First, you are concerned about your privacy and don’t want Facebook to personalize your browsing or to give away your information to third-party sites. In this case, besides using the tools listed below, don’t forget to edit your privacy settings (to be on the safe side): navigate Account -> Privacy Settings -> Edit Your Settings (below Applications and Websites) -> Edit settings (Next to Instant personalization).
Secondly, you are not on Facebook and/or you are just fed up with seeing the Facebook buttons and widgets around the web and you want to de-clutter your experience. Like ad banners, social media widgets have become a major annoyance to many surfers: for example, they may slow down the performance and result in a slower browsing and longer waiting.
As a website owner, I do understand why we would want to get better connected to our readers through various social media channels, but I do accept the point of those who don’t want to see the widgets all over the web.
So here are a few ways you can block the Facebook widgets in case you want to:
Facebook Blocker is an experimental FireFox addon that stops Facebook social plugins (including those within iFrames) from running on sites other than Facebook itself. This includes ‘Like’ buttons, ‘Recommended’ lists, widgets, etc.
Note: sites that use Facebook Connect for sign in purposes will continue to work as previously
While it did seem to work as described for me (as you can see from the screenshot below, it even blocked the “Causes” widget), it strangely kept one of Facebook buttons below the post (others were gone). I wasn’t able to tell why.
1. Facebook Disconnect
Facebook Disconnect is a Google Chrome extension that “turns off the flow of your data” to third parties by blocking all traffic from third-party sites to Facebook servers. The extension won’t prevent you from using Facebook from its own interface though.
If Facebook is not the only annoyance you come across on the web, consider WidgetBlock for Google Chrome that removes all major social widgets from pages your browse to including Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz, Disqus, etc.
This considerably enhances your browsing experience as it speeds up the web and you are likely to notice web pages load much faster.
WidgetBlock disables the Widgets by preventing them being requested from the server in the same way the popular AdBlock works (By the way, AdBlock can be used to block any social media widgets as well. You just need to play around with it a bit).
WidgetBlock has very handy options that allow to enable or disable blocking of any supported widget.
(Note: there are more supported widgets than those you see on the screenshot – the list is too large to make it to one image):
Disclaimer: I have played around with the tools above but I am not currently using any because I still “like” things on Facebook (shame on me) – what about you?