How to disable this new Facebook in-news-feed advertising?
June 28, 2012 10:35 PM   Subscribe

How to disable this new Facebook in-news-feed advertising?

Facebook seems to have a new "feature" where it will show me posts from pages my friends like. For example, "Ann likes Mitt Romney," and then it will give me a post from Mitt Romney's page. Or "Sally likes Super Slots" and a post from the Slot app's page. (Blocking the app doesn't stop these posts.)

I get several of these updates each day. I don't want to see any political or game spam in my feed. Is there any way to stop these posts, without unsubscribing from these friends? The dropdown option seems to list these under photo activities and only gives me the option to unsubscribe from photos by these friends.

I'm using Firefox and Greasemonkey scripts are welcome solutions. I would prefer not to use Social Fixer as it's too cumbersome.
posted by zarq to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
What about Facebook Purity? I've been running the Greasemonkey script version and it works a treat for configuring what you want to appear or not. It must be good because the URL is even censored from within Facebook...
posted by iivix at 3:13 AM on June 29, 2012

Response by poster: Facebook Purity might work, but can you tell me how to configure it to do what I want? Hiding Fan Page posts hides things I want to see, like Stuff You Should Know posts. Hiding App messages hides things I want to see like Not Always Right posts. The latter does seem to block the "so and so likes app" messages, but I don't want to hide ALL app messages, you know what I mean? And although FBPurity claims to give a customized drop-down on each story to block it, I'm not finding that anywhere.
posted by zarq at 4:42 AM on June 29, 2012

These types of posts in the Newsfeed are called Sponsored Stories, if that helps.
posted by kathryn at 6:20 AM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

I posted a comment to my status reminding friends and family that when they "like" a product or corporation it places an ad in our newsfeed. People with high critical thinking (obviously correlated with some types of education attainment and to a lesser degree, income) seem to get it. Others don't. Thus I get an ad every few days or so, without any FB tweaking on my end (well, other than lowering visibility of posts from family and friends whose most frequent activity is liking stores and crap). Ymmv
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:47 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's also possible that they get it, but they don't consider you getting an ad in your feed that you can scroll past to be a reason for them not to like things on Facebook. You're always free, as you yourself point out, to hide or unfriend people you think aren't worth the trouble of scrolling past the ads they generate in your feed. I'm not sure you can tell people, "I don't want you to participate in this part of Facebook because I don't like receiving the notification that you did it." Or at least I'm not sure failure to obey that instruction makes them uneducated. I think if you're on Facebook and your biggest burden as far as unwanted content is an ad every few days, you're on the right track.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 7:27 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

It might help to raise awareness by posting a link on your feed to the opt-out page for social ads. Unfortunately it's on a per-user basis, but I have a feeling many people have no idea it exists.
posted by Lorin at 9:28 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I almost never see things like this in my Facebook feed, and I think I may attribute that to manually adjusting my settings on each friend. Maybe start with the ones with whom this seems to happen a lot, and go from there?

To do this, hover over their name in your news feed, and then hover over the "Friends" check box, and then select "Settings". Within that pop-up, I've unchecked "Games", "Comments and Likes", and "Other Activity".

Does that help?
posted by scarykarrey at 10:59 AM on June 29, 2012

I get these sponsored stories in my newsfeed even when the sponsor (i.e. advertiser) is "liked" by a friend I have long since hidden or unsubscribed to. The only option this leaves me is to flag the stories as spam, which I do consistently, and after a few weeks of this, I seem to see fewer such stories. But FB means to monetize, so I think we're pretty much stuck with these ads for the foreseeable future. It's the new cost of doing business (or anything else) on Facebook.
posted by isogloss at 8:47 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'd better clarify:

It's not the "Sally likes Super Slots" post itself, it's a "Sally Likes Super Slots and here's Super Slots' most recent status message." They're coming a lot more frequently than every few days, too. I'm receiving several messages each day from several different pages, quite often the same ones over and over. And not just games, but politicians and religious affiliations.

I never said I don't want my friends to like pages - not at all. I just don't want these "sponsored stories," as kathryn said they are called, showing up in my feed. They're intrusive and mislead me into thinking friends who aren't on FB often have been on, when they haven't. Not to mention I don't like some of these politicians, etc., / find them offensive.

I did try two Greasemonkey scripts I found on They didn't work.

I tried out Social Fixer today and it can't actually hide them yet, but the developer says he will implement this feature as soon as FB stops changing the way they are displayed.

If anyone knows of any other solutions that work, I'm open to them. Thank you!
posted by zarq at 2:32 PM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, yikes. My newsfeed hasn't gotten that bad yet, but I'm wondering now if that's what we're all in for. Hope someone can come up with a way to end-run it. Sorry I can't be of more help.
posted by isogloss at 7:21 PM on June 30, 2012

It might be a while before the way Facebook displays Sponsored Stories settles down given the lawsuit that was settled recently (the settlement still needs to be approved by a judge).

The official answer to "How do I stop seeing Sponsored Stories?" is:
- Click hide to remove individual stories
- Limit the number of stories you see from a specific friend to only important posts
- Stop seeing certain kinds of stories altogether by unfriending the person or unliking a Page

Could you maybe use the Filtering feature of Social Fixer to hide any time your friends Like a Page? Or keywords for the politicians, etc. you don't want to see?
posted by kathryn at 9:43 AM on July 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

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