FAQ About Pluckeye

Introductory questions

These are frequently asked questions by visitors who have never used Pluckeye. If you want to see frequently asked questions from new Pluckeye users see https://manual.pluckeye.net/faq .

What is Pluckeye?

Pluckeye is an Internet content filter, a kind of software that prevents the user from accessing parts of the Internet.

See also vision.html.

How does Pluckeye differ from other filters?

  • Pluckeye blocks all images and videos from the Internet by default.
  • Pluckeye doesn't rely on password protection; rather it uses a delay system for configuration. See also this question.
  • Pluckeye can block some content but allow other content from the same webhost (based on Internet media types).
  • Pluckeye doesn't come with a prepackaged list of web resources that it should block or allow; configuration is up to the end-user.
  • Pluckeye's target audience are those who want a filter for themselves rather than parents looking to protect their kids.
  • Pluckeye aims not at convenience but at inconvenience!
  • Pluckeye works on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and Android.

See also this site for a list of Internet filters.

Is Pluckeye easy to bypass?

No, not if you have installed Pluckeye at "installation level 2". See here for a more thorough description of installation levels.

But couldn't I just uninstall Pluckeye whenever I want?

No. The delay must first be set to 0 before Pluckeye will uninstall. See also the uninstall sequence described here.

But isn't Pluckeye just a browser extension that can be disabled in the browser?

That is true at installation level 1 (the default). But real users are expected to use installation level 2.

But couldn't I just set the delay to 0 and then uninstall?

Yes, but to set the delay to 0 you would have to wait one delay cycle.

But isn't Pluckeye easy to bypass?

Try it and see.

Is Pluckeye a porn filter?

Many users of Pluckeye are seeking to avoid porn, but Pluckeye can also be used to block other sources of online temptation such as email, gambling, gaming, shopping, and social media sites.

Wait, it blocks all images? Not just porn and clickbait?

Even photos of my Aunt Gertrude? What's the point of the Internet without pictures?!

That is 4 questions.

Yes, by default, all images on the Internet are blocked. But most Pluckeye users white-list sites and/or use scheduling rules so they can see images on some or many sites. Pluckeye is designed to be configured by the user.

I can whitelist sites? What good is a filter if I can simply access whatever I want?

Well, there's what you want now, what you want 5 hours from now, and what you want to want 5 hours from now. To which of these wants are you referring?

Pluckeye is designed to help users choose "meta wants" rather than "carnal wants".

The means for this is a delayed configuration system that allows the user to make any changes to the filter configuration, but the changes only take effect after a delay.

It is similar to the debt-ridden consumer putting his emergency credit card in the freezer so it can't be used for impulse purchases, the alcoholic choosing ahead of time not to walk past the liquor store where the smell of alcohol will be certain to be too much for him, the food addict choosing not to store chocolate ice cream in her freezer, and so on.

That delay sounds like it might be inconvenient at times.

Yes. That is the whole point. Hence, the Pluckeye motto is

Hooray for inconvenience!

Runner up mottos include:

  1. It ain't for wimps.
  2. It's up to you. (see this tip)
  3. Do whatever is necessary.
  4. You have to want it.
  5. Take the bull by the horns.
  6. Pluckeye is there to serve you.

What do you mean, "Hooray for inconvenience"? Who would want to be inconvenienced?

Folks who dislike the kind of convenience the Internet offers.

Can Pluckeye cure my porn addiction?

I don't think so; you need to make that choice. However, Pluckeye may be a tool that can help you make better choices.

Can you recommend any less extreme filters?

Pluckeye is extreme by default, but it can be configured to block way less.

Other popular products can be found on https://alternativeto.net/software/pluckeye .

For a more extensive list, see http://filters.pluckeye.net/ .

Can you recommend any organizations that can help me with my porn struggle / pornography addiction?

Can Pluckeye do X (email my friends, filter based on keywords, …)?

Maybe, maybe not. Pluckeye is primarily a configurable, usually used in self-control-mode filter, and most of its features are oriented around that, rather than say, reporting activity to others. If you have a feature request, feel free to let us know.

