Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why and How I'm on Facebook Now

Longtime readers will remember that I did not use Facebook because of the seductive advertising images.  Last month I found a way to block the images in their advertisements, so I have an active Facebook account now.  (I'd love to connect with you!)

Facebook has proven to be an excellent way to communicate efficiently with a number of friends at once.  It also has far more users than any other tool I've tried, which means I have been able to find friends I haven't heard from in years.

In case you are interested in blocking the images also, here are the details:
  • This only works in the browser Mozilla Firefox.  (Internet Explorer and Chrome do not offer this option as far as I can tell.)
  • After you've logged into Facebook, right click one time on one of the advertisement images.  Left click on "Block images from...".  This will block all images from that particular URL.  (Thankfully, Facebook uses a different URL to serve images of "friends" and their photos than it uses to serve the advertisements.)
  • There may be a couple of URLs serving advertisements so you may have to perform this "block" a couple times if you are still seeing image ads.
  • The text in the ads will continue to show and the ads will continue to perform normally.  You can "X" them, "like" them, or click on them to be taken to the destination page, just like a normal ad.  (I keep "liking" the good ads and X'ing the bad ones so that over time Facebook will stop showing me the bad ones.  I may even turn images back on then.
  • I read through Facebook's Terms of Service carefully, and I did not find anything saying that it is forbidden to block the images in their advertisements.  I think it is important to follow their terms because this is a free service they are providing and they do have the right to set the rules.
I've also installed the free ad-blocker from called Matt5:30, but I'm not sure if it provides me any additional protection beyond what I'm getting from Firefox.  I do know that Matt5:30 alone did not block the images.  

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