As I previously mentioned, Redactor was the code name for my new privacy plugin for WordPress while in development. It was a good code name during the development process because it would remind me at a glance what the plugin was supposed to do. However, version 1.0 of the plugin has been released and so it was ready to receive its true name: Eyes Only.
Yep, as in, “for your eyes only.” The redaction functionality makes it possible for anyone to play big brother government and only give half the story (or less) when publishing declassified documents. In this case though, “declassified documents” basically refers to whatever someone wants to share some of, but not all.
Again with the Surprises
Just as with Favicon Rotator, I have once again been duped by my own creation. I starting developing Eyes Only with the thought that it would be useful for writers to virtually “black out” text that they didn’t want anyone else to see, with the benefit that they would still be able to read the unmarred post themselves (which makes it better than using a Sharpie on your screen). I admit, I liked the idea of blog posts looking like government documents from the Cold War.
As I developed the plugin though, I began to realize that it would be a secondary feature of the plugin that would really empower users to write without limits. Though masking text as you wrote a post was useful and potentially fun, it was also visually obvious and immediately alerted readers that the writer was hiding something. On the other hand, Automatic Redactions are completely invisible to the reader.
I’m a big fan of visual effects in movies and my favorites are the ones you don’t even know are there, the invisible effects.
The point of invisible effects is to keep the viewer engaged in the story rather than make it obvious that something in the frame has been modified. That’s exactly what Automatic Redactions enables a writer to do— by automatically replacing user-defined text in any post, it lets authors keep certain content private, while the allowing the reader to stay engaged in the story. With this functionality, writers can include all the details they want (mother’s maiden name, latest crushes, addresses, etc.) with the confidence that their privacy won’t be compromised and readers will be able to enjoy the content without being jarred out of it by NSA-sanctioned black bars (disclaimer: I make no claim that the black bars used in Eyes Only are sanctioned by the NSA).
As with Favicon Rotator, though I was unfairly tricked into thinking I was only making a frivolously fun plugin, I am happy that my subconcious saw fit to include something of true value in the plugin that may prove to be useful to a broader audience than originally intended.
The next version will allow on-demand invisible redactions (i.e. select text to be masked with a word/phrase instead of a black bar) so that a global entry doesn’t need to be created for text that only needs to be masked for a single post.
Install Eyes Only now and let me know in the comments what you want it to do for your site!