EasyList and EasyPrivacy Draft Policy

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Michael
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EasyList and EasyPrivacy Draft Policy

Post by Michael » Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:12 pm

I recently wrote a very quick preliminary draft of the EasyList and EasyPrivacy policy which I sent to both Khrin and MonztA when they were being inducted as authors. Minor alterations have since been made, including separating some of the content from the core commit policy; topics will be created on the subjects absent in due course. I would therefore appreciate feedback on the material to clarify any uncertainties raised before it is made publicly available when the new website is launched.


EasyList and EasyPrivacy Draft Policy

Technical Issues
Commit Messages
EasyList repository commit messages always begin with a code indicating the nature of the change. A: indicates the addition of filters; P: that a problem is being resolved and M: that modification of filters is occurring. These will all usually be followed either by a precise link to the page where the filters are needed and / or an explanation for the commit.

File Organisation
All filters are lower case and sorted alphabetically within sections, which are indicated by comments; Erunno's EasyListSort.py is the program most commonly used for automatic implementation of this layout.


EasyList

Criteria For Websites To Be Specifically Dealt With By EasyList
1. The website must be predominantly in English.
It is unfortunately impossible to cover every website in the world effectively, especially given that there are many in languages incomprehensible to authors. EasyList is therefore only applies specific filters to English domains.

2. The website must not contain adult content.
Adult sites are not specifically dealt with in EasyList; users suggesting filters for such websites are instead pointed to Fanboy's Adult / Dating List, which deals with the domains more effectively.

General Filters
General filters are created when there is a string of characters that specifically relate to advertising in the item or element name, which is usually the presence of the “ad” sub-string. There must be a separator character to distinguish the advert string from the rest, which is usually “/”, “-”, “_” or “.”, although it can be any valid non-alphanumeric character. General element hiding filters must only be in the efficient form of id or class selection unless there is a specific reason why the filter must be general and inefficient (rules for all the Google domains fall into the latter category). General element rules are located in easylist_general_hide.txt; general blocking filters are in easylist_general_block.txt, which has a section for generic dimensions filters as well as those relating to advert strings. Recommendations of filters to avoid, despite their initial appealing nature, are available at document yet to be created.

Advert-Serving Domains
Any domain known to serve advertising should be categorically blocked in the form ||example.com^$third-party in easylist_adservers.txt.

Third-Party Advertising
Advertising by a third-party that does not solely provide unwanted content should be selectively blocked, either through the filtering of folders or sub-domains. The rules are all contained within easylist_thirdparty.txt. The third-party option is only applied if omission thereof would cause problems on the source domain.

Specific Filters
Specific filters are the last resort, and are applied only to the domains where general filters are not possible because of element inefficiency or a unique naming system implemented on the domain. Specific filters need to result in a noticeable difference on the website to be worthwhile. Specific element filters are placed in easylist_specific_hide.txt and specific blocking filters form the content of easylist_specific_block.txt. Hiding filters should always be as optimised as possible; information on how this should be achieved is available at document yet to be created.

Whitelists
Whitelists should be applied to items that cause problems with the primary content of a website and should be as specific as possible; they should only include the type option if it is not obvious from the filter the classification of the item. Whitelists are located in easylist_whitelist.txt.


EasyPrivacy

Criterion For Websites To Be Specifically Dealt With By EasyPrivacy
1. The website must not contain adult content.
The sole criterion for EasyPrivacy is that the tracking must not be specificallyblocked for an adult website; users suggesting filters for such domains are instead pointed to Fanboy's Adult / Dating List, which currently covers the domains more effectively.

Language
EasyPrivacy applies to all languages, with each file for filters other than the general ones being grouped by the language that the rule is likely to apply to. Any filters that apply to more than one language should be placed in the “English” sections.

General Filters
General filters reference a specific system of tracking, and are therefore very few in number. They are all located in easyprivacy_specific.txt.

