Remove World of Warcraft Forum Ads with Chrome and Privoxy

So, today Blizzard added advertising to the webpages.  Normally I don’t mind dealing with ad revenue on websites, but I’m already paying them $15 a month for their game.   Over four years of WoW subscription, three convention tickets, and two copies of the game and two expansions means  well over $1000 that they have collected from me in the past four years.  And now this.  This… is simply beyond complete shameless greed.

The WoW forum moderators are already quick at work stiffling the forum outrage, by locking topics and moving them.  It’s ridiculous.

Here is how to not just block the advertising, but completely hide it so that the forums look like they used to.

1) First, you’ll need to install Privoxy.

Privoxy is a free open-source web proxy that will do the filtering for us.  You can get it here:

Click on ‘download recent releases’, find your OS version and install.

2) Set chrome to use privoxy as your proxy server.

  • Click on the wrench icon, select options.
  • Click on ‘under the hood‘ tab.
  • Scroll down, and press the ‘Change Proxy Settings‘ button.

This will bring up your windows Internet Properties control panel.

  • On the ‘Connections’ tab, click the LAN Settings button.
  • CheckmarkUse a proxy server…
  • Put into the Address field.
  • Put 8118 into the Port field.
  • Hit Ok, and then Ok to close the Internet Properties window.

Chrome will now be using Privoxy to block ads.

3) Create a user.filter file in your Privoxy home install directory.

Next, in your install directory (mine is: C:\Program Files (x86)\Privoxy) create a new file called user.filter and insert this in it:

FILTER: wowforums Blizzard is GREEDY
FILTER: wowforums Blizzard is GREEDY # Crass merchandizing at it's best. s/<div id="ad_(\d*)x(\d*)"/<div id="blizzard_is_greedy" style="display:none;"/g s/<td width="130px" valign="top" align="center">/<td align="center" width="0" valign="top" style="display:none;">/g s/<div style="width:160px; height:600px; padding:1px; margin:0 0 0 3px" class="advertise-horz"/<div style="display:none;"/g s/<td width="130" valign="top" align="center">/<td width="0">/g s/<div class="hp_w_ad">/<div class="hp_w_ad" style="display:none;">/g s/<div class="hp_t_ad">/<div class="hp_t_ad" style="display:none;">/g s/<div class="hp_ad_cont">/<div class="hp_ad_cont" style="display:none;">/g

This will do the ‘rewriting’ of the ad tags.  It renames all the ad tags so the ad-insertion script can’t find it, and it blocks off the 130px skyscraper space on the right side.

4) Next, edit config.txt file in the Privoxy folder.

Open config.txt and find the filterfile line. (Under section 2.5)

Uncomment the entry with user.filter in it, so that it looks like this:

filterfile default.filter

filterfile user.filter      # User customizations

This will tell Privoxy where to find our custom filter that we created in step 3.

5) Edit the user.action file in the Privoxy folder.

Finally, edit the user.action file and add this:

{ +filter{wowforums} }

This will tell Privoxy to activate our custom filter for the website.  If you followed all the steps (and saved afterwards) you should be able to control+refresh the forums and have everything back to mostly normal.  Pass this along to your friends & guildmates!





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