Tag Archives: like button

Remove Facebook like buttons with NoScript

If you don’t like Facebook’s omnipresent Like widgets (there were already plenty of reasons why not to like them and last week’s cookie-debacle only added to that conclusion) and if you already use NoScript so you don’t want to install another plugin (like Ghostery, which reports any tracking activity and allows you to block it), you can put this in NoScript’s ABE user ruleset (NoScript Options -> advanced -> ABE);

# Allow Facebook scripts and objects to be included only
# from Facebook pages
Site .facebook.com .fbcdn.net .facebook.net
Accept from .facebook.com .fbcdn.net .facebook.net
Deny INCLUSION(SCRIPT, OBJ, SUBDOC)

This tells NoScript to allow Facebook scripts (you know, to visit facebook.com), but to stop them from being included in other sites. I guess with NoScript’s surrogate scripts one might even be able to replace Facebook’s Like-widget with one that just shows the old-fashioned (and harmless)  share-button. Now wouldn’t that be fun?

Why I dislike Facebook’s Like widgets

I like Facebook. I like sharing stuff there, I like liking friends’ activities and I like friends sharing and liking my links and posts. But I really, really don’t like Facebook’s Like buttons and similar boxes! Because I see some serious problems with the like button;

  1. The page containing the “like”-widget loads and renders significantly slower (i.e. performance impact)
  2. Facebook can track me visiting this page, even if I don’t click on “Like” (i.e. privacy issue)
  3. When I do click “Like”, I have no way of checking what will be shown on Facebook. And indeed the buttons are already being used to spread spam, malware is expected to be next (i.e. security risk)
  4. “Liking” a page enters me into a relationship with the page owner, allowing them to “publish updates to the user [and] target ads to people who like [their] content” (i.e. 2nd privacy issue, severely aggravated by the security risk)

No, call me old-fashioned, but I’m much more at ease with the normal Facebook share-mechanism;

  • a simple link, so no performance impact
  • no contact with Facebook unless clicked on, so tracking of my surfing behavior is not possible
  • an intermediate screen shows what you’re about to share, meaning a much lower security risk
  • no forced relationship with the  page owner, i.e. “avert 2nd privacy-risk: CHECK”

But as I can’t force site-owners to remove the “Social Widgets”, I can only install something like No FB Tracking to disable the virus that is the Facebook Like-button. And whine about it on my blog, off course.