Fixing Facebook

Everyone has strong feelings about Facebook. Either you were dragged kicking and screaming into Facebook by your grandkids, or you can hardly tear yourself away.

One thing most people agree on, though, is that Facebook News Feeds look like someone threw spaghetti at the wall to see if it’s done.

Social Fixer for Facebook

Even once you’ve adjusted your Privacy Settings, so you’re not oversharing and your Notification Settings so you’re not bombarded with sounds and email, Facebook still looks like a mess, and it’s easy to click on something you don’t really want to click on.

We can fix that

I’ve been using the Adblock Plus browser extension for about a year now.

It’s good at blocking most of the annoying ads, but sometimes that’s just not enough. I found Social Fixer for Facebook about a month ago, and I’ve been impressed with it.

It’s not just a blocker (although it does some of that). You use it to customize how you view your Facebook News Feed.

Useful Social Fixer features:

Make Facebook always show Most Recent Stories first. Facebook itself randomly puts the feed back to Top Stories. Selecting the Most Recent Stories option in Social Fixer seems to prevent those random changes.

Filter our and organize posts. Yes. You can filter out stories on topics you just don’t want to look at anymore. Use any of the filters built in to Social Fixer or simply create your own.

Want to hide “People you might know”? Enable the filter. Were you sick and tired of reading (or skipping!) posts about a certain election? You could have hidden them by enabling a filter.

Want to get rid of “Sponsored Posts”? Enable that filter.

Show the correct time of a post. Some of us think “an hour ago” isn’t helpful. We’d rather see and exact date and time, and Social Fixer lets you toggle this off and on.

Show or hide entire sections of the page. Don’t like the section on the right with the adds? Yes. You can hide that.

Anonymize posts. Most people don’t care about this, but when I take a screen shot of my Facebook page to put in this column or show someone, I try to take out personal information about other people.

This means I edit the screen shot. But Social Fixer suppresses profile pictures and changes the name associated with the post.

There are more things you can turn off and turn on again until you get your Facebook looking the way you want it to. Get Social Fixer here.

It will recognize what browser you are using and give you a download for the correct browser extension.

Social Fixer hasn’t broken my Facebook, my Firefox browser, or anything else on my computer. It hasn’t slowed anything down, either.

Social Fixer is Donationware. It’s completely free to use. No features are disabled in the free version, but the developer asks you to contribute if you like the program.

Migrate your Flickr photos to Google Photos

Last week’s column about the security breach at Yahoo showed how to migrate your email and contacts from Yahoo mail to Gmail. A colleague asked, “Should I be concerned about my Flickr account?”

Yes! Flickr is part of Yahoo, and you use the same user name and password for both. If you have lost all faith in Yahoo’s ability to keep your information safe, you can migrate your Flickr photos to Google Photos.

Yahoo hasn’t made it easy, though. You need to find the photos you want to migrate, download them as a .zip file, “unzip” them, and then upload them to Google Photos. The folks at CNET have a detailed procedure, here.

You might want to work with Google Photos a little bit before you kill off you Flickr account. It’s a great product, but there’s a learning curve.


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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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