Unkillable FB notifications on Mac
February 17, 2019 7:33 PM   Subscribe

How do I destroy (with extreme prejudice) FB notifications on a Macbook Air, when the notification centre is throwing up its hands and telling me they’re already dead??

I’m currently using someone else’s new Macbook Air, because my own machine is on its last legs. The owner is an FB user, I’m not. I find the “notifications” functionality on new Macs super distracting and annoying and got the owner’s permission to switch them off. So I did. All of them.

Now all I get are the computer’s own “updates are available” messages, which, sure, OK.

And FB!! You’ve logged out of your account! You need to log in again!

To reiterate, I’ve turned off all notifications for everything, as far as I know. That means: every program that appears in the “notification” menu within settings - including both FB and firefox - have had their alert type switched to “none”, and all of the other buttons unticked.

I find this behaviour suuuper obnoxious on the part of FB, (although I wouldn’t expect anything better from that tank of rotting scum) and I’m not that impressed with Apple either, for failing to provide a straightforward, global “notifications: on / off?” setting in a place that people as stupid as me can find it.

How is FB doing this, and how do I kill this borderline-malware behaviour, ideally in a way that will give Mark Zuckerberg an intense shooting stomach pain at the same time?
posted by chappell, ambrose to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
 
I hope someone else has a more specific answer, but I'd create a new user account for myself in these circumstances - with the bonus that I'd then not be messing with the machine's owner's settings.
posted by pompomtom at 7:50 PM on February 17, 2019 [1 favorite]


Create a new user and restart the machine is my advice as well.
posted by zenon at 8:05 PM on February 17, 2019


Thanks both, I’ll try that.

I’m independently interested in how FB is doing this - and the implication that OSX’s permissions are something optional like “do not track”, that companies are able to ignore? (And why FB would assume that antagonising users in this way is worthwhile?)
posted by chappell, ambrose at 8:13 PM on February 17, 2019


is it possible the notifications are coming through your browser and not apple's notification center?

(In chrome, settings > privacy & security > content settings > notifications)
posted by Jon_Evil at 8:27 PM on February 17, 2019 [3 favorites]


I’m not that impressed with Apple either, for failing to provide a straightforward, global “notifications: on / off?” setting in a place that people as stupid as me can find it.

This setting is in the Notifications menu bar item at the upper right corner of the screen. It’s a slider that says “Do Not Disturb” and you can set it to On or Off. A help page that points you to this menu can be found by searching for anything related to “notifications” in the “Help” menu. It’s also the first item in the Notifications section of System Preferences, the same area where you mentioned turning off all the other App notifications.

I’m independently interested in how FB is doing this - and the implication that OSX’s permissions are something optional like “do not track”, that companies are able to ignore?

This is not something that “companies are able to ignore.” There is a setting turned on somewhere that you have missed. It could be in the Notifications prefs. It could also be an app that’s just popping up a box that looks like a system notification. This could be in Safari, Chrome or Firefox, or some other app that the other user installed and forgot about, like some sort of janky fake Facebook Messenger-clone or something—check the Applications folder.

Another thing that could trigger a popup would be a misconfigured account in System Preferences > Internet Accounts.

Whether or not you find what’s sending the notification I would definitely third that you should be using your own user account instead of sharing one with someone else.
posted by bcwinters at 8:50 PM on February 17, 2019 [1 favorite]


Facebook is likely using Safari’s in-app website notifications which is annoying. To disable, in the menu bar choose Safari > Preferences, click Websites, then click Notifications. Find Facebook in the list, then select Deny.
posted by covercash at 9:28 PM on February 17, 2019


It’s a slider that says “Do Not Disturb” and you can set it to On or Off.

Thanks, I’m aware of DND and have it enabled, although it isn’t currently set for 24 hr (and isn’t very clear as to how you might do that - do you just put the same time in both boxes?). There isn’t, as far as I can see, a simple option for “switch off permanently” and - perhaps it’s a philosophical point, rather than a practical one - even if there was such a setting, it would make more sense to me to frame it as “switch off notifications”, rather than “always keep on a special mode that prevents you from seeing notifications”. It seems bizarre to me that the default assumption is that you must want some amount of notifications, at least sometimes, and that you have to resort to somewhat clunky workarounds to get rid of them.

This is not something that “companies are able to ignore.” There is a setting turned on somewhere that you have missed. It could be in the Notifications prefs. It could also be an app that’s just popping up a box that looks like a system notification. This could be in Safari, Chrome or Firefox, or some other app that the other user installed and forgot about, like some sort of janky fake Facebook Messenger-clone or something—check the Applications folder.

There’s almost no third-party software installed on the machine, except Office suite. It really is quite new, and the owner had barely used it before lending it to me.

As mentioned, I’ll happily set up a separate account to rid myself of FB notifications, but we’re not really “sharing” the account in a meaningful sense and right now I’m just logging in with someone else’s name and a throwaway password. The owner isn’t super technical - even less so than me - and in terms of footprint I’d almost prefer not to have a separate option appear on the first screen after the computer boots up, and would rather just move all my files off the machine when I get a new computer myself.

Another thing that could trigger a popup would be a misconfigured account in System Preferences > Internet Accounts.

I think that this might be it! When I opened Internet Accounts, I immediately got a prompt to enter the owner’s FB password. I’ve disabled the FB account within Internet Accounts, so let’s see!

Assuming that this was the case, it seems like kind of an irritating bug - Internet Accounts was sending me notifications as facebook to reenter my password.

Facebook is likely using Safari’s in-app website notifications which is annoying. To disable, in the menu bar choose Safari > Preferences, click Websites, then click Notifications. Find Facebook in the list, then select Deny.

Thanks - I checked this, but I don’t think it’s the case in this instance. Safari isn’t the primary browser on the machine and the list only has one website (not FB) on it, and that permission was already set to “deny”.

I then checked all the firefox preferences that I could find and didn’t see anything about notifications.

As mentioned above, I think it was a mis-configured Internet Account, and a misleading notification about it. Only time will tell, so I’m not marking this resolved just yet, but many thanks to everyone who gave advice.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 9:44 PM on February 17, 2019


I then checked all the firefox preferences that I could find and didn’t see anything about notifications.

Firefox does let websites send notifications. In preferences it’s under the Privacy & Security pane; scroll down to the Permissions section.
posted by D.C. at 2:06 AM on February 18, 2019


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