How To: Disable Facebook’s Social Plugins

It is already pretty ubiquitous on the web; your Facebook profile seems to pop up everywhere! If you go to CNN, you find yourself already logged in with your Facebook profile and able to comment with it. If you go to Pandora, your music preferences are automatically shared with the site.

Logged in everywhere!

This form of “instant personalization” of sites using your Facebook profile is a privacy slippery slope. Therefore, if you are interested in protecting your privacy, you have a few options to do so…

Opting Out of Specific Sites

Instant Personalization on Yelp

Most decent sites that partner with Facebook, like Docs, Yelp, Pandora and others, allow you to turn off the personalization option upon visiting the site for the first time.

On the other hand, some other sites, such as CNN Money, don’t really provide you with any options to turn it off so you’ll have to look for other ways to do it. Turning it off on a case to case bases is a tedious and annoying endeavor.

Switching it off from the Source

The personalization option is on by default on Facebook but you will be able to disable it if you dig deep into your settings;

Turning off Facebook Instant Personalization

  • Click on “Account” on the top right of your Facebook home page and move to the “Privacy Settings
  • Under Privacy settings select “Applications and Websites” on the bottom left and select “Edit Your Settings”
  • Click on the “Edit settings” for Instant Personalization
  • BONUS - Edit the settings of  “Info accessible through your friends” under “Applications and Websites” and select the information that you feel comfortable letting your friends share with websites and applications.

Treat It Like The Spam It Is …

People don’t appreciate ads intruding on their browsing experience and hence they install Firefox and adblocker, for the same reasons some people don’t like Facebook intruding on their presence on the net. One of those people is David Collier who wasn’t too happy about Facebook’s instant personalization and hence blocked it.

  • Install Firefox and the AdBlock Plus add-on
  • After Starting Firefox click on the “ABP” icon next to your search bar to access the preferences or go to Tools–>AdBlock Plus Preferences
  • Click on Add Filter and create a filter called ‘Facebook Block’ and add the following code in it:
    ||facebook.*$domain=~facebook.com|~127.0.0.1
  • Click “Apply

Now AdBlock Plus will be blocking access and traffic to and from Facebook.com on any website except for Facebook.com. That way you will no longer see “like” buttons or swathes of the people who like a certain page or company and no longer have to deal with those pesky auto-logins.

Comments and Reactions

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Beiruta

    Thanks for the tips! They are amazing for someone who hates privacy invasion :)

  • DenjinJ

    haha… and I'm automatically logged in here with Disqus because I logged into a completely different site.

  • Blaarg

    Kinda Ironic that 16 people have “liked” this article…

  • Neuroelectronic

    I have this disabled already and it still shows up. You cannot trust facebook to actually make these privacy settings do what they say they do. They are monkey buttons i.e. you push them and nothing happens.

  • mildred

    thank you for this tirpsthey are amazing privacy invasion=)

  • Mym_souvenir Shop@yahoo.com

    How to:Disable facebook’s social plugins

  • Mym_souvenir Shop

    thanks for the trips they are amazing hate’s privacy invasion
    kt@ How to:disable facebook’s social plugins =)

  • randi651

    When social plugins were initially launched I disabled instant personalization. However, I am still logged into EVERYTHING. Are there any further steps I can take? Any idea why I am still logged in to sites?

  • James

    I have turned off ALL platform apps, yet I just visited a 3rd party webpage (globalpost.com) and there at the bottom I see my facebook name, picture and the words “facebook social plugin”. How is this happening? Disabling the plugin seems to work most of the time but obviously there are exceptions.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with others: I have “Enable instant personalization on partner websites” unchecked and have had it for a long time, and still get automatic logins, lists of friends’ activities, etc. on washingtonpost.com and other media sites. The information listed here may help, but it is not sufficient to stop this behavior.

  • purplellamas

    This worked for awhile, but just this morning I realized it’s back again and the only way to make it stop is by logging off Facebook before visiting other sites. Not only have I taken the above steps, I have Apps, Games and Websites disabled completely. Super frustrating.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com M.Bamieh

    I double checked the issue and I had my instant personalization disabled… but for some reason after your comments I went to check it and noticed that it was enabled now… so I disabled it and it’s working fine now.
    If not then i suggest that you install AdBlock and just follow the instructions above, it will take care of this matter

  • chri5tina

    I also found it funny that there was a “Facebook Like This” button at the bottom of the article…. but after I put the code into my ad blocker and refreshed, the button was gone. Woo!

  • http://profiles.google.com/dgpile01 David Pile

    My “instant personalization” is already disabled yet when I visit Mirriam-Webster and search for a word, then scroll down, unless I am actually logged out of FB, I see my FB profile pic and name in the “Seen & Heard” (BETA) area. In tiny print below this section it is identified as a FB Social Plug-in.

    So far the only way to negate this unwarranted connection is to log out of FB prior to visiting the M-W.COM site.

  • WhiteTeeRash

    Use the AdBlock Plus fix under “Treat it like the spam that it is”, in the article. I just did it. It works.

  • Anonymous

    I am in the same situation

  • http://twitter.com/PinkLuxe PinkLuxe

    Thank you so much for the Ad Block suggestion!

  • Stewart McNish

    Under Opera, Preferences Advanced, Cookies, Only accept cookies for the site I visit…
    Stops all the partner sharing privacy invading bullshit. 

  • The Rockfish

    Sadly I’m considering tearing down this whole FB crap, what
    a bunch of sell-outs.

     

    RockFish

  • http://www.elementary-agency.com/ London Marketing Agency

    Instant personalization” of sites using your Facebook profile is a
    privacy slippery slope. Therefore, if you are interested in protecting
    your privacy, you have a few options to do so

  • Foo

    Good, except that they probably still share your data (potentially including the real name) with the website in question. 

  • Thomaxi

    This worked with ABP, thanks!  I live in the UK and my FB Privacy settings say Instant Personalization isn’t available for me yet but it happens on loads of sites. 

  • Fdgdgdgdgd

    Thanks for the Facebook block-

  • http://www.maiburogu.se Kanjidude

    Thank you for the “Treat It Like The Spam It Is” solution – it works like a charm! :)
    I was getting so tired of Facebook appearing on every page, mainly because it makes pages take longer to load.

  • Cuddleyvt57

    I ACTIVATED A SOCIAL BOX ON FACEBOOK CHAT, IT TAKES THE WHOLE RIGHT SIDE OF PAGE 3INCHES IN. I HATE IT AND CAN NOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE IT GO BACK TO A NORMAL CHAT LEFT BOTTOM CORNER CHAT.PLEASE HELP/
    KATHLEEN QUINLAN

  • http://ross-warren.co.uk Ross Warren

    It’s a disqus like not a facebook like. Completely different.

  • No

    Thanks a ton! The ABP filter works wonders! :D

  • Blank

    The way social works, it is strange if you unfriend someone who is everyone’s favorite but not yours. I really wish facebook would allow me to HIDE my friends from all these sites.

    It is very annoying if someone in your social network that you do not really like keeps showing up with their ugly mugs on your favorite pages. “Your friend” just read this article too?

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