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For many, the Facebook News Feed Don’t Be an Experiment: How to Control Your Facebook News Feed Don’t Be an Experiment: How to Control Your Facebook News Feed What determines what is and isn't a top Facebook post? How often you interact with a person, topics you're interested in, how many likes or comments the post attracts, and – apparently – psychological experiments. Read More is the modern-day equivalent of socializing next to the water cooler. Whether it’s to argue politics, laugh over memes, or share pictures of lunch, Facebook is the place where everyone naturally gravitates to, for better or for worse.

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But the more “friends” you accumulate, the noisier the News Feed gets. And in all that noise, it becomes extremely difficult to separate what is worth reading, and what is just another “It’s all Obama’s fault!” graphic.

Here are some ways you can tweak that News Feed to your advantage.

Unfollow Annoying Friends (Without Making Them Realize It)

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The first thing you should do, is the thing you should force yourself to do on a regular basis. Constantly review and prune your list of “friends”.

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Because if you have any more than say 100 “friends”, then they are likely not really friends at all. I mean, who can honestly claim they have more than 100 real friends? Apart from narcissists The Different Types of Facebook Users - Which One Are You? The Different Types of Facebook Users - Which One Are You? Read the following descriptions carefully, and if one of them sounds like you, I want you to confess in the comments section (henceforth known as the Confessional Box). Read More and politicians of course.

But hey, I get it. People are such tender sensitive wilting flowers these days, who get offended and upset easily. And if that person is a colleague, or boss, or relative, then you really need to keep them in your good books.

Unfriending them is not going to help you in that department. So you need to do it on the sly. It’s even worse if that person is spouting off extreme political and religious views, or generally being obnoxious. And follow my golden rule – never have family as your Facebook friends. Especially if you are sharing news that you don’t want sent straight back to your mother. I speak from experience.

The trick is NOT to unfriend them, but instead to seriously curtail the number of posts you are going to see from them (and restrict what they see from you). You can do the first part of this by unfollowing them entirely. Just head to their profile, click on “Following” and choose the “Unfollow XYZ” option.

If you don’t want to go quite that far, the other option is when you see a post from them, drop down the list on the right, where you will see this (names have been blurred out to protect the innocent).

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You have several options here to be anti-social. Pick door number one – Hide post. See fewer posts like this. It will then take the post away and give you this message.

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Again, option number one, which will tell Facebook to give you less from that person.

Now you can make sure they don’t see very much from you in return.

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Drop down the Friends menu and you will see the option Add to another list…

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The Restricted option will then show up. Putting that obnoxious person in the Restricted column will mean they will only see your Public updates. Anything which is not set to Public will be hidden from them.

Silence Never-Ending Threads

I’m sure you’ve been in more than one of these. You start commenting in a thread, which subsequently goes on forever and ever, and ever… pretty soon, what people are talking about bears no relation to the original post.

Suddenly people are bickering, at least one person is compared to Hitler Worse Than Hitler: Why Do Flamewars Happen? Worse Than Hitler: Why Do Flamewars Happen? Why are flamewars so common on today's web, and is it really a new phenomenon?  Read More , and it all goes downhill from there. Meanwhile you’re sitting at your desk praying to whatever God you believe in to rescue you from this mess. Thankfully, there is an easy way to silence the mob.

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On the right hand side of the notification box, when you mouse over it, is a small cross which says “Turn Off”. If you click that, it will turn off all future notifications for that status update. But in the future, if you decide to rejoin the conversation, you can click that cross, and turn the notifications back on again.

One curious thing though is that the “Turn Off” option doesn’t appear on all of the post notifications right away. So if the option is yet to appear, you may have to put up with a discussion on what animal Donald Trump’s hair is made of, for just a while longer.

Adjust News Feed To “Most Recent”

One of the really annoying things about Facebook is when they decide what you should and should not read Cut The Crap, Facebook - Give Me What I Want To Read Cut The Crap, Facebook - Give Me What I Want To Read Every since its launch, we've seen Facebook change. And change. Again, and again, and again. While many changes are actually for the best, there's one thing these updates never fails to add to our news... Read More . So “Top Stories” get top placement, while other smaller posts get pushed down into oblivion. I mean, when you look at your News Feed, you want to be able to see the current projected date of the apocalypse, and not what people thought it would be 15 hours ago.

So you need to see the Most Recent posts instead of Top Stories. There are two ways you can go about this. First, go to your menu on the top left hand side, and drop down the menu that says News Feed. You will then get two options — Top Stories, and Most Recent. Choose the latter.

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The second option is to use this URL — https://www.facebook.com/?sk=h_chr . This will always ensure that you are looking at your most recent stories. To ensure you are always using this URL, make a browser shortcut and put it in your Bookmarks Bar for easy access. Or type it in a few times into your browser, and next time your browser auto-completes the Facebook URL, up it pops.

