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Facebook Goes After Greasemonkey Script Developer

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the you-must-enjoy-our-obnoxious-messages dept.

Social Networks 375

palmerj3 writes "The popular Facebook Purity greasemonkey script (now renamed Fluff Buster Purity) has been used by thousands to rid their Facebook feeds from the likes of Mafia Wars, Farmville, and other annoying things. Now, Facebook is threatening the developer of this script. Does Facebook have the right to govern their website's design and functionality once it's in the browser?"

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dont use facebook (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622408)

first :)

No... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622412)

No. They don't...

Re:No... (5, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 4 years ago | (#31622620)

      You have to consider the American legal system. After they're done threatening legal action, then they'll drag him into court. It won't be a one-hearing thing either. It'll span years. They may get a court order that he can't develop nor distribute such software until the conclusion of the case.

    Say he wins in court. He can continue to distribute his software. That's assuming he can afford legal representation for that long. Most normal people can't financially handle a prolonged court case, so even if he started fighting it from the start, he'd run out of funds and do exactly what they tell him to.

    If he loses in court, it'll cost him an absolute fortune. They can hire better lawyers, and keep it tied up in court for years. Ok, now he has to stop distributing in the future (since they probably got the court order to not distribute for the duration of the court case, he'll be faced with fines, and probably Facebooks legal fees.

    So his choices are to stop, and accept it, or to fight it and spend every penny he has in court.

    Someone like Facebook doesn't mind spending the money to drag it through court. It's "encouragement" for others not to do the same thing.


Re:No... (4, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | about 4 years ago | (#31622762)

Mod parent up. This is precisely what is wrong with the American legal system. Even if you do no wrong, companies and corporations can drag you through the legal system and exhaust any funds you have trying to defend yourself.

Even. If. You. Have. Done. Nothing. Illegal.

Rampant abuse by shady lawyers doesn't help either, since they get paid no matter who wins a case.

Re:No... (1)

El Jynx (548908) | about 4 years ago | (#31622950)

Very true.. the only thing we can to is Streisand Effect it as much as possible to help slap Facebook in the face. Maybe even set up a dedicated group resenting this move. Who knows, they might get the point. But it looks like we're seeing Microsoft's grubby little fingers in FB policy again.

or Free software fundation take over (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622900)

FSF could take over his legal cost. And then facebook is fucked, because the publicity combined with the probability that FSF would not drop the issue, would force them to accept and put them in a bad light. The question is could in such a case the FSF try to get the judge facebook to pay for their lawyer cost if facebook lose, which they would do.

Re:No... (1)

Nikker (749551) | about 4 years ago | (#31622912)

The beauty about not making money off of it is you can just post the code somewhere and stop hosting it, let it go viral. Facebook has to face the fact that people are still using the site but just don't want to see some certain updates. I bet if someone came up with a game that the object was to put your hand over the screen in the area of a Mafia Wars update that it would violate / hurt Facebook's feelings and you (or I guess I would) get a lawyer sending me junk.

Re:No... (3, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 4 years ago | (#31622956)

You have to consider the American legal system. After they're done threatening legal action, then they'll drag him into court. It won't be a one-hearing thing either. It'll span years. They may get a court order that he can't develop nor distribute such software until the conclusion of the case.

I am not very familiar with the legal system so I will post my question here:

In the scenario you posted above, could it happen in reverse?

Say ... a class action suit suing Facebook for infringing on the Users' Rights, since the greasemonkey thing is taking place on users' browsers, with nothing to do with Facebook's server site.

Would that class action suit be valid?

Can someone in the legal profession please help sorting this out?

Thank you !

EULA (1, Interesting)

bragr (1612015) | about 4 years ago | (#31622414)

If they just stick a clause in the EULA the prohibits people from doing just that, they could stop it. Although I am not sure if they could go after the author, just those who use it. How they would detect that, I'm not sure, but I know there are a few sites that can detect AdBlock.

Re:EULA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622440)

If they can detect AdBlock, couldn't they prevent the page from loading?

Re:EULA (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622522)

To some extent. Ars Technica recently ran a short experiment where content was hidden if it looked like someone was running an ad blocker.

