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Facebook May Dislike the Social Fixer Extension, but Many Users Love It (Video)

Roblimo posted about 6 months ago | from the some-networks-are-more-social-than-others dept.

Social Networks 176

If you have the Social Fixer extension installed on your Web browser, you can post Facebook comments with line breaks you control with your "Enter" key, and insert your comments with "Tab + Enter." If you want to, that is. If you want to change the color of the blue "Facebook bar" at the top of your screen to puce, go right ahead. Want to have your newsfeed show the most recent stories at the top, rather than "Trending Articles" and "Trending Videos," or hide the "ticker feed" of friends' activities? Go right ahead. Social Fixer gives you the power to do all this, and more. Best of all, everything happens in your own browser. Social Fixer makes no changes to Facebook's servers and is not dependent on Facebook's APIs. Still, Facebook doesn't like some Social Fixer features, and says creator Matt Kruze must remove them if he doesn't want to be banned from Facebook. They've already removed his Social Fixer page from Facebook, so they apparently mean business. The Social Fixer website says it's "a free browser extension that improves the Facebook site by eliminating annoyances and adding lots of great enhancements and functionality." We don't know why Facebook would be against a browser extension (available for most popular browsers other than Explorer) that improves their users' site experience. Maybe someone from Facebook will contact us and let us know. Meanwhile, enjoy our video interview with Matt Kruze (or the transcript if you would rather read than watch and listen). One last note in the interest of full disclosure: Both Timothy Lord (timothy) and Robin Miller (Roblimo) use and like Social Fixer and believe that If you try it, chances are that you'll like it, too.

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176 comments

simple reason (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45135687)

they don't like it because it makes their designers look stupid

Re:simple reason (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45135755)

No, their designers make their designers look stupid.

Re:simple reason (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136475)

they don't like it because it makes their designers look stupid

Yes and no.

The answer to the article is "Go read the articles which Arstechnica already ran regarding Social Fixer".

But if you absolutely cannot be bothered, here's a brief rundown:
Facebook's TOS and developer EULA states (in layman's terms) that you can't make any changes to how the site is presented to the user.
This is exactly what Social Fixer does- it changes what and how the page renders. Now, we can get into an argument about whether or not they should have such an agreement, and argue about whether or not it affects Facebook's servers (since such plugins DO change how your browser will interact with the server), but that's all missing the point.

The point is that some time back FB shut down a bunch of different pages by other authors of other extensions which modified how the page was presented to the user. But Social Fixer got a free pass, probably because a) it was useful and well-written and b) the guy had been courting employment with FB and had inside connections.
When Ars ran the story about the other sites getting whacked but not Social Fixer, a bunch of people started bitching at Facebook about playing favorites.
So Facebook decided to apply the rules equally to everybody, and shut down the Social Fixer page.

At this point the author of Fixer started running around the internet pissing and crying about how he had no idea why he was shut down, even though his OWN BLOG flat out stated the reasons, and basically bitching that he was no longer getting a special exemption.

So, there you have it.

Re:simple reason (2)

tompaulco (629533) | about 6 months ago | (#45136717)

Facebook's TOS and developer EULA states (in layman's terms) that you can't make any changes to how the site is presented to the user.
But this is a browser extension, it wouldn't affect how somebody else views your page, just you. Or am I missing something?
So I guess Microsoft, Google, Firefox et. al. would be in violation of the TOS right off the bat, because without a browser it doesn't render at all, but with one of those, it renders differently than nothing at all, and, I am guessing, all slightly different from each other.

Re:simple reason (4, Insightful)

Zargg (1596625) | about 6 months ago | (#45136931)

This is just a browser extension that isn't using any Facebook APIs though, so it is not bound by the Facebook TOS and dev EULA.

Re:simple reason (1)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | about 6 months ago | (#45136877)

This is a BROWSER EXTENSION.

I have a question for you. What if he had the gaul to go into the FireFox code and bury this functionality within the browser.

He could call it the "BookFaceFox Browser"

Is he now still in violation of the TOS? What if he puts in the feature list "does not allow websites to override the functionality of the Enter key" and "stops stupid web designers from making non-scrolling text boxes", etc? :-D

Re:simple reason (1)

chuckugly (2030942) | about 6 months ago | (#45137045)

Facebook's TOS and developer EULA states (in layman's terms) that you can't make any changes to how the site is presented to the user.

