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June 18, 2009 1:45 AM   Subscribe

Run Firefox with greasemonkey and Facebook Purity to free yourself from the Tyranny of Facebook Quizzes. It's the nuclear option, and it works... like the bomb. BOOM. No more quizzy.
posted by chuckdarwin (72 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is good news.
Next up: A Greasemonkey script that automatically removes from your friends list anybody who takes one of those quizzes or plays Zombies and Vampires.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:50 AM on June 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


Gawd yes.
posted by darkstar at 1:54 AM on June 18, 2009


I just play whack-a-mole with my feed, hiding the references to quizzes my friends took. That works just as well.
posted by emelenjr at 2:03 AM on June 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Apparently, adblocker plus is also a good idea :-)
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:12 AM on June 18, 2009


Apparently, adblocker plus is also a good idea :-)

I can't browse without it. I suggest it to people and what really blows my mind is the people who say "Yes, but ads don't really bother me anyway".
My dad was solidly in the IE6 camp because Firefox was "confusing" and "didn't show websites right" but after he found out he could load sites all that much faster by not downloading the ads, he was all over it.

>: I just play whack-a-mole with my feed, hiding the references to quizzes my friends took. That works just as well.

That's funny, I've used the same whack-a-mole reference.
Problem is that in my case, the same people only do that quiz once and move on to a new one, which you have to hide again. I think the real solution in situations like this is to just not have that kind of person on your friends list.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:20 AM on June 18, 2009


There is also stylish plugin for firefox which offers a number of canned styles for FB and other sites:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2108
posted by zog at 2:28 AM on June 18, 2009


Wow. Just yesterday I started digging into the source for Facebook's homepage to see if I could write a GM script for this purpose. Thanks!
posted by moonbiter at 2:31 AM on June 18, 2009


Seven comments in, and no-one has said "Is this something I'd have to be on FB to understand?" or "The easiest way to avoid this problem is to avoid FB?"

You're getting soft, MetaFilter.

/ on FB himself
posted by you just lost the game at 3:08 AM on June 18, 2009


shared
posted by lenny70 at 3:29 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've been using this for about a month, and it's definitely the nuclear option when it comes to quizzes.
I tried doing the whack-a-mole, just hiding individual quizzes, but they propagate like crazed weasels in a sack and there's always just one more that you haven't hidden. It's a never ending chore. Emphasis on the word chore.

This way, you can nuke them from orbit, just to be sure.
posted by willmize at 3:46 AM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Quiz results and Pick-Five things can be pretty fun conversation starters on FB.
posted by scrowdid at 3:53 AM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nice, thanks. The quizzes have gotten increasingly pointless but people can't seem to resist taking them.
posted by octothorpe at 4:01 AM on June 18, 2009


Seven comments in, and no-one has said "Is this something I'd have to be on FB to understand?" or "The easiest way to avoid this problem is to avoid FB?"

You people actually use Facebook?
posted by bwg at 4:17 AM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


bwg, only for blatant self-promotion. I don't have a booking agent.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:19 AM on June 18, 2009


I was getting these every few minutes for a while. Then I stopped taking them or even going to FB. It eventually dried up.

Seriously, it's a useless, corporate-owned addiction, people.
posted by DU at 4:29 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Quiz results and Pick-Five things can be pretty fun conversation starters on FB.

There is an option to see everything that's been blocked, if you really want to look at them.

I installed this about three weeks ago and it makes things SOOOOOO MUCH NICER.
posted by Lucinda at 4:37 AM on June 18, 2009


Looks good. It blocks a few things I'd rather it wouldn't - Selective Twitter posts and tumblr posts, for instance, and Flicker. Ideally it'll develop some more granularity in time, but until then, this is better than the alternative! Thanks.
posted by benzo8 at 4:41 AM on June 18, 2009


This even works with GreaseKit for Safari/Chrome/Opera/etc. users.
posted by robinhoudt at 4:53 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've been using this for several weeks, and I love it, but it does make my feed pretty short. I like the way it tells you up in the corner how many quizzes it's blocking. So far my record high is 11.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 4:55 AM on June 18, 2009


You can also become a fan of FB Purity on facebook.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 4:56 AM on June 18, 2009


I have a box with a chastity belt on it to demonstrate my facebook purity.
posted by clearly at 4:59 AM on June 18, 2009


I heard about this last week from a friend, and I've been agonizing1 over it since then: do I use the script, because gawd do I hate these quizzes, or do I refrain, because then I'll need to find another way to get that sweet sweet feeling of smug superiority?

