And it reached to a point where I had to unfollow a couple of these friends because their posts keep showing up in my facebook newsfeed. But no, I've not unfriended any of them thus far.
Especially now that I no longer receive annoying shared posts from them with links from dubious websites delivering fake news, satirical sites, or sites I simply don't care for (more on that later).
Facebook's Hide Option Doesn't Always Work
I've searched for ways to block these posts with unwanted links from appearing in my feed. From what I've learned, Facebook's only option is to click on the right tab of the post and wait for the Hide and Unfollow options to appear.
One option, "Hide all from XXX" would've been the best as it blocks all posts from a certain Facebook group or individual account. However, the "hide all" option for the account you want blocked doesn't always appear.
I think it has to do with the way the link is being posted and shared. So, no, Facebook's solution doesn't always work.
Reporting Fake News Sites to Facebook
There is also a "Report post" option at the right tab. I believe I've repeatedly reported dozens of fake news sites to facebook. But other than the perfunctory "Thanks! Your feedback helps improve Facebook for everyone." message, there has been no semblance of improvement in my newsfeed.
Filter Out Unwanted Posts Sharing Fake News Websites
So here's a simple tool you could easily install. It's a browser extension called Social Fixer. Click on the link to download the Google chrome extension.
The nice thing about this program is it allows you to filter out posts based on the URL of the shared link and not on the person sharing.
It can hide all posts that share content from websites you don't want. There are actually many ways of setting up filters in the program. With the way I set my filter, I won't be seeing my friends' comments on the attached link either. But that's okay for me. It's simpler that way.
How to Enter the Unwanted Websites in Social Fixer
The simplest way to filter out unwanted websites is to first list them down and then input them into Social Fixer.
- Identify and list the domain names of some of your unwanted websites. In my case there are many and have morphed with annoying political content. Some of the unwanted websites in my list are:
pilipinasonlineupdates.com, trendingnews.com, themaharlikan.info, asianpolicy.com, pinoyspeak.com, socialpees.com, socialnewsph.com, netizensph.com, du30newsportal.com, philnewstrend.com, updater24.com, trending3portal.com, newstrendph.com, balita.definitelyfilipino.com, pinoytrending.com and many more.
You don't need a complete list at this point, just something to start with.
- After installing the Social Fixer extension, click on Social Fixer's wrench icon at the top right of Facebook as shown below.
- A list of options shows up. Choose 'Social Fixer Options'.
- After clicking 'Social Fixer Options', you'll see the main menu. One of the options of the menu in the left column is 'Filters'.
(See Part 2 for the continuation of this article)