So based on that the browser makers should be banned from FB since they are changing the presentation from raw HTML to rendered, and anyone who works in display technologies too, if they include controls like color corrections and so on .... or since it's a plugin maybe instead of the plugin author, FB should ban each individual plugin USER. Lame.

Re:simple reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136515)

No, they don't like it because it stops there being any benefit in people paying to appear high up on lots of users feeds, and hence cuts off their revenue stream.

revenue stream (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 6 months ago | (#45136645)

this is about money...or at least facebook.com's perception of how they can make money

those annoying news feed tickers aren't to 'help you connect' they are 'clickbait'

everyone understands this...its the same principle as broadcast TV commercials

i think Social Fixer would get some traction if they cut out the 'aw shucks...us?' routine...Social Fixer subverts Facebook's ad delivery system...only an idiot would think f/b wouldn't respond

i hate facebook.com precisely because of their profit model...that doesn't mean we have to pretend to wonder why facebook would act against Social Fixer

Re:simple reason (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136659)

Does one need a Facebook account to make use of this?

I always justed used an external editor (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 6 months ago | (#45135691)

I have a text editor window open at all times on my computer anyways... when I want to post a comment to Facebook, I compose it in my editor, lay it out how I want, and then copy and paste it into the edit box.

Doing this poses absolutely no problems with having line breaks in comments, but even more importantly, I don't have to worry about the edit box not sizing correctly if I end up going on and what I'm writing ends up going right off the bottom of box, which doesn't always scroll up as I type.

Re:I always justed used an external editor (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45135799)

I always just use shift+enter.

Re:I always justed used an external editor (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 6 months ago | (#45135873)

That still doesn't solve the problem where facebook's edit box doesn't automatically scroll up or resize when you type past the bottom of your browser window.

Re:I always justed used an external editor (2, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45135859)

What's wrong with shift+enter for line breaks like most other websites with Press-Enter-to-Submit?

Re:I always justed used an external editor (4, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 6 months ago | (#45135971)

because the enter key is the thing designed to enter linebreaks in editors. That it was hijacked by websites to do something different is not the enter key's fault. Most users, and remember what kind of user uses facebook, expect enter to add a linebreak like ti does everywhere else.

Re:I always justed used an external editor (4, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45136019)

Maybe ten or fifteen years ago. On the modern Web, users expect Enter to equal Submit... especially for a single textbox entry form that, the vast majority of the time, is only used for a single sentence or less. It's fairly standard across the Web and has been for quite some time.

Re:I always justed used an external editor (3, Insightful)

suutar (1860506) | about 6 months ago | (#45136617)

So I should be expecting 'Enter' here to press the Preview button?

Re:I always justed used an external editor (1)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | about 6 months ago | (#45136705)

Where is it standard, aside from on Twitter? Web forums, Google +, question-answering sites (e.g. Yahoo Answers, Ask), pretty much anywhere we're attempting to express a personal opinion etc. -- the only place it consistently means "submit" is basically search boxes. I was floored and deeply confused when Facebook *didn't* follow that paradigm.

Re:I always justed used an external editor (4, Informative)

Zalbik (308903) | about 6 months ago | (#45136773)

It's fairly standard across the Web and has been for quite some time..

No, it isn't standard when the text the user is entering is frequently multi-line....like, say, for comments.

Just checked:
Slashdot -> enter works
Youtube -> enter works
Engadget -> enter works
Ars -> enter works
Gizmodo -> enter works
Any forum I can think of -> enter works

There is no reason for Facebook to be different.

Re:I always justed used an external editor (5, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 6 months ago | (#45136829)

Users expect enter to mean submit when they're typing into a single-line text input field. If you're in a textarea, it should give you a line break. Facebook at least makes their textarea look like a plain text input, so I suppose I can't hate on them too much.

Re:I always justed used an external editor (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 months ago | (#45136039)

because the enter key is the thing designed to enter linebreaks in editors.

I'm pretty sure it (for computers) has always been task-dependent. On a typewriter it is a CR, but not on computers. Macs even have a Return and an Enter key, and Excel used to do two different things for those two different keys.

Re:I always justed used an external editor (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136547)

My old PC keyboard had a return key and an enter key.

They did different things. Modern PCs think these are the same key.

Re: I always justed used an external editor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136305)

You spend WAAAAYYY too much time on FB

I know how to get the best out of Facebook (1, Informative)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 6 months ago | (#45135701)

without browser extension or anything: just don't use the blasted thing...