Y'know, I'm sure I can find another way. I'm good at that. Oh hey, there we go.

1. Ok, not really agonizing.

posted by Lemurrhea at 5:03 AM on June 18, 2009


Seriously, it's a useless, corporate-owned addiction, people.

This is too funny when it is posted on the Metafilter Network LLC.
posted by srboisvert at 5:16 AM on June 18, 2009 [15 favorites]


How about a script that allows you to do stuff on FB without agreeing to open-up yourself and all of your friends personal info?

I'm not a FB maven by any means, but, every once in awhile, I'll see an something interesting on a friend's page and think "Sure...why not?" and click to try it. Of course, I always get that "agreement" you have to check that says, basically, "If you want to do this, you agree to open yourself and all your friends information to us." This is probably the most aggravating thing about FB. You need to mine my information AND all my friends, whom I'm not comfortable speaking for, just so I can take a stupid poll?

Yeah, I know. It's FB. It's all about interconnections. Still...I don't see the need for something so big-brother-ish just so a single person can have a little fluffy fun.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:17 AM on June 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


jbickers took the "Which social networking site are people missing the point of?" and the answer is Facebook!
posted by jbickers at 5:19 AM on June 18, 2009


To hide certain applications' activity (my pet peeve being Mafia Wars): hold mouse over a friend's Mafia Wars post, near the right. Click on "Hide" button that appears. Select "Hide Mafia Wars". Voilà, fini. You can see them later since FB shows you "X posts hidden" at the bottom of your feed, where you can view them if you want. Unfortunately doesn't work too well for quizzes since each quiz is considered a separate application.

I have mixed feelings about the quizzes. I only friend people I trust and really care about, and the active ones are a fun bunch who will make jokes that have me splitting my sides with laughter about otherwise dumb quizzes. They're also thoughtful, and we've had some interesting discussions triggered by quizzes and "five things" posts. On the other hand, I realize that not everyone cares about them and can understand the reasons for that. As for the sneers at FB? I'm originally from Oregon and live in France, with a 2-year stint in Finland nine years ago. I grew up a tomboy in a rural area -- the vast majority of my friends are guys who feel uncomfortable writing to a woman they're not romantically involved with. There was and is no way they were going to keep in touch via email more than once a year. But with Facebook, which is less formal and, especially, a group setting, I can see their families, watch their videos, read what they're up to, have a good laugh with them at some silly thing like you do when you see each other in real life, except half a world apart. Facebook certainly has its faults when it comes to privacy and the things applications can do, but dangit... two years ago I didn't even know where most of my old friends lived, much less how they were doing. Now I can see how they're doing whenever they update, which for most, is pretty often. It's awesome. Facebook is largely what you make of it.
posted by fraula at 5:45 AM on June 18, 2009 [8 favorites]


Do you miss the old Facebook? Try the Unfuck Facebook greasemonkey script. It doesn't bring back stuff I miss like alerts when your friends add someone, but it gets rid of the more annoying bits of the redesign.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:47 AM on June 18, 2009


Seanyboy took the Which applications would you block from facebook? quiz and the result is "None of Them".
You're a naive little Angel. By answering the questions to these quizzes, we're amassing a huge amount of data about you. Political Affiliations, where you hang out, your health. You know that GreaseMonkey was made by the dirty Socialists, and by not installing it, you've given us an extra little piece of information about yourself. Now - why don't you press that "tell all your friends" button. This sort of marketing information doesn't make itself.
posted by seanyboy at 5:58 AM on June 18, 2009 [14 favorites]


During my whole year in Europe, almost none of my 'friends' (real or otherwise) answered me when I wrote them on Facebook. I think it's time for a major purge again, although I keep talking about deleting my account. Someday.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:19 AM on June 18, 2009


Is this something I'd have to have friends to understand?
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 6:19 AM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


SWEET JESUS YES.

