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How to: Block fanfics/tags/users & Hide too-long tag fields

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Lan Jingyi had no end of troubles, it seemed, because a day later he came to ask Wei Wuxian for more advice.

“Senior Wei, is there a way to block a specific tag on AO3? Is there a way to block tags automatically, so I don’t need to filter them out manually whenever I do a search?”

Wei Wuxian clapped his hands together. “I’m glad you asked, because I have just the thing for you!”

 

 

 

-x-

 

 

 

I’m sure there are plenty of people who have tags they want to exclude permanently. Maybe you want any fics with the tag ‘Bad Ending’ to be hidden from your sight. Or perhaps you don’t like AUs that take away the magical element from canon, so you want to hide any story tagged with ‘Alternate Universe - No Powers’.

If you wish to block tags, you will need to use a solution that is not part of the AO3 site functions. That means downloading a third-party browser extension called AO3 savior.

A lot of people use it, so it’s considered quite safe. As of now, there are no ways to block tags with a skin, so your only solution is AO3 savior.

Let me start by explaining quickly how it works, and then I’ll show you how to download what you need.

To use AO3 savior, you need two things: The AO3 savior script and Tampermonkey.

Tampermonkey is a browser add-on that reads scripts that people have coded and executes them. In this case, the AO3 script will tell Tampermonkey what to do and how to do it.

The script itself has all the necessary code to block out unwanted tags, while Tampermonkey executes.

 

Installing Tampermonkey

First, let’s download Tampermonkey.

https://www.tampermonkey.net/?ext=dhdg&browser=edge

This is a link to the version for Microsoft Edge. If you use another browser, then on that page there is a list where you can pick the one you use and find the right version of Tampermonkey.

Sometimes, there will be multiple download buttons like you see in the image below. You need to look at your browser settings to find out which version of the browser you have so that you know which version to install. Most people have the latest version, so if you’re unsure, just click on the first download button, to the left.

 

Installing Tampermonkey

 

 

Installing AO3 savior

Now, it’s time to install AO3 savior:

https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/3579-ao3-savior

 

Installing AO3 savior

 

Clicking on the ‘install this script’ option will open up a Tampermonkey window with a second ‘Install’ button. Click on it.

 

Installing AO3 savior

 

Be aware that it goes really fast and will just close to window as soon as you click. When I downloaded it, I thought something went wrong because no progress bar appeared to show the script being downloaded. To check that the script was installed, click on the Tampermonkey icon on your browser, and then dashboard. It will open a page where you can see what scripts you have installed. AO3 savior should be there.

 

Opening Tampermonkey Dashboard

 

Tampermonkey Dashboard

 

Now that we have this, we need to install a second script, AO3 savior config.

Why do we need to do this?

Well, if there’s an update to the AO3 savior code, all your blocking settings will be erased. So the blocking script is separate from the config script, which has your specific settings.

Please head over to the AO3 savior config page:

https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/28782-ao3-savior-config

Now install it by following the same steps for installing AO3 savior.

Once you’re done, your Tampermonkey dashboard should have both scripts in it.

 

Tampermonkey Dashboard with both scripts

 

Good job so far! We’re nearly done!

Now, I’d like you to restart your browser. Close all open tabs and windows. Once you’re done, you can open a new window.

(Note: If there are any issues and the script won’t work, then maybe restarting your computer will do the trick, since it’s a more drastic version of restarting your browser.)

 

Telling the script what tags to block

Next step! Go to your Tampermonkey dashboard by clicking on the Tampermonkey extension icon in your browser.

For the script AO3 savior config, click on the ‘Edit’ icon to the far right, between the ‘Report a bug’ icon and ‘Delete’ icon. The ‘Edit’ icon looks like a square with a pencil aimed at it.

 

Edit Button on Tampermonkey Dashboard

 

Now we’ll enter the stuff we want to block. The way to do it might seem intimidating at first glance, but it’s really quite easy.

Scroll down until you arrive to the tagBlacklist part.

