A little while ago I wrote about Facebook ‘like’ spam; how it works, why likes are important and why anyone would make those pages to begin with. The response was pretty overwhelming and it went a little bit crazy on Facebook and various other places. (Read: All About Facebook Like Spam here)
As much as I’d like to hope that the articles popularity was due to either my One Direction-esque pretty boy good looks or my Pulitzer worthy writing style, the reality of it is that this Facebook spam stuff just really pisses off a lot of people.
And the number one question I’ve been asked since then has been ‘How do I stop this annoying stuff from showing up on my timeline’?
It’s a tricky one, as most of it is dictated by Facebook’s sharing algorithm and advertising settings, which are ultimately out of the control of any regular Facebook user. There are however a couple of techniques you can use to stop this Facebook spam from being as prominent. In fact, the functionality to eliminate this spam has been around for longer than the algorithm tweak that’s made the spam so common.
The first and most obvious technique is to not like or follow any of the spam posts you see as well as un-liking any pages that do regularly flood your newsfeed with crap.
The next and most effective option is to use custom lists.
Step #1 – Create a custom list
In the left navigation of your Facebook home page their is a Friends option. This section allows you to create a custom friends list. Hovering over the Friends title will show an option called ‘More’. Select this option and choose the ‘Create List’ option.
Step #2 – Add to the list
This is where you add the people who you want to be able to dictate the visibility of their posts. Yo could add every one of your friends, or the select few who are always the culprits for liking and commenting on rubbish content. Alternatively, you can break down into family, workmates, local friends, anything you want.
This is also handy for being able to dictate what content you create that you mightn’t want other to see (IE: Those drunken Halloween photos that maybe your boss and nanna shouldn’t probably be made aware of)
Step #3 – Setting permissions
Now you have your list of people, you can choose what interaction you want to have with them. Select the list, and in the top right corner there is an option to ‘Manage List’. Select the ‘ Choose Update Types…’ option.
Step #4 – Choosing settings
Now all you have to do is deselect the options you don’t want to see from these people. To eliminate the spam stuff, deselect the ‘comments and likes’ option. You can be as brutal as you want here of course, but remember that deselecting these options mean you will no longer see anything they like or comment on in your feed anymore – including the non spam stuff.
That’ll take care of a lot of the rubbish from your newsfeed with the exception of sponsored posts and Facebook ads of course, but it’s a good start.
Educating your friends
Another quick tip, if you do come across some posts that are flooding your newsfeed purely because a friend of yours liked a page, send them a message letting them know. Ultimately this stuff is using your relationship with your friends to advertise products on their behalf, without them even knowing it.
For example: A post shows up on my feed saying my 28 year old brother recommends X-Brand eyeliner – all because his girlfriend liked a page 3 years ago on his account.
I’m pretty sure he isn’t actually recommending this product or even aware that Facebook just told his 200+ friends that he thinks they should all buy it.
Or maybe he does. . . he is a bit of a weird dude.