Tracking-Serving Domains
Any domain known to serve tracking should be categorically blocked in the form ||example.com^$third-party. Domains that serve both advertising and tracking should only appear in EasyList to avoid necessary duplication. Filters of this type appear in easyprivacy_trackingservers.txt.

Third-Party Tracking
Tracking by a third-party that does not solely provide unwanted content should be selectively blocked, either through the filtering of folders or sub-domains. The rules are all contained within easyprivacy_thirdparty.txt. The third-party option is only applied if omission thereof would cause problems on the source domain.

Specific Filters
Specific filters are very common in EasyPrivacy, and block all the systems that are only used on individual websites. The items blocked must collect more information that would appear in the system logs; indicators of personal data that should be protected are the referrer address and screen resolution. All specific filters are located in easyprivacy_specific.txt.

Whitelists
Whitelists should be applied to items that cause problems with the primary content of a website and should be as specific as possible; they should only include the type option if it is not obvious from the filter the classification of the item. Filters that repeatedly cause script errors should be removed rather than all known problematic instances protected. Whitelists are located in easyprivacy_whitelist.txt.

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Post by MonztA » Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:21 pm

Under the EP section: it should read "Third-Party Tracking", not "Third-Party Advertising".

Do erotic sites also count as adult content (examples #1 #2)?

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Post by Michael » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:26 am

MonztA wrote:Under the EP section: it should read "Third-Party Tracking", not "Third-Party Advertising".
I have corrected my original post with this alteration.
MonztA wrote:Do erotic sites also count as adult content
I would be inclined, on principle, to answer that they do, although I am open to other opinions.

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Post by MonztA » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:31 am

I can only say how it looks like in Germany. It is not unusal to see a naked female breast on TV at lunchtime (not in a offensive context of course). I think we should cover sites with erotic content unless they are offensive.

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Post by Khrin » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:41 am

I was to put the same question, the issue about adult/erotic contents makes me a little confused: I find the terms "offensive" and "erotic" too generic. Anyway, also http://www.page3.com/ should be considered as adult website?

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Post by Erunno » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:02 pm

I suspect that we will have a hard time agreeing on a common definition what is offensive or just erotic given our different cultural backgrounds and personal views so I suggest that unless it's straight porn it's viable for EasyList. I doubt that there will be as much confusion about what constitutes porn or is any of the maintainers a puritan?
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Post by MonztA » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:22 pm

Erunno wrote:...so I suggest that unless it's straight porn it's viable for EasyList.
This. :-)

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Post by Michael » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:43 pm

I don't mind others adding filters for the more dubious domains, although I intend to abstain from dealing with such suggestions personally. One important word that I thought was in the policy and certainly is now is specific filters for adult domains. This means that others are entitled to add general filters, even for websites that clearly host adult content, and that suggestions of such a nature may be committed at the discretion of the author involved.

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Post by Michael » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:58 pm

The policy will be available in the development section of the new EasyList website when it is made public at the end of the month; I have therefore moved this topic to the development forum for further verification and analysis. I have also updated the policy with the information from the recent discussion on the third-party option, a change that is currently being implemented.

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Post by Adblock Plus Fan » Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:10 am

I have a question about ranking sites.

For example, crap like this:
http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/7940/42906525.png
They track website hits and ranks them, technically they are 3rd party and do track the user. Is it safe to assume that they fall under Easyprivacy?
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Post by Michael » Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:27 am

I would certainly add the items to EasyPrivacy and believe that there are currently rules in the subscription which block images of this type.

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Post by Ares2 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:11 pm

Michael wrote:Advert-Serving Domains
Any domain known to serve advertising should be categorically blocked in the form ||example.com^$third-party in easylist_adservers.txt.
Looking at easylist_adservers, some don't have $third-party. Intentional or should that be fixed?

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Post by Michael » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:41 pm

That should probably be fixed except in cases where it is known that this format would cause problems, such as with doubleclick.net.

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Post by Ares2 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:03 pm


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