A Canadian media company has had it with the constant stream of Chris Brown headlines. To rid themselves of the caustic R&B star, they created a “Brownout” plug-in that blocks all things Chris Brown from your browser.
“It is nearly impossible to go on the internet without reading something about him, he is always doing something outrageously moronic,” said Sam Sutherland, online producer for AUX, the Toronto-based company that created Brownout. “If he wants to get a tattoo on his neck that kinda looks like Rihanna we are going to write about it. But at some point, it reaches Chris Brown idiocy saturation.”
The Brownout plugin places a box over Brown’s face in images from the internet and over his name in headlines. “All we had to do is build a frame where it recognizes the word and ignores it and literally erases it,” Sutherland told CBS Local. “You can see everything except his name and his face.”
This isn’t the first time AUX created a program to block overactive artists. In November of 2011, they launched Nickelblock, a plug-in that allowed users to avoid the onslaught of ubiquitous rock band Nickelback.
“In the case of both artists, they are wildly popular and their fans love them,” Sutherland said. “But for us and people who work for AUX and our audience, we were getting tired of these artists. In November, you couldn’t go on the internet without reading something about Nickelback.”
Of course, the shade won’t stop at Chris Brown or Nickelback. Anyone reading this story probably has an artist or public figure they’d like to have blocked from their daily browsing. But who will be the next person to reach ultimate online saturation and thereby earns their own blocking plug-in? An outsized figure like Donald Trump, perhaps?
“Donald trump could definitely use a block,” Sutherland said. “Maybe we could block just his opinions from the internet.”
While there are no immediate plans to create a block for The Donald or anyone else, there are also no plans to retire the blocking plug-ins.
“I think it’s impossible to gauge who will be next,” Sutherland continued. “Who knows what dumb thing will consume us in the next six months. But there will be something and Aux will be there to help.”
To get a load of the Brownout plug-in go here.
—Erik Parker, CBS Local
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