I’m all for intelligent dialog, but if there’s one thing I hate about election season, it’s that some of my friends—god love ’em—can become extremely irritating when politics are involved. If you’re tired of the unintelligent, annoying, I’m-moving-to-Canada posts, here’s how to hide them from your News Feed.
This post isn’t about being oblivious and avoiding politics altogether. Believe it or not, you can still get news without Facebook, and it’s often of much higher quality (go figure). This post is about keeping your sanity over the next two months without unfriending your friends and family altogether.
Step One: Install Social Fixer
To do this, you’ll need to download the Social Fixer extension for your browser. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an amazing tool thatmakes Facebook infinitely better in oh-so-many ways, including filtering out posts you don’t like. If you don’t already have it, head to the Social Fixer homepage and download it for your browser. Once it’s installed, head to Facebook and choose the “Minimal Installation” option when prompted, so it doesn’t change too much out of the gate.
Step Two: Filter Political Status Updates
Next, head to Social Fixer’s options, which you’ll find in the blue bar at the top of Facebook. Head down to the Filters section in the right sidebar. You can create all sorts of complicated filters, but ours is simple: we just want to hide posts with words pertaining to the election. So, under “Matching Text”, type the following:
Be sure to remember the
i at the end of the line, which ensures your filter isn’t case sensitive. When you’re done, check the “Hide” box—which tells Social Fixer to hide posts with those words—and then click Save at the top. You can also add any other words you want, like DNC, RNC, or words relating to specific issues like, say, abortion. Just put a vertical pipe (the | character) in between each term. If you return to Facebook, you should see those political posts are missing, which means Social Fixer has done its job.
Step Three: Filter Political Links
That will filter out any status updates, but it won’t work for pictures and links. You can’t filter out political images, unfortunately, but you can filter out links with a slightly more complicated filter. Head back to Social Fixer’s options and click “Add New Filter”, putting the following text in the “Matching Selector” box:
Again, add any other words you want, separated by a vertical pipe, and check the Hide box. This will filter out any links that contain those words in the URL. So, it won’t remove every political link you might come across, but it’ll handle the majority. Click Save and return to Facebook.
Obviously, you’ll want to tweak each of these filters to fit your specific friends and pet peeves. But, when you’re done, hopefully you can reload Facebook to find a less annoying, less politically-charged News Feed. If you want to do this same thing on other sites—like Twitter or YouTube—check out our guide to avoiding rumors and spoliers online. Most of those rules should apply to political annoyances, too.