Note that these detection scripts are generally like 4 lines of javascript that depend on the fact that ad blockers look for urls patterns like "ads/*". If any site actually started seriously doing this, it would be easily worked around and probably turn into an arms race that the site would lose.

Re:EULA (1, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 4 years ago | (#31622608)

This is actually a pretty easy thing for the sites to prevent. They just haven't thought it through.

And no, I will not document how a few relatively simple steps could effectively kill all current generations of ad blockers.

Re:EULA (2, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 4 years ago | (#31622610)

To be honest, greasemonkey is the equivalent of a spam filter. Without it, you're drowned by stupid apps updates you don't give a damn about. And facebook become unusable and utter crap.

So let them disable whatever and shoot themselves in the foot. I won't drop a tear when that happens.

Re:EULA (3, Interesting)

Luke has no name (1423139) | about 4 years ago | (#31622442)

I agree, I don't think they have any legal right to stop the dev from creating a completely user-side tool. The only thing they could do (IMO) is block its functionality for users.

Facebook is getting more and more annoying. It's unfortunate how much of a deathchoke they have on social networking (I don't know very many people without facebook; it is my main mode of online communication).

It's known that an IPO is inevitable; if their motives have been in question now, it won't be when public stockholders are involved.

Time to hop on the next social bandwagon. How hard can it be to host asite with 400,000,000 unique VISITORS a month?

Re:EULA (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622520)

I don't know very many people without facebook

Try hanging out with adults then. I've never had, nor will I ever have a Facebook or Myspace account. I'm not into teen events and gossip so I just don't see the point.

Besides, I have an actual web site if anyone wants to contact me.

Re:EULA (2, Insightful)

Grimbleton (1034446) | about 4 years ago | (#31622656)

My supervisor at work just asked me the other day if I play Farmville.

Re:EULA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622888)

That was just a test, and the right answer would have been "What's Farmville".

Re:EULA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622962)

What's Farmville?

Re:EULA (5, Insightful)

25thCenturyQuaker (739040) | about 4 years ago | (#31622716)

"I have an actual web site if anyone wants to contact me."

So, what's the name of that site, mate? Anonymouscowardnumbersixpointeightthreebillion-giveortake.com? Sorry, Captian Luddite, but you're confusing the medium with the content. I'm 50 years old and have prodigiously developed abilities with Google Fu. After over a year of badgering to join Facebook—which I countered with arguments similar to yours, such as:

  • "I've been online and had my own sites and blogs and photosharing galleries for over a dozen years...why can't all these people find me !?"

—I finally relented. Since doing so about a year ago, I've reconnected with a ton of old friends I couldn't find any other way.

As a shining example, two of us had an idea to start an ACTUAL website to gather material on musicians & bands we knew from our area, and from days and decades gone by. Despite sending tons of emails, and making tons of phone calls pleading for friends to get on board with the idea, nobody wanted to go to the trouble of contributing to it. I was even offering to send out pre-paid mailers for them to send me stuff to scan and audio/video material to digitize. It was just too much trouble for them

So, my friend and I started a Facebook group hoping to create a historic record of bands, clubs, & musicians from the Central Pennsylvania area, and in less than 2 months 360+ old friends and acquaintances have found each other again, to share hundreds of photos and stories, and to get back together to jam, or to go see each others' current bands.

I could also regale you with tales of smaller BBQs, ballgames, golf outings and beer bashes organized and thrown, of old loves rekindled, of new jobs found, of dogs and cats saved from being euthanized, of rare car parts bought & sold, of bands booking money-making tours in markets they would have otherwise never reached, of small group renunion cruises and vacations taken, and many more.

But apparently, you've explored it all enough to know that Facebook, MySpace and other SocNet sites are just for the pathetic, or the tech—challenged, or the kids...so good luck, and have fun with your decision to dismiss them out—of—hand. In the meantime, there are a whole shtload of us who are having tones of fun, both online and in meatspace, precisely because of them.

