For years now, people on the web have complained about content. Too often it is biased, it's clickbait, or worst of all, it's supported by invasive advertisements, which learn your most private desires, store them in a database, and use them to sell you Ikea furniture timed to the dissolution of your marriage. Despite these drawbacks, the popularity of content has ensured that it can be found on most major websites, perpetually tantalizing us with its meretricious charms.
The release of iOS 9 this month introduced the ability for developers to build content blockers that, once installed, would prevent certain types of content from appearing in mobile Safari. Most controversially, it enables the creation of ad blockers, which can prevent the sites that run them from earning ad revenue. Publishers have reacted to this news with characteristic calm, but it has proven controversial among developers — with some saying it's a good idea, and others saying it's not.
"Stop distracting yourself with marginally informative blog posts and start living."
But none of this has addressed the issue of content itself, which continues to be published on all manner of websites, this one included. Enter Discontent, a new content blocker that prevents web content from finding its way into your web experience. For a mere $0.99, you can ensure that this very article never again befouls the screen of your rose gold iPhone 6S. In the words of the developer, Paul Miller: "Stop distracting yourself with marginally informative blog posts and start living." The app "pairs nicely with an ad blocker for a true barebones web experience," he added.
If Miller's name sounds familiar, it may be because this website once paid him to stop using the internet. (Paul is also a founding editor of The Verge. Hi Paul!) In a blog post, Miller explained the rationale behind his war on content. "I want to stop reading ad-supported websites," he writes. "I don't want to steal their content by browsing with an ad-blocker, I want to ignore their content. I need a content blocker that blocks content too. Will I miss out on some stuff that's truly impressive, truly hilarious, truly insightful? Undoubtedly. But I'll also miss out on a lot of garbage, and a ton of garbage ads. So that will be nice."
If you're tired of this garbage, Discontent is now available on iOS.