won’t get you very far. I imagine you’ve concocted some kind of large networked conspiracy spanning all child companies of News Corp. If you believe this, you’re as naive as you are imaginative.

        3. If “News Corp” (I’ll humor you) managed to get your IP address and they are THAT interested in you, there’s probably little you can do to stop them. Some token site blocking software will not do anything for you. They’re likely in contact with you and manufacturing a phishing scheme to get real information out of you.

        If you’re really concerned with your online identity, use a real security measure such as Tor or a VPN.

        Educate yourself.

        1. 1. Actually an IP address is incredibly useful. As it in itself can give geographical area, such as through tracing the route potentially narrow it down as far as neighborhood (though more likely, area of a city).

          It can also be used to trace your activity across multiple sites (those that track), including your habits (similar to how cookies function) and so expose your identity without requiring a subpoena.

          This can then also be used to give other information, such as who your service providers are, which can then further be used to engage in activities such as blagging, etc, etc. This approach is actually documented in practices such as identity theft.

          As for ISP’s handing over information to other corporations, this is actually a common practice. Usually agreed upon in their terms of service, allowing them to use your information with partners/affiliates/etc. This often includes sister companies and marketers, who may or may not also have additional agreements that allow your information to propagate further. The identifying information is meant to be stripped out, but is often poorly regulated/overseen and even with the basics stripped out can often still identify individuals. (Partners/affiliates are usually very vaguely defined, especially in the US, as an e.g.)

          2. There are active inquiries being made into other parts of News Corp by government agencies. Former staff members are coming out to describe these practices being used elsewhere. Information regarding cases that have been settled which include hacking of various forms are also coming out that are from sister corporations.

          All that has been reported by various other news sites, though not their own.

          (Small aside, you’re using the term naive incorrectly.

          3. Here I’ll actually agree with you. Hence, they managed to do all these unethical things, seemingly with the consent of their bosses (as indicated by former staff stating false testimony was given before Parliament).

          4. Yay for education!

  4. Wouldn’t it be more expedient to just create a permission list of all non-Murdoch-tainted news?

  5. I am married to a journalist who has ethics as do her co-workers. They are often overworked – meaning the publishers and editors want two stories a day- so they only have so much time to research anything before they write it up. (This can create some sloppy work which they lament but like other workers they need to keep their job.) With the exception of the superstars on TV, journalists make less money than perhaps even teachers. They do the work because they have a passion for it. Her crowd are shocked at the Murdock stuff because anyone at her paper would be instantly fired for the things The Sun was doing.

    1. BULL****.  It’s the employees who do NOT protest, strike or otherwise work to change the status quo that ALLOW themselves to be overworked and this “sloppy work” to be published.  If these people really loved journalism and ethics so much, they wouldn’t sit in silence while deadlines cause them to compromise their work.  If you’re in the industry, you need to make the change!!  Don’t just sit there and take it because you want (yes, WANT) the job!!  If more people in this country would stand up for what is right instead of kowtowing to bosses just because they think they “need” a certain job, maybe we could actually start to hold some corporations accountable! There are lifestyle changes anyone can make to live within the means of Happiness rather than making Life way too difficult over a bunch of green paper.  Wake up, sheeple!!

  6. I can’t wait for the one for The Guardian because for all the Murdoch hate going on right now — the crap under this rock is going to permeate all UK media.

    Funny thing about folks who don’t understand human nature… they have whacked out libel laws that incentivize media types to get the truth at all costs — even illegal ones.

    So enjoy the NewsCorp. demise — it’ll be old news in a week as the problem is shown to be widespread.

        1. You have to read All the text. I was confused for a bit, but after reading everything, thought I’d try that part. Sexeh comment system, I like it.

          And yes, Murdoch’s rags weren’t the only ones who pulled this kind of shite, but they were perhaps the ones were most blatant about it, before and after his purchase of them (imo). I bet the other news rags are making contingency plans.

          In all the interviews the reporters are defending the practice by talking about politicians and referencing spending scandals, and if they’d stuck to them then perhaps we wouldn’t be so unhappy, but hacking the phones of victims of crimes and fallen soldier’s families, that’s just a complete breach of human decency.

      1. Besides my dislike of Discus on multiple fronts, is there a reason for the low contrast and small type on the comments? Both are making it difficult for me to read (and yes, I’m showing my age).

  7. Sexeh comment system, I like it.

    I’ll counter your thumbs-up with an unequivocal thumbs-down. Hate hate hate this. Want the previous one back.

    Mods! You’ve given people the ability to go back and change what they’ve written after others have reacted t othem. And good Christ, I’ve just filled the box and can’t se what I’m typing.