Re:EULA (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 4 years ago | (#31622560)

One of the nice things compared to google buzz is that you don't get a ton of farmville spam whenever you log in there. You don't get much else either, which some people might view as a down side, but if other sites get more annoying things might pick up over there. You can hide a lot of the spam in Facebook now, but that just seems to make the game developers branch out into similar annoying games.

Re:EULA (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 4 years ago | (#31622666)

I'd be using google buzz right now if it weren't for their autofollow blunder that forever tainted my contact list.

If there was a way I could kick everyone without banning them I'd do it and go back.

and since people laugh at eulas in... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622752)

...every other country than the US, they will accomplish what, exactly?

Any attempts to enforce EULAs would be laughed out of court in the rest of the world. Consumer rights authorities in the EU are currently investigating whether it even is legal to present EULAs to consumers since there's currently a court case pending in Finland where someone was blocked from using a free service because they had filled out bogus info about themselves and the EULA "obliged" users to disclose real info.

Ps. It would be nice if someone (a Finn?) has more info about that case, I can't come up with search terms that don't result in too many irrelevant hits and I just cannot remember the foreign names well enough.

Re:EULA (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622874)

like an EULA is binding in all countries fuck you your EULA and fuck Zuckerberg too

No (5, Insightful)

Raleel (30913) | about 4 years ago | (#31622418)

Sorry, you distributed content, we can throw it in the trash if we like

Re:No (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622470)

It doesn't even go that far. They merely suggest to your browser that the content be downloaded/displayed. The greasemonkey script just ignores the suggestion.

Re:No (4, Insightful)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 4 years ago | (#31622484)

Sorry, you distributed content, we can throw it in the trash if we like

This is common sense. Not much worth in court.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622852)

I had never heard of this before... but now I WANT it, it sounds awesome... thanks for posting the article. My facebook is so cluttered with crap that people post I hardly even both looking at the list anymore.

It used to be events or "things going on tonight or this week" were posted, and a good way to keep up with large groups of friends... now its cluttered with crap.

Can somebody post a download link where I can get this?

look what they gone and done (5, Insightful)

Dayofswords (1548243) | about 4 years ago | (#31622420)

here comes the Streisand effect

Re:look what they gone and done (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#31622714)

Because they haven't done worse before? Facebook is a company that has a long history of unethical and annoying practices. It is a good tool but I constantly find myself wishing that my friends were on some other site.

Iggyhopper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622422)

What? This is bogus. Users that don't like that crap should be able to simply filter it out, they just don't know how so they just download some scripts and voila!

But Facebook lets you block App stories (3, Informative)

assassinator42 (844848) | about 4 years ago | (#31622424)

You can hide all news feed posts from a certain application without using any addons. I don't see why they would be against this. I half-expected the "going after" him in the headline was to offer him a job before reading the summary.

I would hope not (3, Interesting)

TikiTDO (759782) | about 4 years ago | (#31622434)

Once it's in your browser, it's just a bunch of well formed data. These days almost any browser has extensions that may inadvertently modify this data, even without getting into specific tools like Greasemonkey.

If they really feel that strongly about a topic, they could try to obfuscate the data somehow, to make it more difficult to write such an extension. This would not be too hard on their part, though obviously more computationally expensive.

Re:I would hope not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622678)

eventually companies will just migrate to using proprietary systems like Flash to display ALL content, and users simply won't have the fine-grained control greasmonkey offers to control how a web page looks on our end.

this will make me sad.

Re:I would hope not (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 4 years ago | (#31622726)

Nah. To a certain extent, people *will* shy away from things like a fully Flash interface, due to the accessibility problems it causes.

Answer is ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622446)


Of course not (5, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | about 4 years ago | (#31622448)

Of course they don't, but it doesn't matter because the developer can't possibly afford to defend himself so he'll comply because it doesn't matter if you're right if you're homeless. I wish judges were a little more liberal with SLAPP summary judgments against litigious corporations.

Re:Of course not (3, Funny)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 years ago | (#31622512)

Hm... so perhaps it makes sense to attribute software you write to your worst enemy (instead of you), if the software is likely to be controversial?

