Because I wanted a cleaner Facebook feed.

After having deactivated my Facebook account for over two years, March last year I activated it back. I did not find much of a change in terms of usability and UI; but there were some new, strange kind of items in my feed.

As a person I changed a lot in those two years; got (intentionally) uninterested in politics, got into reading, followed some nice TV shows; so I had to update the pages I had liked. The day I activated the account, I unliked all the pages that I had liked, unfollowed all the people I was following. Then according to my new interests I liked not more than 10 facebook pages, and I was happy with those.

But still there were many feed items in my feed which I wished to not see. Some of them were

  • A friend of mine has liked her friend’s post; that post appears in my feed as “my friend liked this”.
  • My friend likes some sponsored page.
  • My friend likes some random post of topic he follows
  • Facebook caring a lot about me and suggesting a post
  • Caring even more to suggest a video that I may like

Some of these were of course sponsored content or ads, which I am fine with. But for rest of these, I wish I had settings to opt out of. I searched for such settings, and found none. I understand, facebook wants us to be engaged with the product by providing an indefinite scrolling and for that it has been coming up with new ways. But I was really annoyed by such posts.

Then I realised that I know Javascript, web’s own language. I can write a small script to remove such items from my feed and that’s what I did.

I wrote a hackish code to identify feed items by some titles and remove the DOM elements representing such posts. Here is the code. I took it a step further, created a chrome plugin out of it and published it to chrome web store; it is available here. All this, because I wanted a cleaner Facebook feed.