    1. The visual issue will be fixed. As to going back, I can kill a spammer in one second in Disqus. In Movable Type, it takes about 15 steps and 3 slow-loading windows to fully eradicate one of them. And about 80% of registrants are spammers.

      1. When you reply to people, quote their text to stymie any attempts at ninja-edits.

        You’re in “You’re holding your iPhone wrong” mode. You’re giving nods to people pointing out shortcomings that you can address, but you’re either ignoring or pooh-poohing criticisms of the basic system.

        1. oheso,

          There’s a thread to deal with Disqus issues. Please stop using this thread for that.

  8. We should have one for the BBC and Guardian newspapers as well for massive bias towards the left and socialism.

    And anyway – people choose whether to watch News Corp or not. With the BBC you have a gun pointed to your head for $200 a year license fee only to be fed worse bias back to you than a lot of Murdochs’ stuff in the UK (I’ll omit Fox – they’re insane).

    The BBC are meant to be balanced and independent, they are not. And the Guardian makes the biggest annual loss out of any UK newspaper.

    Everyone is down on Murdoch, and yes, he’s pretty awful. But come – hypocrisy anyone? There are others just as bad.

    I don’t see anyone going after them like this.

  9. On the article: To be honest, I think this is fearmongering more than helping really. It’s good to know it’s a murdoch-controlled site, but the “your computer’s ip address has been exposed” bit is nonsense since that happens everywhere. It’s a non-event – and the capitalisation of the message sucks, too. :)

    On the comment system: “OH GOD MY EYES ARE BLEEDING WHY” would be only mild hyperbole. Why on earth do we have a super-low-contrast grey? Also, we appear to have lost all the comments on previous posts, which is where half of the interesting content is. 

    This whole “disqus” comment system is one of the most annoying things I’ve come across in a long time, too, largely because of its attempts to combine commenting and social networking. They’re not the same thing, and frankly I don’t want them merged. (get off my lawn :) )

    (thumbs down) (unlike) 

  10. Regarding commenting system: I don’t remember what the email address was I used to sign up for the site.  Since I’m not getting the reset email, I’m going to assume it was an expired account.  How exactly is one supposed to keep their account when the reset password goes nowhere?  A little notification of “we’re changing our commenting to this new platform, make sure your email address hasn’t changed since you registered in 2007″ might have also been helpful.  

    Is there a way to denote that someone’s changed their comment, à la the star on reddit comments? Ninja edits are going to make it much harder to the commentariat to figure out when people get eviscerated for their view, and then change it after negative feedback. Can we look at preious comments from accounts anymore? That was a helpful feature to avoid some troll baits. Also, the relative time (1 day ago) instead of a date stamp can also cause some confusion.

    Regarding Murdoch: call me when I can get one of these for my TV. He owns more properties in that medium than web sites I may chance upon.

    1. I agree on the TV bit, Fox News is a well-known Murdoch property, but the other channels not so much.

    2. I’m afraid if you can’t get to the email address you signed up with, you won’t be able to reset your account yourself. Instead, email me at beschizza at gmail and I’ll manually fix it with the credentials of your choice.

  11. Might I suggest a specific entry just for comment system complaints and sandboxing? Otherwise, your feedback is going to be spread across every entry that gets posted.

  12. Is there a “site news” section/story to talk about the disquis move, rather than filling the comments on an unrelated story? I can’t find one, but I could be missing something obvious.

  13. The super-low-“OH GOD MY EYES ARE BLEEDING” contrast grey SUCKS! I HATE Discus!!! Like the lady said, Back to BLACK!!!!!!

  14. I haven’t tested this particular plugin, but some similar ones are perpetuating an innocent mistake by including

  15. An in-law of mine works for FOX. She’s actually a good person otherwise (even though in my view, her working for FOX makes her complicit in their sleaze), but in order to preserve family harmony, I NEVER talk with her about her work.

  16. I have to say I used to think most things in the newspapers were made up. I’ve been very surprised that people went to great lengths to check that their stories were true! Doesn’t make the process right, but has caused me to re-adjust my view. I suppose fear of libel actions was at the heart of this.

    Like a previous commenter, I’m also very concerned that my browser might be transmitting my ip address. Can I prevent this by putting some aluminium foil over the keyboard?

  17. “Your computer’s ip address has been exposed and may be logged.”

    But then, so has their’s.  Once I’ve collected a bunch of them what kind of evil things might I devote my corporate network to doing to them during it’s spare time? 

  18. What is this garbage?  I don’t want to *know* anything, thank you very much.  It goes against everything I learned from… uh… Rupert Murdoch.

    Hm.  Let me get back to you guys.

  19. Edit: my comments were threaded to my replies, until I refreshed the page. That’s weird.

    Super edit: the collapse button is working correctly (it collapses all three comments) but they still look like regular base comments. That’s also weird.

Comments are closed.