That way it'll be your worst enemy (whose name is on and in the software) that they try to sue, instead of you

Re:Of course not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622814)

Interesting Idea... releasing now.

I didn't even know about greasemonkey until today (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622450)

I'm going to install it now.

Thanks for bringing this to script to my attention, Facebook!

Re:I didn't even know about greasemonkey until tod (4, Insightful)

Raxxon (6291) | about 4 years ago | (#31622476)

Had GS installed, but hadn't seen this script.

Thanks EffBee for letting me know about the script that keeps all your spam harvesting shit-ware out of sight.

Re:I didn't even know about greasemonkey until tod (1)

The Altruist (1448701) | about 4 years ago | (#31622568)

Streisand Effect FOR THE WIN!
Seriously, she should start offering training courses.

Re:I didn't even know about greasemonkey until tod (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622958)

Seriously, the script's impact probably just ten-folded (at least) due to them making a fuss about it.

Keep using that brain of yours, Facebook!

It's no problem... (5, Insightful)

iztehsux (1339985) | about 4 years ago | (#31622454)

I don't see how this is any different than running noscript, or redirecting entries in your host file to Even if this does go to court, I doubt Facebook would come out on top. Explaining to someone how browser content can be modified on the fly using GreaseMonkey might be a little tricky. No harm, no foul. Good luck Facebook, you money-hoarding bastards.

Re:It's no problem... (3, Informative)

jack2000 (1178961) | about 4 years ago | (#31622532)

loopback is messy, use instead. No connections to your own host, i actually run a simple http webserver on my machine.

Re:It's no problem... (1)

jitendraharlalka (1702444) | about 4 years ago | (#31622554)

A legal course or anything alike will only give Facebook bad repute (btw, its privacy policy is already under fire which it keeps changing now and then). If Facebook has gotten an impression that only because it has got huge user base it can get evil and control things at user end, let me let Mark Zuckerberg, the countdown begins. Humans are so good at adaptation. They adapted when they switched from Myspace, Orkut to Facebook. They would adapt well to new social media from FB if they decide to.

Thank you Facebook (5, Interesting)

mukund (163654) | about 4 years ago | (#31622462)

You don't let me export my data directly. You play games threatening to disable my account if I try to export the data by using a 3rd party script. Your employees are able to access my private information easily. I just hate logging into your website these days.

I'm going to delete my Facebook account. I can hear how my friends are doing by calling them once in a while.

Re:Thank you Facebook (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622606)

I'm going to delete my Facebook account. I can hear how my friends are doing by calling them once in a while.

Good luck with that!

Re:Thank you Facebook (4, Insightful)

mdm42 (244204) | about 4 years ago | (#31622710)

And you'll find yourself with a shitload of newly free hours in the day in which you can do all sorts of stuff. Write a book. Write some free software. Learn a new language. You'll amaze yourself with just how much you can achieve in just one hour extra a day.

Re:Thank you Facebook (1)

deniable (76198) | about 4 years ago | (#31622910)

I gave up and have glanced at Facebook twice since November. You're right about free time.

Re:Thank you Facebook (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 4 years ago | (#31622744)

You can't delete your Facebook account unless you contact them with a (good) lawyer. You can only disable it, which only stops the emails. Your account remains accessible to everyone and, of course, every last shred of information about you remains in their database.

Re:Thank you Facebook (3, Informative)

comm2k (961394) | about 4 years ago | (#31622782)

http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=delete_account [facebook.com]
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=16929680703 [facebook.com]
Do not login into your account after that for at least 14 days, otherwise it will be re-activated. I do not know if this actually works since I do not have a facebook account. I remember that before this was available facbook would only 'de-activate' your account and you could always come back with all your contacts/infos/photos etc. - but this is supposedly the real deal.

Re:Thank you Facebook (5, Interesting)

cbope (130292) | about 4 years ago | (#31622750)

Whatever you do, don't delete your account. That just gives FB a snapshot of your current profile to keep for all eternity. If you want FB to keep as little data on you as possible, it's really quite simple although it requires patience. Gradually remove all information and apps from your FB profile, in the end leave only the bare minimum that's required to keep the profile alive. Then leave it that way for a while, at least a year or two. Then delete the account.