As you can see, there are already three tags added as an example:

['dobby', 'jar jar binks', '*mimes']

 

Exclude Tags of AO3 Config

 

Now, let’s replace them with tags we don’t want. The important fact is that you need to keep the square brackets and the apostrophes. The code won’t work without them! I also know that there are vertical apostrophes and slanted apostrophes, and depending on your keyboard you might write one version or the other.

I am not sure if slanted apostrophes would work, so be sure to use the exact same vertical ones as in the example. Copy-paste them if needed.

Every tag has a comma after it except the last one, so be careful about that.

If you need an example, here’s my version:

    // Exclude works with a tag that matches at least one term. Use * for wildcard.
    tagBlacklist: ['Jujutsu Kaisen Manga Spoilers', 'Alternate Universe - No Powers', 'Reader-Insert', 'Alternate Universe - Muggle', '* Weasley Bashing', '*Reader', 'Reader*'],

I’m currently obsessed with Jujutsu Kaisen since watching the phenomenal anime, but I haven’t caught up with the manga yet, so I have that tag in my blacklist. I also dislike No Powers AUs and Reader-Inserts, so those are out.

The part written as '*Reader', 'Reader*' will ensure that if a writer has not added the ‘Reader-Insert’ tag to the story but has a relationship tag like ‘Loki/Reader’, for example, then the story will be hidden anyways. A lot of Reader-Inserts do not have the ‘Reader-Insert’ tag and just have the word ‘Reader’ in the relationship tag, so that’s why I have so many versions of ‘Reader’ in my blacklist.

Finally, I added the term ‘* Weasley Bashing’ because I don’t like Harry Potter fanfics who bash any member of the Weasley family, so stories with tags such as ‘Ginny Weasley Bashing’ or ‘Ron Weasley Bashing’ won’t show up because I blocked the term ‘* Weasley Bashing’.

The asterisk means ‘anything’. It replaces any term.

So if you want to use the asterisk, you can write ‘apple*’, which will block tags like ‘Apple’, ‘Apples’ and ‘Applesauce’.

Are you done writing what tags you want to block?

Yes?

Great!

Now we need to remember to save. Click on ‘File’, and then save your edits.

 

Save your edits on AO3 config

 

 

Final Result

Now if you search for a fic with one of the tags you’ve blocked, it will show you a hidden work, as well as a reason why the work was hidden. There’s an option to un-hide the work if you want to see what it is.

 

Example of works hidden by AO3 savior

 

Also, while the AO3 site has tag wranglers who marked ‘Modern AU’ and ‘Alternate Universe – Modern Setting’ as synonymous tags, AO3 savior will view them as different tags. So if you’ve blocked one, then be sure to block the other too or the other will still show up.

 

Doesn't work? Here's a fix

AO3 savior does not work if, in your Preferences, you have checked the ‘Hide additional tags’ option. If AO3 savior does not work for you, then you need to uncheck this option.

 

Unchecking 'Hide Additional Tags'

 

If you really want to keep the ‘Hide additional tags’ option, then I understand and have a solution. I use that option myself to hide freeform tags because sometimes author’s over-tag and clog up my screen. To ensure tags do not take too much space on your screen despite being forced to uncheck ‘Hide additional tags’ in your Preferences, then you should install the scroller skin to give you results like this:

 

Example of story with tags hidden behind a scroller

 

There’s a detailed guide on how to do it in chapter 1.

With the scroller of chapter 1, you can limit the size a fanfic’s tag field can take on your screen, and with AO3 savior, you can block tags.

AO3 savior also allows you to block authors, but I suggest you use a skin instead, following the method I explain in chapter 4. If you block an author with AO3 savior, you use their penname to block them, and the moment they change their name they won’t be blocked anymore. But with the site skin option, you block their user ID, so it’s more permanent that way.

Hopefully this helped! Rejoice, because you can now block tags you don’t want to see!

 

 

-x-

 

 

“Thanking Senior Wei,” said Lan Jingyi with a bow.

Wei Wuxian waved it off. “It was a pleasure to help.”