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# Better
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Better protects you from unethical web sites. It makes your web experience safer, lighter, and faster.
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Better enforces the [Ethical Design Manifesto](https://ind.ie/ethical-design). It helps the Web respect human rights, effort, and experience.
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Better is curated by Ind.ie, a social enterprise that defends human rights. It’s free, open, and transparent.
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## Content
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This repository contains the Better content: Better’s database of information on trackers and other malware as well as the web sites that host them.
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This content is in Blockdown format. Blockdown is an extension of Markdown with special vocabulary to describe web malware. Blockdown can also contain WebKit content blocking rules. The Blockdown pages in Better’s content repository both describe web malware and contain the rules to block them.
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This content is processed by [Better Builder](https://source.ind.ie/better/builder) to generate the [Better web site](https://better.fyi) as well as the data for the [Better iOS App](https://source.ind.ie/better/app), including a WebKit `blockerList.json` file.
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A seminal advantage of Better is that its database is human-readable, open, and extensible via pull requests. (The database is curated by Ind.ie using the Ethical Design Manifesto as the criteria for blocking rules.)
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Contributing to the content is as easy as creating an account on [source.ind.ie](https://source.ind.ie) and editing a content page in your browser.
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## I’m not a developer, I just want to experience a Better web.
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Get Better from the App Store.
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## How can I support Better?

Buying Better on the App Store is one way to support us. If you want to help with the ongoing costs of developing and maintaining Better, you can [donate to Ind.ie](https://ind.ie/fund/) or, even better, [become a patron](https://ind.ie/fund/) by setting up a recurring donation.

## I’m a developer, let me in!

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The easiest way to get started is to follow the instructions in the readme for the [Better iOS app](https://source.ind.ie/better/app) repository.

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# Guide to Blockdown
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Better content is authored in Blockdown.

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Blockdown is Markdown with an extended high-level vocabulary for describing web malware for the Better database.

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## Sites
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Site pages have the following sections:

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### Ethical design violations
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```markdown
## Ethical design violations
```

This is a list of ethical design violations that gets converted to a collection of badges on the rendered site pages.

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#### Trackers

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The first badge is always the trackers badge. In Blockdown it is represented by a list item introduced by the word `Trackers`:

```markdown
  * Trackers (exposes you to NNN third-party sites)
```

We get the statistic for the number of third-party sites that a person browsing the site is exposed to by using [Mozilla Lightbeam](https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/lightbeam/).

Following the badge heading list item, there is a sublist of site URLs. For example, here’s an excerpt from the [cultofmac.com site page](https://better.fyi/sites/cultofmac.com):

```markdown
* Trackers (exposes you to 155 third-party sites)
  * w.soundcloud.com
  * goroost.com
  * taboola.com
  * google-syndication.com
  *
```

This gets automatically translated by [Better Builder](https://source.ind.ie/better/builder) to a badge similar to the one below:

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![Screenshot of the trackers badge](images/readme/blockdown/trackers-badge-example.png)
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Specifically, the builder counts the number of trackers for you and juxtapositions that with the number of third-party sites that you entered manually.

Tapping on the badge displays a popover with links to the actual trackers.

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![Screenshot of the trackers popover](images/readme/blockdown/trackers-popover-example.png)

Trackers is the only section that is required for a site entry. The other badges should be used as and when they apply to a site.


#### Aggressive

```markdown
* Aggressive: Attempts to block content blockers.
```

![Screenshot of the Aggressive Badge](images/readme/blockdown/aggressive-badge-example.png)


#### Doorslam

```markdown
* Doorslam: Interrupts and blocks using modal dialogs.
```

![Screenshot of the Doorslam Badge](images/readme/blockdown/doorslam-badge-example.png)


#### Clickbait

```markdown
* Clickbait: Uses exploitative, addictive content syndication network(s).
```

![Screenshot of the Clickbait Badge](images/readme/blockdown/clickbait-badge-example.png)


#### Fingerprint

```markdown
* Fingerprint: Uses hidden Canvas fingerprinting.
```

![Screenshot of the Fingerprint Badge](images/readme/blockdown/fingerprint-badge-example.png)


#### Web Bugs

```markdown
* Web bugs: Uses invisible tracking pixels.
```

![Screenshot of the Web Bugs Badge](images/readme/blockdown/web-bugs-badge-example.png)

We might create new badges as and when we find new types of web malware and unethical practices to document and warn people about.
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## After Better section

```markdown
## After Better
```

The After Blockdown section provides statistics about the before (without the Better content blocker active) and after (with the Better content blocker active) performance of a site.

The statistics are gathered using the Safari Web Inspector’s Timelines view.

Here is an example from the [cultofmac.com site page](https://better.fyi/sites/cultofmac.com):

```markdown
  * Weight: 11.5MB to 3.22MB
  * Speed: 10.38secs to 1.75secs
  * Resources: 458 to 63
  * Errors: 422 to 2
  * Warnings: 19 to 13
```

The statistics in this section are translated into a graph and table view for the app and the site by Better Builder.

![Screenshot of the After Better Section](images/readme/blockdown/after-better.png)

## Block Rules section

This is the section where we enter the actual WebKit content blocking rules. Each rule is written in a strict subset of MSON (Markdown JSON) and has a brief explanation detailing what the rule does and why.

The blocking rules in this section serve the following purposes, in line with the [Ethical Design Manifesto](https://ind.ie/ethical-design)

  * Remove any first-party trackers (respect human rights)
  * Improve the usability of the site by removing first-party impediments like doorslams (respect human effort)
  * Improve the experience of the site (respect human effort) – we should especially aim to create a better experience after trackers have been removed (like removing empty spaces left over, etc.)

Please note that this is not the place to put blocking rules for trackers. Each tracker encountered should be entered into the [Trackers](#trackers) section and you have its own page in the `/trackers` section of the content.

Here is an example of a site-specific blocking rule in MSON format:

```markdown
```mson
- trigger:
  - url-filter: cdn.cultofmac.com/wp-content/plugins/com2014-ads/static/js/frontend-functionality.js
- action:
  - type: block
``` 
```

The Blockdown parser in Better supports all of the [WebKit content blocking rules](https://webkit.org/blog/3476/content-blockers-first-look/). Instead of JSON, however, we enter blocking rules in MSON. All Blockdown rules are combined by Better Builder into a single `blockerList.json` file.