FB can't possibly keep backups of every state of your profile and eventually they will be overwriting your older data with your updated and reduced profile footprint. Eventually this means they will have little data on you. Do it gradually, so it does not trip un-known snapshots of your profile which might be saved for longer.

Re:Thank you Facebook (1)

afidel (530433) | about 4 years ago | (#31622792)

FB can't possibly keep backups of every state of your profile

If they consider it valuable information of COURSE they can, duh. If Mozy can backup unlimited data for $5/month then obviously valuable business data that takes almost no storage can be backed up indefinitely.

Re:Thank you Facebook (5, Interesting)

lena_10326 (1100441) | about 4 years ago | (#31622914)

Gradually remove all information and apps from your FB profile, in the end leave only the bare minimum that's required to keep the profile alive.

I remember watching a video of a Facebook developer giving a presentation on their data storage architecture. I can't find the video, but the gist of it was that they use a homegrown flat file structure for archiving data which includes image data. External to the archives is an index which points to offsets into the archive files. New data is appended at the end and deleted data gets dereferenced, so the deleted data still resides inside the archive. The developer even mentioned that it was possible to recover the deleted data and then proceeded to speek a little on the privacy concerns because technically the data persists forever because they don't run jobs to condense the archives. This is non-intuitive to even well informed users.


trawg (308495) | about 4 years ago | (#31622468)

Now I know how to get rid of all that shit (short of culling my noob friends).

Thank you, Streisand effect!

Redundant (0, Redundant)

Katchu (1036242) | about 4 years ago | (#31622474)

Facebook has a new feature to hide output from applications. You can still see friends posts, but don't see the output of Farmville, Mafia Wars, or other "noisy" applications.

options (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622488)

solving this problem is easy: make them options. all you need to do is call it FB Mod Script or something and then put in options for how you want to manipulate the page. not that difficult to figure out.

No they dont, and they better not threaten the dev (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | about 4 years ago | (#31622494)

even the mention of this story will upset their pr in dev community A LOT. we web developers, contrary to some who are developing for more closed platforms like ipod, do NOT like being herded, goaded, or ordered about. this will have consequences.

Re:No they dont, and they better not threaten the (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | about 4 years ago | (#31622516)

this will have consequences.

Yeah, an article in /. nothing more. Face it, on one caring developer come how many sheep who do not care at all?

Re:No they dont, and they better not threaten the (0)

unity100 (970058) | about 4 years ago | (#31622590)

/. is not the only one running this article, and this platform wont be the only place this news is heard. i would really refrain from calling web development community 'sheep'. for their actions up to this point has been far from anything sheeple.

What about NoScript? AdBlockers? (4, Insightful)

rhythmx (744978) | about 4 years ago | (#31622514)

Can I not telnet to facebook.com on port 80 and make a request by hand? Sorry, but their copyright ends after they distribute a URI over HTTP. What I do with the response is my prerogative. My browser does anything it wants to with your data... even if I'm not using a browser to connect to tcp/80 at the time.

Re:What about NoScript? AdBlockers? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 4 years ago | (#31622692)

Maybe you should look up the meaning of "copyright". Then maybe you even realise that this whole story has nothing to do with copyrights. And also that copyright doesn't end with giving you a copy of that data.

Re:What about NoScript? AdBlockers? (3, Interesting)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 4 years ago | (#31622706)

A while back, there was a company that was editing copyrighted material and distributing their edits. I'm too lazy to look it up here on Slashdot, but you could go buy an R-rated movie from them and they would cut out the appropriate naughty bits to make it a G-rated movie which they would send to you. Needless to say, the studios shrieked to high heaven and the courts shut it down.

So, if I create a webpage and copyright it and you create something that modifies the copyrighted material and distributes it to the user, could we say that you have violated my copyright? With software to rip DVDs and such coming under fire, the courts seem to be saying that, "Yes, you can write your own tool to do it for your own personal use and we can't do anything about it. But if you try to distribute a tool which helps people violate copyright, you're in trouble."

