Don't want to hurt annoying/tedious person's feelings
August 30, 2007 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend: Facebook - is it possible to block friends (ie., not see their contributions) without them knowing about it?

Is there an app or a setting so that someone remains on your "friends list" and you on theirs, but when you login you never ever see any-/be notified- of their content?
posted by porpoise to Computers & Internet (33 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
You're talking about the News feed, right? If you go up to "Preferences" (on the top right corner of the main section of the main page), you can put some friends on your "Less About These Friends" list. That works pretty well for me.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:38 AM on August 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


That said, it doesn't totally remove that person from my News Feed, but it does cut back the feed from that person a lot.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:39 AM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Are you talking about the News Feed? Click on "Preferences" near the "News Feed" header. On the lower right side there should be an entry that says "Less about these people," and you presumably get to know less about these people.
posted by geoff. at 10:39 AM on August 30, 2007


Unrelated Facebook question: Anyone know how to get rid of the "Top TV" and "Popular Events" items in the Facebook news feed? I'm getting them for 3 separate networks and they're taking over the page.
posted by smackfu at 10:43 AM on August 30, 2007


Oooo, and another piggyback. I've got a bunch of friend requests from people I don't want to be friends with, but don't want to offend by rejecting them openly. If I click "ignore" on a friend request, are they told that I did that? Or does the whole matter just go away? Is there some sort of "CL still hasn't answered your friend request" alert?
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:47 AM on August 30, 2007


There is no alert when someone rejects your friend request. However, if they went back to look at your profile, they would see that the button to add you as a friend was available again (when a request is pending, the button is grayed out, and it says something like Friend Request Pending).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:48 AM on August 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


smackfu - can you set your newsfeed prefs to no events? Dunno how to get rid of TV.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:49 AM on August 30, 2007


Cool pinky, thanks.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:49 AM on August 30, 2007


Actually, it turns out that if you click on the Facebook icon next to them, they all get listed under a heading of "News Feed - All Fluff Stories." That's pretty accurate, IMHO. So I guess I would need to turn the pref for that type down... except there is none. I'll see what support has to say.
posted by smackfu at 10:50 AM on August 30, 2007


This is the #1 feature I need on Facebook, so I'm watching this thread in anticipation.
posted by Meagan at 10:53 AM on August 30, 2007


As far as what smackfu is requesting, I e-mailed Facebook and asked them:
Hi. I have sliders to control all sorts of other information on my news feed, but not external applications that I haven't even signed up for. I'm tired of these applications bumping off the interesting stuff (like photos and relationship status change). This makes Facebook less useful and somewhat spammy, like MySpace.
Their response:
Thanks for the suggestion. We will certainly keep it in mind as we continue to improve the site.
So I think the best thing to do is to send Facebook a suggestion. If enough people e-mail them, they might consider it.

If you care about the imperfections in "Less About These Friends," you might suggest a fix for that too.
posted by grouse at 11:54 AM on August 30, 2007


I apologise for the further thread hijack, but do users get notified when you remove them from your friends list? I'm starting to regret saying yes to some people I haven't seen since school and had no desire to remain in contact with anyway.

Back to the original post, I find the 'less about these friends' option doesn't stop annoying people turning up in my news feed as much as I like, usually because those people are the ones who find it necessary to install every stupid application and join every pointless group going. Perhaps a Greasemonkey script such as this one could be modified by somebody capable to make it hide items from certain users?
posted by chorltonmeateater at 1:17 PM on August 30, 2007


I apologise for the further thread hijack, but do users get notified when you remove them from your friends list?

No, they do not. I cleaned quite a few people off my list a few months ago.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:20 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


They aren't notified, but they may realize it eventually.
posted by grouse at 1:21 PM on August 30, 2007


Yes, that is possible, although if they have enough friends, they may not even remember adding you in the first place. I removed about 100 people from my "friend" list, and only 2 added me again.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:47 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I removed someone off my friends list, and the next day I had a request to add her as a friend. Kinda creepy. I had so many people on my limited list I just decided to delete them after a while. What is the point if you never talk?

