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I'm considering leaving facebook for the first time, because of the Sponsored Stories thing, which is showing up with disturbing regularity, and frequently winds up as ads for things that make me angry.

Nowadays, if you "Like" something, then that something can pay for the privilege to insert whatever stories it likes into your friends' facebook feeds, under the heading "so-and-so likes such-and-such" followed by your own message. Interestingly the person whose name is being used for the advertisement has no idea what ads are going out under their name.

Two of these in particular show up in my facebook feed several times a week and raise my blood pressure every time they do. One is a particularly annoying evangelical preacher slash motivational speaker who fills up my newsfeed with god-stuff due to the fact that a vague acquaintance I've met a couple of times happens to "like" him. Another is a political thing which fills up my newsfeed with posts I find highly disagreeable under the name of another friend of mine.

What were they thinking? Facebook has designed a feature which makes me hate my friends.

"Nowadays, if you "Like" something, then that something can pay for the privilege to insert whatever stories it likes into your friends' facebook feeds, under the heading "so-and-so likes such-and-such" followed by your own message."

I find myself wanting to set up a Facebook account just to start screwing with that. Is it something that can be screwed with? ("jerf liked Crest brand toothpaste! He said: 'When you get home from a long day of work and just really need the unctuous feel of something smeared on your feet, there's nothing like Crest Toothpaste. Mmmm.... yeah.... oh my.... pics soon.'") Getting someone else to pay for that would almost be worth it.

That's not how it works. Instead, Crelm toothpaste will note that you've liked them and forevermore your friends will get stories posted directly by Crelm toothpaste with the heading

Jerf likes Crelm Toothpaste [blah blah blah a big picture depicting how wonderful Crelm toothpaste is]

So when you say "followed by your own message", the "your" is the advertiser? (That's valid, just clarifying.)

Of course, it could be no other way, since I'm hardly the only one who feels this way.

As my message implies, I'm not actually on Facebook, but my wife yesterday registered a complaint about a cousin I have that "likes" a couple dozen things a day. (And again, disclaimer, I don't actually take the HN discussions to her, as a non-tech person she ends up bringing them to me. These are not uncommon feelings.) Of course Facebook is just selling eyeballs, but there's a delicate dance of deception they must do with their users to not let it become blatent. If it becomes blindingly obvious that the users are taking second priority to the real customers, the users will eventually leave, and then where will the real customers be?

I've been wondering about this, if I'm the only one going crazy or what. I don't think the ones that appear in your news feed are called "sponsored stories", but I could be wrong.

It's almost enough that I want to email my family and tell them to unlike all the crap they liked... Even trying to get FB not to display "likes" from that person fails to hide them.

Facebook already includes tools to solve your issues. Either unfriend the vague acquintances, hide all their posts from your feed, or hide the annoying posts following some criteria.

It doesn't work, there is a family member I have set to "Never show up on my news feed", and keeps coming back every time.

I "unsubscribed" from the family member I no longer want to hear from. That way we're still "friends", I can visit his page and read what he's been posting, but it doesn't show up on my feed.

Agree. Facebook is a tool whose scope of use can be adjusted by each user's needs and expectations. It is true that the setting changes are not the most user-friendly / intuitive. It's also fair that some people want to cut off certain dependency of any tool, but it's not the tool to blame but a personal choice to make.

Actually I've discovered that the ads keep appearing even if you do hide all their posts from your feed.

Actually, I just discovered that ads keep appearing even if you defriend the person!

I just defriended someone who works for a social game company because they were pushing waaaay too many ads through to my feed. I felt bad about doing it because I don't mind the guy on a personal level, but shit it was annoying. Anyway, having defriended him I reloaded my news feed only to find that the ad was still there!

Now, maybe that's a one-off and the servers hadn't quite synchronized yet, but damn. Facebook makes me dump my friends to avoid ads and still gives me the ads!

It might take awhile for the defriending action to propagate to whatever system is generating the ads?

Farmville made me hate my friends on Facebook.

Farmville could be blocked relatively easily. These can't be blocked at all.

When you are about to grant access to an application, be sure to read the policies and pay attention to your feed. Remove any unwanted crap.

It's like maintaining your inbox unfortunately.

Why are you facebook friends with people who post things you don't like?

I don't facebook often... don't they still have the ability to turn down how frequently you see posts from people? Can't you put them in facebook's equivalent of "circles" and keep their crap out of your feed?

They don't post things I don't like -- they merely like things I don't like and the things they like post things on their behalf and without their knowledge.

Even if you put a person on "ignore" the ads will still show up.

I don't think I see what you do... might be because I have AdBlock? Not sure.

From talking to other people about it (and also from the only one other comment in this thread that goes "right on, I thought I was going crazy") I'm thinking it might be a limited rollout so far... a lot of people seem to have no idea what I'm talking about, but how could you miss it when your newsfeed suddenly starts acquiring a bunch of stories posted by random jerks you've never heard of?

> What were they thinking? Facebook has designed a feature which makes me hate my friends.

That's funny. It's a little like chalk and cheese. I had a friend on Facebook who posted political links religiously, he swamped my news feed and it was pretty depressing. In the end - I somehow muted him. He's more recently moved over to a blog (I think he was annoying others too.) Can't say that I've bothered to tune in though. I miss it in a way.

My stream is even more flooded on G+. I'd rather a page full of teasers with click down stories. G+ is just overwhelming even if you do create circles.

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