Re:What about NoScript? AdBlockers? (4, Informative)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 4 years ago | (#31622754)

No distribution is happening, which means no copyright infringement is taking place.

Re:What about NoScript? AdBlockers? (1)

skine (1524819) | about 4 years ago | (#31623006)

The issue with DVDs would likely be breaking encryption.

For example, it's perfectly legal for one to save backups of their movies for personal use. However, if a DVD is at all encrypted, then its backup must maintain the encryption (such as using blank DVDs or saving to ISO).

Re:What about NoScript? AdBlockers? (1)

Tim C (15259) | about 4 years ago | (#31622944)

NO, copyright does not end after distribution over HTTP.

However, copyright has nothing to do with this. If I buy a book or a newspaper, I am not allowed to copy it and give it to others; but there is nothing preventing me from taking a pair of scissors to it and removing sections I do not want to read. I could tear out every other page and burn it if I wanted to.

I really fail to see how this is any different, except that I am instructing a piece of software to do it for me.

repthegr916 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622518)

I would think they would go after ABP before this...

I don't use Facebook (2, Interesting)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | about 4 years ago | (#31622622)

I have a Facebook account that I signed up with bogus information to check something out once, but I don't remember which email I used to sign up or my password. However, I do happen to have a brother in college who extensively uses Facebook to connect to his campus' "scene." He is not one of those [mean adjective] people who plays stupid Facebook games and spams everyone with them. I think he'll enjoy knowing about this, and I know many of his college friends despise the annoying Facebook games. So, as a result of their attack on this developer who is breaking no laws, I am reading this /. post and my word of this wondrous script will be heard directly, and indirectly, but many Facebook users. Congratulations Facebook, you just shot yourself in the foot to spite your face (that's how it goes right?).

Basic Functionality (1)

Redlazer (786403) | about 4 years ago | (#31622636)

It seems pretty moot to me, since you can ignore those annoying applications anyways.

Thank god for it. Jesus, do people not know about that?

The end user should always have as much control as possible. Facebook taking control away is lame.

Everyone who complains about Facebook needs to shut up. It is just another way communicating. in many cases, passively, and people like being lazy. Care about my day? Look me up, bitch.

It is empowerment, if you look at it the right way. Do people use it this idealistically?

I wish : /

lite.facebook.com (2, Informative)

hitmark (640295) | about 4 years ago | (#31622638)

having lite set as default, and having the switcher link for those times when the feature is not yet ready in lite, helps greatly.

Let us not discuss this here (2, Funny)

nikanth (1066242) | about 4 years ago | (#31622650)

Let us have this discussion in facebook.. why waste slashdot resource for this ;-)

no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622686)

They should also go after makers of duck tape while they are at it. amazing how many ads a little piece of tape blocks!

What threat? (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 4 years ago | (#31622774)

The link in the Slashdot article links to a blog which links to a Facebook page which links to an ad-heavy web site and a Twitter log. Nowhere is the actual "legal threat" defined.

If the legal threat is real, post it to Chilling Effects. [chillingeffects.org]

Re:What threat? (5, Informative)

Little_Professor (971208) | about 4 years ago | (#31622898)

They aren't making him remove the script. The summary (and the script's author's site) are misleading.

This is purely a trademark issue. Initially the guy called his script Facebook Purity, a clear violation of FB's trademark. He changed the name to Fluff Buster Purity but also still markets it as F***B*** Purity, which is again a violation of Facebook's trademark, albeit a little more tenous.

If he just changes the name to something else there will be no issue. Noone is forcing him to take down his script, he just has to rename it to something that doesn't violate Facebook's trademark. Facebook are being no more evil than the Mozilla corporation who tightly control the Firefox trademark, even though the software itself is open source (hence Iceweasel etc and other silly names for adaptations of the software).

Re:What threat? (1)

Little_Professor (971208) | about 4 years ago | (#31622916)

The actual post in question:

Well the corporate bullies have struck again, they are threatening to delete this page and shutdown my website too if their ridiculous demands are not met by 7pm GMT this evening. They demand I remove all references to "FB Purity" and also even more bizarrely "F*** B*** Purity" from both myfan page and my website

Those demands don't seem so ridiculous to me. Just rename the damn script to something that isn't so close to facebook's trademark, and move on with your life.