Report Offensive Posts

Sometimes you will see posts in your News Feed which will quite frankly offend you, or make you feel sick looking at it. Facebook may have decided to place a sponsored post in your News Feed What Do You Think Of Sponsored Posts On Social Networks? [MakeUseOf Poll] What Do You Think Of Sponsored Posts On Social Networks? [MakeUseOf Poll] You can see these on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and many other platforms, where companies pay to have their content appear in a prominent place on our feed. Granted, it’s not the only way to place... Read More , or one of your “friends” has decided to post something which they find “mega-cool”, but in reality, your lunch and your body are about to part company at any minute.

If that’s the case, you can report the post as “offensive”, which is quite easy to do. Now look at this photo of a potato which may or may not remind you of certain body parts. I am SHOCKED! SCANDALIZED! What will I tell the children? Time to teach that Facebook buddy a lesson.

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Click on Report Post and you will then be asked your reasons.

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Unfortunately there’s no “it reminds me of women’s boobies” option, so pick one of the options provided. Then the post will be “reported” to Facebook. Whether they follow up on these complaints, and how long it takes, is anybody’s guess.

Pin Important Friends / Companies At The Top

An interesting and extremely useful feature is when you can tell Facebook to watch a friend or page’s news feed. Then every time a new post comes out by that person or page, it is “pinned” to the top of your News Feed with a small blue star. This ensures that their new post is the first thing you see when you go to your News Feed.

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In the Liked button, when you click Follow, you will see two options appear. One is See First and the other is Default. The Default one is always ticked, so click See First to have that page’s new posts appear at the top of your News Feed with that blue star.

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Get Notified When a Friend Posts

In among all the sponsored posts, and boring family drivel about Uncle Billy winning the local pie eating contest, you may be waiting for a particular person to post something. If you don’t get notified the moment it hits the News Feed, you may miss it. But Facebook has you covered there as well.

Go to the person’s Facebook profile (or mouse over their name to have a box pop up). Click on Get Notifications. A small tick will appear. Congratulations. You’ve done it. That was difficult, wasn’t it?

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It also works with posts too, if you see a post which you are not commenting on, but you still want to follow the conversation. What I like to call “Lurker Mode”.

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Facebook Lists

I end with perhaps the most useful feature to tame your wild News Feed page — lists. Yep, sorry. I know you were probably expecting something much more exciting. But hear me out for a minute before you head off to YouTube for your extended session of watching a dog on a skateboard.

Facebook lists Using Facebook Friends Lists For Interests Or Circles [Facebook Hack Or Tip Of The Week] Using Facebook Friends Lists For Interests Or Circles [Facebook Hack Or Tip Of The Week] Is Facebook driving you crazy? Most people who use Facebook generally view the home feed in its unfiltered form, which means they're seeing updates from friends, acquaintances and pages all lumped in together and shown... Read More is where you categorize each of your friends into a particular list, the names of which you create. For example, you may decide to have a Family list or a Work Colleagues list. Or a “People I Have To Tolerate” list. You get the idea.

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Facebook already gives you three default lists — Close Friends, Acquaintances, and Restricted Decide Which Facebook Friends See You Online & Which Don't, The Easy Way Decide Which Facebook Friends See You Online & Which Don't, The Easy Way Facebook is great and the chat function makes it even better. However, we all have at least one "friend" who always talks to us while we’re online. Or, if you’re really unlucky, more than one... Read More (as we discussed before). After that, it invites you to create your own lists.

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Once you have people separated into groups, the lists will appear in the left hand column of the News Feed page. Then it is simply a case of clicking on a list, and all of the posts for those people will appear. Once you’ve seen those posts, click the next list, rinse and repeat.

How Do YOU Roll With Your News Feed?

We’ve come up with seven advanced options to tweak your news feed, but maybe we missed out an obvious one? If so, don’t hesitate to educate us in the comments below.

Image Credit: newspaper on the conveyor by Marynchenko Oleksandr via Shutterstock, Attribution-Free Images Courtesy of Pixabay

  1. Mark
    March 5, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Whenever I am in my news feed reading a post then receive a notification, I click on that notification and read it, then after when I return to my news feed it doesn't return to the post I was reading but to the most recent post causing me to lose my place in my news feed and starting over. I know I am missing a lot of post because of this. I am using a HP lap top running Windows 7. Thanks for any help.

  2. Dee Schwark
    December 5, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Thanks for this post. It is most informative and you've made it so easy to follow :)

  3. Eric Jay Palomar
    November 2, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    I hate how facebook returns the newsfeed from Most recent to Top Stories. Anyway I'm using that trick for a while too, https://www.facebook.com/?sk=h_chr

    • Kasey Clark
      November 3, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      I agree, Eric, that is so aggravating. I wish they would just leave my settings alone. I have to change from "Top Stories" to most recent about 5 times a day.

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