Patronising invasive offensive owl

Please give me a way to remove the "motivational" owl. I find it the most offensive and demotivating element of the whole duolingo experience, and I have multiple times just closed the site when it showed up, to avoid throwing my phone against a wall.

July 28, 2019


In the Android app you can switch off those unmotivational messages in "Settings".

July 28, 2019

@Pentaan - is there any way to block these "motivational messages" on the web version of DL? (I seem to remember a post suggesting an ad-blocker does the trick, but I can't find it.)

I realize that everyone is going to have different reactions.

What I do know is that I find the "encouraging owl" incredibly annoying and condescending. To the point where it makes me want to quit mid-lesson.


July 30, 2019

Thank you, but using the android app is not an option for me

July 28, 2019

Still an option on my version of the android app to turn off motivational messages, just below sound effects in settings.

Just waiting for that option to be replicated to the web version, while I don't object to the messages I find them mildly annoying and a waste of time for me

July 28, 2019

yeah that is really pissing me off as well

July 28, 2019

So much this.

It is the most off putting thing ever and it pisses me off to know end when it shows up. We really need a way to turn if off in the browser or a tampermonkey script that does this.

August 6, 2019

I certainly agree that there should be an option to toggle it. However I also agree with meatcan's comment about it only taking a moment to skip over it. I'm not trying to downplay its potential negative influence, but in the end it's technically an automated computer response. Sure, it was initially created by people, but it's still up to you if you want to give it more than an ounce of attention. It's also important to keep in mind that it was likely added with pure intentions; because chances are, the last thing they'd do is intentionally drive users away.

It is silly that the staff apparently only gave the Android version of Duolingo a way to disable it though, judging by pentaan's comment. No idea what their thought process could have been behind that split development decision.

July 30, 2019

I could post here obscene images or allusive metaphors, and claim to everyone who would complain that it would only take them a moment to skip them. I don't believe this is about how long it takes to skip this "feature", but about the feeling it causes to a (seemingly nontrivial) amount of people. Investigating the causes seems like a very interesting research on UI, for what is worth. I have no problem believing that it has been added with the developers' good intentions, but I do feel the need to scream for it to go away every time their well intentioned algorithms throw it to my face. The road to hell and all that. I notice clearly that my time spent on duolingo, and my speed in progressing, has dropped significantly since its introduction, and my frustration has gone sufficiently up that I can't stand the view of green owl anymore anywhere on the site. I've been wondering if there could be other language learning sites out there that wouldn't bring out this kind of memories, because I'd rather keep my love of languages and joy of learning and lose duolingo, than keep duolingo and lose my joy of learning.

July 30, 2019

Yeah, don't get me wrong, I understand the reasoning to disable it, and fully agree there should be a way to do so. I do want to add that there's a difference between maliciously posted images/metaphors/etc. and ones posted without any such intentions though. I get the point you're making, but there's a definite difference.

All in all, Duolingo made a stupid decision by excluding a toggle option. I figured I'd try to promote a positive mindset about it until they (hopefully) add the option. I know it can't be helped sometimes, we're only human, but little good comes from being chained down by unfortunate memories. The important thing is that there's lotsa good out there to go with the bad.

I hope my comments haven't been coming off in a similarly patronizing way as the owl. I really just strongly believe in thinking positively wherever possible. Enjoy the things that you enjoy, avoid/grow stronger from the things that get you down; mindsets like that.

On that note, I'll end this comment by saying I genuinely hope you and anyone reading this has and continues to have wonderful days! :D

July 31, 2019
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