Is it so tough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622788)

Click "Hide"
Click "Hide "

There. Done.

The only time I get game spam is when a friend finds a new game. Otherwise, I don't see any of it - Mafia Wars, Vampire Wars, Farmville - all *gasp* hidden.

Wha?! (0, Redundant)

nilbog (732352) | about 4 years ago | (#31622798)

Holy crap there's a facebook purity greasemonkey script? Thanks for letting me know about it, Facebook. I'm off to install it now!

It's already a feature in Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622800)

I noticed when one of my friends keept bothering me with Zombiefarm that if you click hide on the person, the option to hide the application or the user is available.

Its your browser... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#31622812)

On your computer, running an 'app'/'script' on your browser on your computer with your bandwidth.
Its all local.
All I can suggest is a firefox web2.0 edition.
To the web presents a perfect clean firefox with all all options running, to you the user its script ready and never shall the two layers meet ;).
As for facebook, we the net using population cannot help your profit dreams.
Unless you build a wall with a password and pay per play entry- your 'experience' is open for all on any browser.

Maybe just me but...... (0, Offtopic)

failedlogic (627314) | about 4 years ago | (#31622818)

I just never bothered signing up for a Facebook account. I'm 30-something. From talking to friends and co-workers that have FB, its either to stay in contact with the BFF (best-friend-forever), because you run a business (or the company you work for) that requires a lot of public exposure to generate money and a reputation, or everyone just asks you do it.

Even though I'd have quite a few people in my profile, the only advantage would be that I could easily reach people outside of where I live. But there's not a lot of people in that category that I know well enough. There's just way way way too much info that goes into these profiles its too dangerous. It just takes one person who knows someone who knows someone who knows *YOU* to spoil everything. I've heard there's still the option of 'private invite only', but someone will have to convince me why this might be a good idea.

IMO, the whole thing just feels like all the GFs I've had that want to "talk on the phone" with me or any other guys their dating for 2 hours asking "what are you doing?" - this just seems like a "What are you doing?" for everybody you know and don't know + your GF.

zuckerberg is a jew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622834)

so he is greedy. what do you expect?

Can't see the forest for the trees (1)

davmoo (63521) | about 4 years ago | (#31622860)

Instead of threatening the dude for writing the Greasemonkey script, they should maybe be thinking about why people want to use this script in the first place. If a major portion of your website users find part of your site to be that effing annoying, then fixing that portion of your website to be less annoying is a more important issue than the existence of a Greasemonkey script. Facebook needs to go shopping at the Clue Factory Outlet.

I also agree with others in this thread who have pointed out the Streisand Effect. I never heard of the script, but you can bet your donkey that I'll be installing it as soon as I get done typing this reply. I like Facebook and all, but a lot of that crap has to go.

What's the point of this script? (5, Informative)

iJusten (1198359) | about 4 years ago | (#31622890)

Facebook has inbuilt "ignore this"-feature. Every post has an X on the top-right corner, click it, and you can choose do you want to ignore application or the user who spams your newsfeed (in case you don't want to lose him/her from your friendlist). I did this months ago, and since then I've forgotten that Mafia Wars even exist.

Re:What's the point of this script? (5, Informative)

ZxCv (6138) | about 4 years ago | (#31623004)

FB Purity blocks entire categories of posts: all application posts, 'x became a fan of y' posts, and others.

Facebook's built-in hiding is done on a app-by-app and person-by-person basis. So every stupid new app that comes out has to be hidden individually.

Rights ? (1)

ankitasdeveloper (994135) | about 4 years ago | (#31622894)

once a website is on client's browser, the owner cannot govern any rule. we shld not forget: Web is open, and it's this nature has made it popular.

I use this script on Opera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31622926)

and it's VERY handy...

PS. Does slashdot want to put an Opera icon on the top, as clearly Greasemonkey/UserJS is not just for Firefox, it originated in Opera long before there was a Firefox extension.

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