Back on topic...I am also wondering about your question...
I tried the 'less of these friends' thing, and it didn't work...in fact, it seems to have worked in the opposite manner (I am seeing MORE from the people I am trying to see less of!) I don't get it. Must be a glitch.
posted by 20something at 2:30 PM on August 30, 2007


I have always suspected (without any proof whatsoever) that the news feed will show up more stuff from people whose profiles you look at more often. It would certainly explain why the "Less About These Friends" feature seems to work more poorly for certain people.
posted by grouse at 2:41 PM on August 30, 2007


That is to say, the people on my "Less About These Friends" list who still show up in my News Feed are the ones whose profiles I look at more.
posted by grouse at 2:42 PM on August 30, 2007


OK I have another FB question (sorry!): If I do something (update my status, add photos, whatever) that causes an entry to appear on the "Mini-Feed" on my profile page, but I then click the X for the "hide this mini-feed story", does this prevent that event showing up on all my friends' News Feeds, or is it only hiding it on my Mini-Feed and nowhere else?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:18 PM on August 30, 2007


EndsOfInvention: the event will still show up on your friends' News Feeds. Unless Facebook has adjusted this behavior very recently.
posted by grouse at 5:51 PM on August 30, 2007


Facebook sure is deceptively complex, isn't it? What I'm wondering (sorry) is about all these zombie bites I'm getting: are they being done deliberately to me by the biter, or is it an automatic thing the app does when someone becomes a zombie?
posted by bonaldi at 6:18 PM on August 30, 2007


bonaldi:
it's probably easier to bite all of your friends than to pick and choose who to bite. I also think there may be a "bite all friends" button.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 6:43 PM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


It can be pretty deceptive, especially if you don't want to be one of those people that clogs up others' news feeds. I opted out of having my every move (as much as possible, according to Facebook) spamming everyone. It's irksome if you just want to, say, remove one tv show from your 'interests' or if you test out an application you end up not liking and remove it instantaneously. Why does everyone need to know that you don't like Alf anymore?!
posted by Mael Oui at 9:26 PM on August 30, 2007


Another piggybacker: When you block someone, are they notified? I had to block someone (haven't answered any of her attempts to contact me in three years and just wanted her to leave me alone) and she sent me a nasty message through her husband's account. Did Facebook tell her I'd blocked her, or was she checking up on me and found out that way?
posted by orange swan at 5:57 AM on August 31, 2007


There's no notification that you've been blocked. The person doing the blocking just disappears from Facebook. Which means she noticed you disappeared and checked under her husband's account to see if you had really left Facebook or just blocked her. This was standard AIM behavior when I was in middle school.
posted by Partial Law at 7:24 AM on August 31, 2007


No luck on turning off the fluff stories:
Thank you for the feedback on the recent changes. However, you will not be able to turn this feature off at this time. We will keep your suggestion in mind, however, as we continue to improve the site. Let me know if you have any further questions.
posted by smackfu at 1:41 PM on August 31, 2007


There is a greasemonkey script to get rid of Fluff stories here, linked to from a long article about those stupid Fluff stories here
posted by JDHarper at 8:51 PM on September 26, 2007


JDHarper - I really wish that your link was legit; it's been tagged with a "A malicious user is uploading scripts that steal cookies."
posted by porpoise at 1:55 PM on October 13, 2007


porpoise, that script is perfectly fine for me -- I installed it a few weeks ago. I'm not seeing that message either (just a generic 'be careful of scripts!' warning), so I'm guessing it was a temporary across-the-board warning.

If there's no way to remove those ridiculous zombie notifications from my feed I may soon go insane. :P
posted by Moireach at 4:10 PM on November 15, 2007


It's just a standard boilerplate warning. It shows up on everything.

I'll have to find one to get rid of updates from that Movie Trivia application though. It shows up all the time, and I don't want to see it any more.
posted by JDHarper at 9:59 PM on November 15, 2007


For the movie trivia, that's an app, so that has separate settings. Click the Edit button for Apps on the left hand bar, then edit the settings for the particular app. You can disable it from your news feed, mini-feed, etc.
posted by smackfu at 5:07 AM on November 16, 2007


The problem is that I'm getting notifications for things my friends have installed, not things that I've installed. I'm not signed up for that movie trivia app, but I'm getting lots and lots of notifications from friends who have.
posted by JDHarper at 8:29 AM on November 16, 2007


Ooh, I figured out how to modify the Greasemonkey script from the previous link to filter out any given application. It's kind of a longish solution, so I've posted at to my blog. Hope it helps some Googler out there.
posted by JDHarper at 9:28 PM on November 16, 2007


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