Banish Social Network Buttons Forever With Adblock

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adblock reviewEncouraging you to “Like,” “Tweet”, “Digg”, and “Stumble” content, buttons for social networks spill on to almost every page on the modern Internet. If you prefer to copy URLs yourself, AdBlock can keep social networks where they belong: their own pages.

Recently, we taught you how to use Adblock to keep you safe from malware, proving everyone’s favorite ad-blocking tool does more than just block ads. This week, thanks to a tip from a reader, we highlight yet another use for Adblock.

Whether it’s at the bottom of an article or a collection hovering on the side of a page, buttons for social networks are everywhere. Some sites, like Facebook, go even further — filling sites with random pictures of a given blog’s fans or an assortment of headlines recently shared on Facebook (as though those headlines are any different than the headlines on the page itself).

Obviously we at MakeUseOf understand the appeal of such things; there are a few buttons around this very article. By putting these here we make it easy for you, our reader, to share our content with others. This means your friends read our content, and may become regular readers, thus bringing our goal of global domination that much closer to fruition.

But just because we have our reasons for adding the buttons doesn’t mean you, our readers, want to see them. We’re all about empowering people, and if you’d rather copy and paste a URL into your social network of choice than see buttons on every page you visit…well, that’s up to you. Here’s how.

Installing Adblock

First things first: you have to install Adblock. You probably know how to do this, but if not here is the quick rundown of installation links for your browser:

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Install these plugins the way you normally would and you’re ready to get started!

Two Filters

There are two main filters on the web for blocking social networking craplets on the web: Fanboy’s Web Annoyances filter and Montza’s social media blocker. These lists are both comparable, so feel free to try out both on your favorite sites to see what works for you.

Not sure how to install new filters? Check out your AdBlock extension’s preferences; the option to do so is there.

The Results

So, how well does it work? Let’s take a look. As you know, at the bottom of every MakeUseOf article is a series of buttons. It looks like this:

adblock review

Well, subscribed to either of the filters linked to above, the bottom of every article looks a little more like this:

how to use adblock

Not the most interesting screenshot I’ve ever uploaded, but that’s the point: there’s no longer anything there. And lest you think this only works for tech blogs, on the front page of American news magazine there’s a box that looks like this:

adblock review

Again, this method blocks that box completely (and several other pointless widgets that litter all of Slate’s pages).

A Cleaner Web

The web was probably at its cleanest five years ago, after advertisers stopped being so irritating but before social network buttons became ubiquitous. Use AdBlock Plus and you can relive those glory days of Internet tidiness! The best part is, you don’t even need to block ads: you can turn those filters off in the preferences, if you want to support your favorite sites.

Social networks are cool, but I prefer copy/pasting links on my own. Having a way to block all of those annoying social networking buttons is fantastic to me, because I’m always looking for a way to reduce the clutter in my life.

What about you: is using Adblock to filter out social networking boxes a good idea, or do you like the convenience of those buttons? Can you think of any other cool uses for Adblock? Let’s talk; the comments are below.

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