You have just finally convinced me to get Firefox.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:36 AM on June 18, 2009


Metafilter: Getting soft.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:46 AM on June 18, 2009


I already use Facebook Purity. Only it's called Twitter?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:55 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Getting soft.

Isn't the blue supposed to prevent softness?
posted by bwg at 6:57 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I suggest it to people and what really blows my mind is the people who say "Yes, but ads don't really bother me anyway".

Ads don't really bother me, either. I have flashblock, right enough, so don't see the most egregious ones, but still, hope your mind is pleasantly blown now.
posted by fightorflight at 7:07 AM on June 18, 2009


An alternative to just hiding them as fraula suggests is to completely block the application by doing the following:

1) Click on the "Take This Quiz" option.

2) When you get to the page that says "Allow Access", do NOT click Allow. Instead, click on the name of the quiz in the first sentence of the paragraph.

3) This takes you to the page for the application and you can choose "Block Application" on the right side of the page.


I don't mind some of the quiz results, but this got rid of the Mafia Wars and everything else from my feed without the "# posts hidden" showing up.

But the nuclear option is looking pretty good too... hmm.....
posted by educatedslacker at 7:13 AM on June 18, 2009


Isn't the blue supposed to prevent softness?

I thought that was the grey.
posted by educatedslacker at 7:14 AM on June 18, 2009


Quiz results and Pick-Five things can be pretty fun conversation starters on FB.

I don't want to start conversations, I just want to spy on people!
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 7:26 AM on June 18, 2009


This even works with GreaseKit for Safari/Chrome/Opera/etc. users.

Or, with chrome, use the --enable-user-scripts option when loading the browser, and put your scripts in the right place, and you're good to go. You may need to use the Chrome channel browser to get on one of the slightly-less-stable update cycles....Not all scripts work, but I've been using Facebook Purity for a few weeks now.
posted by msbrauer at 7:36 AM on June 18, 2009


Quiz results and Pick-Five things can be pretty fun conversation starters on FB.

"Wow! So if you were a toothpaste you would be Crest Tarter Control? You know, I have always suspected the same thing about myself, for years even, but I've been afraid to bring it up, felt like I was all alone you know. But now that I found you I feel like I could just open right up and share for the first time ever. Names Donnie by the way, and am I ever glad to meet you!"

Nah, don't see it happening. Not in my world anyway.
posted by sourwookie at 7:38 AM on June 18, 2009


I've been using Purity for about a month now.

Love it!
posted by sourwookie at 7:39 AM on June 18, 2009


Thank you chuckdarwin.

I wanna be FB friends with all of you. How else am I going to be the nerdboy version of Tila Tequila?
posted by greekphilosophy at 7:56 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is tangently related:
The other day I was in a public library and sat down at a bank of computers to use the internet. The girl sitting next to me was playing some sort of farming game within facebook. For the 20 minutes I was there all she did was click on the next adjacent square of "land" to plant another square of "crop."
And I thought to myself "Is this what we're reduced to? are we just retreating down layers of encapsulation until eventually we're existing within an addon to an addon of a webpage?" I mean, shit, that girl could just go and play Runescape and it would probably 10x better, but if it's not within the facebook universe then I guess it doesn't exist.
posted by hellojed at 7:57 AM on June 18, 2009


A friend of mine recently busted out this little gem: "Facebook is life-support for weak friendships."

I couldn't agree more. If I actually gave a flying fuck what you've been doing since high school / college / working together at that shitty restaurant, I'd know.
posted by brand-gnu at 7:58 AM on June 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I use the other nuclear option—anyone who uses these quizzes gets hidden from my news feed. It's always the same people.

