Diving Into Stylish's Wonderful World
If you’re a fan of those fancy Firefox masks that change your browser’s background or the font’s color, you absolutely must check out Stylish. This is an add-on for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari browsers that allows you to customize and embellish a handful of beloved websites such as Facebook, YouTube, Google, Twitter and so on. There’s no shortage of customizations at hand: changing the background of a page, making it transparent, modifying the colors, sizes and styles of the fonts, making YouTube progress bars colorful, switching the Twitter logo to pink and much more. In addition, if you don’t want to waste your time testing and fixing bugs, you can download themes created by the community completely free of charge and, believe us, this is worthy as there are some neat ones there.
On the other hand, Stylish changed hands in October 2016. This caused some issues with some of the user created themes (also called “styles”), since they become corrupt due to the infrastructure being moved after the ownership was transferred. Furthermore, Stylish has now partnered with SimilarWeb, a digital market intelligence company which, according to Justin Hindman (Stylish’s new owner) “sees the great value of the Stylish community, helping it to better understand the digital world” joining efforts and “adding resources” to “bring Stylish to its full potential”.
Concerns are also raised towards this partnership as Stylish will now share “anonymized user data” – such as which styles get installed or which sites were visited – with SimilarWeb. This unexpected snooping can affect 2 million users because Stylish is one of the top used browser add-ons. This will allow you to see suggested styles when visiting a determined page, working almost as a targeted advertisement.
Opting Out as a Preventive Measure
Fortunately, there’s an “opt-out” feature in the add-on’s settings too. The data-gathering option will be turned on by default and unchecking it will cancel the data collection system. However, doing so will also make your installation not count for the total install amount, besides breaking the “suggested web styles” feature.
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