In its eternal quest to stay “hip” and “with-it” in the minds of American youth, Facebook has gone on a feature-adding spree of sorts, adding a slew of new tools to enhance the user experience. The latest drop of juice to be squeezed from the Facebook mind grapes? A feature that lets you block all content from a specific website on your News Feed.
So if you have a libertarian cousin who constantly posts birther screeds, or a high school nemesis who always links to their latest write-up in the Times, you can now spare yourself the drama of unfriending them altogether by simply blocking the websites in question.
Basically, here’s how it works: If you open one of your friend’s posts on your live feed, you’ll see a downward arrow in the upper righthand corner of the post. If you select “Hide All From X Publication,” you’ll never see a link from that publication pop up on your feed again, even if it’s being posted by another one of your Facebook friends.
(No offense to Lupita N'yongo, or my friend Stevie.)
If you’re anything like me, your response to this news is probably along the lines of, “Wait... didn’t something like this already exist in the first place?” Apparently, however, it didn’t. While Facebook has an option that lets you subscribe only to “important updates” from a friend, as well as a feature that lets you unsubscribe from a friend’s posts without de-friending them, you previously couldn’t hide updates from a specific publication, page, or news source.
Now that Facebook has given us the tools to do this, however, the sky is basically the limit. As I type this, I’m gleefully making a mental list of exactly which publications I plan to block from my feed, which has already exceeded 15 items. Ta-ta, Elite Daily! Sayonara, Upworthy! My best friend from elementary school may want to see that “This baby panda with leprosy entered a karaoke contest in Bangladesh. What happened next may shock you” video, but thanks to Facebook, I no longer have to!
H/T On the Media | Photo by Ed Yourdon/Flickr (CC BY - SA 2.0)