Re:I know how to get the best out of Facebook (4, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45135901)

Genius! I don't know how you come up with these ideas. Did you know we can eliminate the risk of being in an automobile crash by never leaving home? And we will never suffer from food poisoning if we just don't eat.

We get it. You don't use Facebook. You think that makes you special. I bet you don't have a TV either. Hell, you probably don't even remember what a TV looks like. We understand you here.

Re:I know how to get the best out of Facebook (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136085)

But a car does you something valuable. Facebook invades your privacy and... What more? Gives you pretty pictures? What the hell? If you can't communicate with your friends in some other way you frankly deserve all the shit in the world.

Re:I know how to get the best out of Facebook (3, Insightful)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 6 months ago | (#45136249)

Some of my friends don't check their e-mail more than once every few weeks and don't sign in to any instant messenger often, but most of them are on Facebook at least once per day. If something else had quite the communications potential for reaching a long list of friends quickly, I'd be more than interested. As it is, Facebook serves a purpose as a semi-public message board, announcement center, etc. Its usefulness depends on your own circle of friends.

Re:I know how to get the best out of Facebook (2)

vux984 (928602) | about 6 months ago | (#45136801)

Some of my friends don't check their e-mail more than once every few weeks and don't sign in to any instant messenger often,

And they don't have phones? Wherein you text them, or even call them when you want to talk to them?

If something else had quite the communications potential for reaching a long list of friends quickly,

Anyone who prioritizes being able to send a long list of people a message that highly isn't likely to be sending messages I need to read.

And If you wanted to invite me to a party and we're such good friends yet it doesn't even merit a text message or a phone call...well I've got better things to do.

Its usefulness depends on your own circle of friends.

If you need facebook to be able to talk to your friends, then you need new friends.

Yes, yes, some guy now always pipes up about how facebook lets him keep in touch with some cousin half way around the world who doesn't apparently know how to use any technology except facebook, and further - he or she doesn't care enough about remaining in contact with YOU to lift a finger to make any sort of effort beyond passively catching your messages you leave them on facebook, and if you couldn't reach them on facebook you'd lose contact with them.

I'd let them go... if I'm that unimportant to the other person... why would I make staying in touch that important to me?

Re:I know how to get the best out of Facebook (0)

RazorSharp (1418697) | about 6 months ago | (#45136197)

Genius! I don't know how you come up with these ideas. Did you know we can eliminate the risk of being in an automobile crash by never leaving home? And we will never suffer from food poisoning if we just don't eat.

We get it. You don't use Facebook. You think that makes you special. I bet you don't have a TV either. Hell, you probably don't even remember what a TV looks like. We understand you here.

The difference between Facebook and automobiles is that automobiles aren't just convenient, but for most people they're necessary. Your food analogy is even worse. A more apt food analogy is that the OP eats a balanced diet of organic food that provides him with nutrition and energy, represented by useful and informative websites; while you eat fast food every day that clogs your arteries and gives you postprandial somnolence, represented by Facebook.

You're not an ethical consumer. We get it. You think it makes you fit in. I bet you only watch reality TV. Hell, you probably don't even remember what a book looks like. We understand you here.

Snark is the wit of morons.

Re:I know how to get the best out of Facebook (1)

Zalbik (308903) | about 6 months ago | (#45136857)

A more apt food analogy is that the OP eats a balanced diet of organic food that provides him with nutrition and energy, represented by useful and informative websites

Given that we are all on Slashdot here, I don't think this is a very apt analogy at all.

All kidding aside, I think a much better analogy would be someone complaining that the power button on their TV remote is difficult to reach, with the GP's response being "then don't watch TV".

It's an intellectually vapid response designed to make the poster seem superior to those posting the question, while at the same time communicating no useful information whatsoever other than the fact that the person posting it is a jerk.

Re:I know how to get the best out of Facebook (1)

jittles (1613415) | about 6 months ago | (#45136809)

Genius! I don't know how you come up with these ideas. Did you know we can eliminate the risk of being in an automobile crash by never leaving home?

I have a friend that will tell you just how untrue that statement is. He was hit by a car while watching TV on his couch. Staying inside did nothing to help him!

Re:I know how to get the best out of Facebook (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136081)

If this isn't modded up to +5 Insightful, Slashdorks are idiots.

Re:I know how to get the best out of Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136615)

without browser extension or anything: just don't use the blasted thing...