But man, I really miss the previous incarnation of Facebook. So much better than this poor imitation of Twitter.
posted by grouse at 7:58 AM on June 18, 2009


If I could favorite this a thousand times, I would.
posted by geeky at 7:59 AM on June 18, 2009


I mean, shit, that girl could just go and play Runescape

With the 20 minutes, that girl could have actually planted a few real vegetables.
posted by educatedslacker at 8:05 AM on June 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Man, I need to stop reading AskMe...it's a MeFi spoiler.
posted by gnomeloaf at 8:25 AM on June 18, 2009


Or made a nickel on Mechanical Turk.
posted by box at 8:26 AM on June 18, 2009


Quiz results and Pick-Five things can be pretty fun conversation starters on FB.

I know, right? The conversations usually go like this:

Them: "Hey, haha, look at what Skeletor Handjob Cupcake Flavor this quiz says I am!"

Me: "DIE."

I installed this script a couple weeks ago, and it saves me the effort of having that fun conversation started eight times an hour.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:27 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


brand-gnu: "A friend of mine recently busted out this little gem: "Facebook is life-support for weak friendships."

I couldn't agree more. If I actually gave a flying fuck what you've been doing since high school / college / working together at that shitty restaurant, I'd know.
"

Maybe it's an age thing but since email didn't exist (at least for the masses) when I was in high school/college, I lost contact with a lot of friends who would have remained friends otherwise.
posted by octothorpe at 9:04 AM on June 18, 2009


I mean, shit, that girl could just go and play Runescape

My brother had a serious problem a while back with playing Runescape all day long. I ended up editing the HOSTS file on the family computer to point the website to Suicide Girls instead.
He was really confused.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:24 AM on June 18, 2009


My brother had a serious problem a while back with playing Runescape all day long. I ended up editing the HOSTS file on the family computer to point the website to Suicide Girls instead.

You got your brother to stop fucking around all day on the computer by pointing him to Suicide Girls?

...

...your gay brother?

what really blows my mind is the people who say "Yes, but ads don't really bother me anyway".

People literally don't see them.
posted by Diablevert at 9:46 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Personally, I've always wanted a nice, light Facebook management program, like what's out for Twitter. I find it a pain to login to Facebook and wait for all the lag when stuff loads, and the interface isn't too nice. I'm guessing Facebook doesn't have much of an API, if any, to speak of, but I'd still like to see something if it exists. FWIW, my favorite twitter program is Tweetie.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:59 AM on June 18, 2009


MetaFilter:I have a box with a chastity belt on it
posted by aldus_manutius at 10:00 AM on June 18, 2009


Mccarty: wouldn't facebook be pretty hostile to any such program, and discourage having its content piped through it? They already ban users who take scrapers to their content.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:08 AM on June 18, 2009


I've been using this for a few weeks now, the first GM script I've ever used. It is so good for my mental health.

Unfortunately the intervening months of super-annoying quiz-heavy facebook, absent some of the good things that used to appear in news feeds (like people changing their profile pic) has made facebook a much less appealing destination for many of the friends whose status updates I used to enjoy reading.

So now it is much more dominated by a few people who post all the time, and I don't read it as much, which is just as well.

I don't think it will die off anytime soon, because practically everyone I know is on there and it is a good way to contact people, especially people you've recently met, but I predict it will stop being the on-all-the-time addiction for many people unless they add some new interestingness.
posted by mai at 10:40 AM on June 18, 2009


My mother, who's not-quite-sixty, recently reconnected with a friend from her elementary school days, and they're apparently going out for coffee when we head up to Ottawa for a vacation July. Of course, this reconnection happened on facebook. I thought that was pretty cool.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:50 AM on June 18, 2009


jetsetsc took the quiz: 'Which recursive self-referential MeFi post are you?"

Answer: You are "Which meaningless and annoying FaceBook quiz are you?"

Answer: You are "Which Gilligan's Island Character Are You?"

