A Chrome extension let you bulk-unfollow everyone, until Facebook squashed it

Originally published at: A Chrome extension let you bulk-unfollow everyone, until Facebook squashed it | Boing Boing

4 Likes

The Facebook News Feed has proven itself one of the most toxic services on the Internet, delivering disinformation and stress to 10s of millions of people for years. At least there are other similar extensions out there (one hopes open-source tools as well) to block it so that Zuckerberg and his thuggish lawyers can play whack-a-mole forever.

9 Likes

I don’t know, my feed is filled with posts from groups I follow (mostly woodworking, photography, and a couple local pages that amuse me) and posts from my friends. There is an occasional odd news story but for the most part I don’t see all the toxic misinformation. Once in a while a freind posts some conspiracy nonsense and I either hide the post or give them a time out but my Facebook is harmless posts that interest me. If an NRA or some other political ad or story pops up I immediately hide it and tell Facebook no more like those. It seems to work well.

Lots of ads though but at least those seem to be based on my searches or other ads I’ve clicked on so most of them are helpful and I’ve even purchased some stuff presented to me.

I guess Facebook is what you make of it and if you don’t want to see the misinformation or divisive stuff it’s not too hard to avoid. My guess is people that are seeing that stuff are seeking it out based on the groups they join or their like minded freinds. Of course I don’t accept every freind request and my freinds are only people I know personally and have actually spoke with on a phone or in person.

If Facebook went away tomorrow I wouldn’t miss it but, for me anyhow, it’s fun and a way to keep in touch with freinds and family especially during this pandemic stuff.

5 Likes

I was an admin for a local COVID forum on FB and when we got to 90% vaccination in town, the other admins and I decided there was nothing more to say, so we decided to shut it down. Except, you can’t delete a forum until you remove every member individually. Of which we have 1500. All I could do is pause it, but those connections are still there.

2 Likes

Bulk unfollow? Show me to paradise, NOW!

2 Likes

It’s probably far to simplistic a rule to implement, but increasingly I feel there needs to be some rule of law that states that both parties involved in a case can only bring as many resources to bear as the poorest participant.
As long as these mega-corporations have access to essentially infinite money, no-one stands a chance against them in court, and they will by definition re-write the rule of law to suit them.

15 Likes

I agree or, in the alternative, if I want to spend $1MM on legal fees, there’s a, say, 50% excise tax on those fees that goes to cover defense costs. There might be a reason to spend $10MM on discovery, but if we’re trying to get some semblance of the truth, then there’s a good reason the court should have the benefit of $5MM in defense.

2 Likes

Wait, people still use Facebook!?

1 Like

Leaving the blocking of bulk unfollowing aside, i’d highly reccomend most people cull their facebook follows to people you’re actually interested in

I probably did what most people did, in following all your schoolfriends / co-workers / family until your facebook feed ends up an overwhelming torrent of people seemingly doing better than you* ** Which ends up very demoralising.

I ended up just avoiding FB completely for years, but that led me to avoiding genuinely useful information…

Best thing i ever did on FB was taking a day to unfollow/unfriend all the people i no longer interact with or care about, leaving me with about ~15 people i actually want to hear about. FB is now an actual great source of information for me…

*people tend to post more when things go well
** i also did a similar thing on twitter with regards to political accounts, as it resulted in a deluge of negativity flooding the feed. I moved these to a separate account though so i can still see them if i need to.

2 Likes

I have yet to see misinformation grpups/posts on Facebook as I usually follow car groups and wood/metalworking groups. Back in May-ish last year I unfriended and blocked anti-maskers and this year started early blocking anti-vaxxers. My mom and step-dad are “republicans” (trumpists) so I don’t follow them at all.

Most of my friends these days are nurses (as is my wife and myself) and the few that are crazy got blocked in the beginning.

That said, I could see how being in an echo chamber of craziness could make it so that only misinformation is your information diet - Shit in shit out.

2 weeks ago I met with my mom to talk for a bit (she’s an antivaxxer so our interactions have been minimal), and all her talking points were conspiracy theories that I’ve heard of but never come across in the wild (but boing boing made me aware of).

2 Likes