I don't have problems with porn, but I'm addicted to Facebook. Might I have any use for Pluckeye?

Pluckeye can be used in a similar manner to SelfControl for Mac or SelfControl for Linux. Such users may want to remove the filtering rules that are specific to images. See https://manual.pluckeye.net/how-to-filter-by-time .

What's with the name, "Pluckeye"? How's it pronounced?

It's an allusion to this:

And if your right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast if from thee, for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." (Matthew 5:29, KJV)

And though it is spelled "pluck-eye", I pronounce the name pluck-ee.

How do you plan on monetizing Pluckeye?

I hope that users who find it valuable willingly pay for it.

How can I contribute to Pluckeye?

Why and when was Pluckeye created?

Work on Pluckeye began in 2007 after the author (Jon) investigated what software was available for folks looking for a filter to help them overcome compulsive porn use – a problem he believed to be increasingly common and long lasting. Firmly believing such a product should be freely (as in gratis) available, he eventually contacted a few vendors who had free offerings (X3Watch, BlueCoat, and Qustodio) to see if it was possible to work with them on improving the self-control features in them. Unsurprisingly, none were interested in integrating a volunteer coder into their process. So, he undertook to build his own – after all, how hard could it be?

Thus was Pluckeye conceived. But because the author was easily sidetracked its gestation was horribly long, and a working version was not publicly available until January 2014.

Is there any scientific basis for Pluckeye?

Ugh. How I hate the way the words "scientific" and "proven" are handled in modern life. I recommend reading Abolition of Man.

But is there any scientific basis?

:-( Well, here's an interesting study on how some pigeons self-limited. I guess it is kind of similar.


But perhaps a study involving pigeons pecking levers is a bit of a stretch. Here's one involving humans:

http://psych.wustl.edu/lengreen/publications/2010/Pigeon Double Delay-MS.pdf

But, should humans really be treated as objects of study, like animals?

Here's a direct quote from a similar study:

"Maximization theory, which is borrowed from economics, provides techniques for predicting the behavior of animals - including humans."

Are humans true animals? You make the call.

Would Pluckeye be a good filter for protecting a child? If not, do you know of one?

This is hard to answer.

Pluckeye was not designed with the child in mind. It could be used that way – Pluckeye could, for example, enforce use of a child-oriented DNS filter, but the parent would need to do some work to set it up. The conservative parent (such as the author!) might appreciate Pluckeye's filtering, but there are other tools available, some of which built into Windows, macOS, or Chrome OS. If you're a parent and Pluckeye sounds too technical for your taste, you might find the following links useful.

Can I subscribe to Pluckeye using paypal?

Donations through paypal are not connected to the subscription system.

You can donate using paypal, and then periodically fill out surveys or request freebies, but a payment via paypal does not count as a subscription.

If you are concerned about sending credit card information, you might be interested to know that on s.pluckeye.net, while your credit card is filled out while you are looking at the site, the number never goes to s.pluckeye.net; it only goes to stripe.com (a merchant gateway). That's a typical set up so that little guys like me don't have to deal with the added responsibility of seeing or storing actual credit card data.

I live in a country where credit cards are uncommon, can I subscribe without a credit card?

Unfortunately, resources are so thin, the author has very little spare time for improving the payments system. If you can't subscribe because your live in a country where online subscriptions are handled differently, please let the author know so he has some idea how often this happens, and if you could theoretically use SEPA or iDEAL, please also mention that. Then simply fill out quarterly surveys or request freebies, and feel free to support the project some other way (e.g., through recommending it somewhere if you feel it is worth recommending).

I like Pluckeye, I have money, and I want to support Pluckeye, but I hate subscriptions. How can I support the project?

Some options:

  1. Pay for a subscription, and then cancel it the next day. And then just pretend it's not a subscription. If you're still using Pluckeye in a year, re-evaluate its value to you then.
  2. You can donate using paypal, and then take one or more freebies to satisfy the remuneration system.
  3. You can do some work instead of giving money. Spread the word. Lord knows, we need lots of help. ;-)