Answer: You Are Mary Anne: very hot in short shorts!!
posted by jetsetsc at 11:34 AM on June 18, 2009


"I find it a pain to login to Facebook and wait for all the lag when stuff loads, and the interface isn't too nice."

It's like Metafilter, you just never logout.
posted by Mitheral at 12:31 PM on June 18, 2009


I think the Facebook quizzes lost me when they started asking me what diagnosable DSM-IV malady I would be best described as possessing.
posted by blucevalo at 12:35 PM on June 18, 2009


Greasemonkey junkies may also find these interesting:

Facebook News Feed App Auto-Blocker
Facebook In-Feed App Blocker
Block All Facebook Applications
Auto-Block Facebook Applications

There's some overlap between these(mostly in the way they auto-block crap, or not), so try 'em and use your favorite.
posted by 40 Watt at 1:53 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or, alternatively, just stop using Facebook altogether, which worked for me, too.
posted by 40 Watt at 1:55 PM on June 18, 2009


I wanna be FB friends with all of you. How else am I going to be the nerdboy version of Tila Tequila?

You could always MeFi marry us all.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:14 PM on June 18, 2009


A friend of mine recently busted out this little gem: "Facebook is life-support for weak friendships."

I couldn't agree more. If I actually gave a flying fuck what you've been doing since high school / college / working together at that shitty restaurant, I'd know.


I think that if you're having this problem, then you've probably got the wrong people as friends on Facebook. Grow a spine and de-list people who are not your friends.

Facebook is a great tool for me for the following:

1. Current contact info. People move and sometimes change their email/phone/addresses. If I need someone's current cell phone number and they're a Facebook regular, it's probably accurate.

2. Spam free* messages. Email is bogged down with spam. People are moving to sites like Facebook and IM services to send electronic messages. If I send a message to a Facebook regular, I can be sure it didn't end up in her spam folder. For bonus points, if it's something that isn't confidential and that I think other friends of hers might be interested in, I can put it right on her wall where everyone can see it.
* I haven't gotten any spam on Facebook yet anyway. I'm assuming it's out there. Spam reduced, perhaps?

3. Keeping up with family news. I can check out the status messages of my family and the pictures they post to see what's up with their lives. Then I can comment on them. Sure, you can say, "You could just call them," but I don't see how this is any less valid. The use of the handwritten letter has gone way down since phones and Internet access. This is just another step.

That said, I could do without all the games and crap on Facebook. I do a fairly good job of ignoring them, but this will probably help even more. Someone recently said to me, "I'm getting pretty bored of Facebook lately." I guess if you use it as some sort of social hangout it might get boring. If you're using it as a communication tool, then it's as boring as the telephone.
posted by ODiV at 4:24 PM on June 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I get a bit evangelical about Facebook purity. I force it on my FB friends who complain about the quizzes.
posted by gingerbeer at 4:29 PM on June 18, 2009


Is there a greasemonkey script that eliminates all Quiznos?
posted by ericbop at 4:31 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, UbuRoivas, the "FB" doesn't stand for FaceBook. That's not the kind of friend I want to be with you all...
posted by greekphilosophy at 5:49 PM on June 18, 2009


Oh, so like a FB friend is like an ATM machine?
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:17 PM on June 18, 2009


Yep--to quote Xzibit, you run it through and money come out.
posted by box at 6:08 AM on June 19, 2009


Also, I don't really mind the restaurants. Those commercials about the dude fucking the HAL-esque sandwich machine, however, are a whole different story.
posted by box at 6:09 AM on June 19, 2009


Tangentially related: how to read your friends' status updates via RSS.

Go here, then right-click on the “Your Notifications” link and copy its URL to your clipboard. You’ll have:

http://www.facebook.com/feeds/notifications.php?id=[number]&viewer=[same number]&key=[different number]&format=rss20

Replace “notifications” with “friends_status”.

That’s a RSS feed for your friends’ status updates. One less queue to check.

Taken from here.
posted by WCityMike at 9:44 AM on June 20, 2009


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