How to Control Facebook

Is there any way in Facebook to prevent certain topics from appearing on one’s timeline?

I have one contact that scours every Dr. Who site she can find and posts everything (?) that she finds the slightest bit interesting.

Another contact that has to post a picture of every bit of cheese she has ever eaten.

And another that posts 20-30 requests for X that she needs for Farmville.

Another works for an animal shelter, and she posts pictures of cats and dogs that are in danger of being destroyed.

Then there are dozens of posters that think that everyone else wants to see what they ate (thankfully, before they ate it; I want to post a picture of what I ate, after I ate it, whenever I see that).

In my mind, Facebook is for pictures of kittehs, jokes, and complaining about neocons.

How can I achieve this on Facebook?

You can block specific posters from showing up on your timeline without them knowing.

You can block specific applications (like Farmville) from your timeline.

You can reduce the priority placed on specific posters.

You can remove specific posts from your timeline to inform the algorithm on what you like and dislike.

Check out the Social Fixer app. It has a filtering option that I find invaluable.

What has already been suggested, alternatively make different friends.

The Farmville posts are probably automatic. Many apps (both facebook apps and phone/tablet apps) ask you to provide your facebook account, and reward you with something you need in the game for doing it. Then they spam your facebook with automated junk from the game about your ‘achievements’ or needs. I’ve got the Facebook IP address range blocked from sending on my android device, just to prevent games from doing that…

On the web version of your timeline, click the arrow/chevron thing in the top right corner of the post. It will give you “I don’t want to see this”, “unfollow” the friend, and “hide all from” the original source options. Select the latter on any Farmville post. You will no longer see any Farmville requests. Dr. Who is a bit trickier; you’ll have to block her source sites one by one. Most of them are probably BBC America, though.

You can not sign up for Facebook at all.

I have carefully avoided it so far, and each time I see posts like this, or hear discussions among friends about similar problems, I am glad I have avoided Facebook.

The minor annoyances are vastly outweighed by the benefits. Unless your friends and family suck.

It will depend on what platform you use. Mobile devices are hard to do anything useful with Facebook on. However if you use a PC, Linux, or Mac and a common browser, you can install FB Purity, which allows much more useful control of rubbish. I would simply walk away from Facebook without it.

Moderator Note

The OP clearly intends to use Facebook. Telling them not to use it serves no useful purpose in the discussion and comes across as a bit of a threadshit. Please don’t do this again.

No warning issued.

FB Purity is another great third-party plugin that cleans up Facebook. I can’t stand Facebook without it.

One of its features is text filtering:

So you can filter out all posts containing Dr. Who with this code:


The fancy computer code is for blocking variations of that, like Dr Who, Doctor Who, Dr. Who

It also blocks ads, games, apps, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Highly recommended.

I would suggest that you just ‘unfollow’ each of these individuals. That way all the awesome topics that you mentioned won’t show on your wall but you don’t have to unfriend anyone. Farmville is different since it’s an app, but you can completely block it and any others you see pretty easily.

FB doesn’t provide any existing way to filter by topic - they make money by showing you all of that unfiltered crap - and I wouldn’t trust any 3rd party site that would want access to your FB username/password or any rights to your account.

Hope that helps.

To address the game update stuff directly, IIRC there’s a chevron in the upper right corner of those, too. Click on it and follow the prompts to block stuff from that game. It will take you to the game’s page where there’s an option to block it completely from your feed. I had to do it more often at first, to block the more popular games that friends were playing, but if you can tell from the ambiguity of my post here, I haven’t had to do it in a long time.

You cannot specifically bolock topics, but you can take a survey from that same chevron mentioned above, and make sure to always mark certain post topics as “non interested.” I did this with political posts a few times and I mostly don’t see them anymore. (You may have to first choose "I’m not interested in this post, and answer why.)

It’s true you can unfollow specific games, users, or sites by using the chevron, as well. So if all the Doctor Who stuff comes from another site, you can handle it there.

There used to also be an option to reduce what you get from certain users, but that seems to be gone.

Go to the person’s timeline; at the top there is a “Friends” drop down menu. Set that to “Acquaintances”. That will get rid of most but not all stuff from that person (if you want that person to still be a FB friend but want to see nothing at all from them, turn off “Following” in that person’s timeline)