Have to agree. FB sucks and is total waste of everyone's time and money.

Interesting litmus test... (2)

mlts (1038732) | about 6 months ago | (#45135705)

It is interesting watching FB's reaction to this. This doesn't seem to bode well for people who want to work outside the ecosystem FB has.

Short term, this can be understandable -- if it is not using the API, or things FB can control, it can't be monetized, so FB seems to take steps to stop it.

Long term, it may not be in FB's best interest. Right now, there is no competition on the horizon other than G+ [1] and possibly VK, but there is a tipping point somewhere that people might start moving to another provider and its relatively higher privacy controls en masse, forcing their friends to come along, and we will see something similar to the MySpace -> FB transition.

I don't see many people really loving FB. It tends to be more of something tolerated, with people sighing and grumbling every time there is a UI change. Too much pressure, and people eventually will start moving over to another service.

Who knows... maybe this might be another market for Apple. They already have the in-house expertise for it (iTunes Ping), and I'm sure that if they opened their doors for a social network, they would get people flooding in just on name recognition alone.

Re:Interesting litmus test... (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 6 months ago | (#45135987)

thats just it they had ping it flopped so bad that not even apple cultists used it. It has been replaced with facebook integration so i doubt apple could pull of a social network at this point.

Re:Interesting litmus test... (5, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 6 months ago | (#45136213)

One of its features is blocking ads (and paid placements, i.e. ads.) That's what Facebook is upset about. It's that simple.

Re:Interesting litmus test... (2)

MattKruse (3029911) | about 6 months ago | (#45136537)

If that were the case, you'd think they would have gone after AdBlock Plus by now, wouldn't you? Or at least removed their official Facebook Page?

Re:Interesting litmus test... (4, Interesting)

roninmagus (721889) | about 6 months ago | (#45136775)

It would at least make sense if that were the case. But, it isn't. They have demanded he remove portions of social fixer that have nothing to do with ads or the blocking of them. In my opinion, when your site serves up HTML, as long as my browser does not subvert your webserver to gain unauthorized access, or use your APIs in a way that you did not intend it to, then what I do with that HTML you have served up is entirely my business.

Re:Interesting litmus test... (1)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | about 6 months ago | (#45136803)

Facebook is nothing more than a slightly better mailing list handler. It allows me to post messages to a batch of friends at once, just like a mailing list but with crappy security controls and a marginally better UI that's getting worse with every upgrade. That's all It is, IMHO. What I'd really like to see is something that will block all photos of food. I mean, come on, I really don't care what sort of crap you had for dinner.

Pitiful (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45135723)

Slashvertisments. Fuck this site.

Re:Pitiful (1, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 6 months ago | (#45135893)

I can just barely tolerate the Slashvertisements. But main page stories about some stupid Facebook add-on tells me this is pretty much a site for teen girls now.

Re:Pitiful (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136409)

Where's the ponies? Last time it was a teen girl site, there were ponies.

Re:Pitiful (3, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 6 months ago | (#45136059)

Not every discussion about an app is an advertisement. This is a legitimate issue. I use it, and like it. And if FB is trying to screw me over, because of a browser extension, we have an issue.

What next, only approved browsers can be used?

And do we need to make sure only Operating Systems that are blessed can be used?

Re:Pitiful (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136459)

This is a legitimate issue.

Yeah, it's nearly a 8 out of 10 on the "First-world problems" scale.

Re:Pitiful (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 6 months ago | (#45136585)

Not every discussion about an app is a Slashvertisement. True. However, this posting is clearly an ad.

Re:Pitiful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136635)

But the world is ending because they can't use their FriendFace extension!! First-world problems of this magnitude are devastating!

Facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45135729)

Who uses that?

Re:Facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136539)

People with friends. And, no, your fleshlight and right hand don't count.

Compare to RES (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45135739)

Did somebody say Reddit Enhancement Suite?

Overreaching in the Name of Authority? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45135743)

I'm a user of the extension myself, and it really seems like Facebook is going out of their way to attack the developer. The extension doesn't put any additional strain on their servers, doesn't utilize any API calls, and isn't destructive. What's next, going after users who have AdBlock installed? Or perhaps ones who aren't using a specific browser? Are they going to demand changes of Trillian or GNOME's social media integration? It should be up to the users to utilize the site in the way they prefer.

Re:Overreaching in the Name of Authority? (4, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45135973)

I can see the logic of "third party extensions may cause undesired behavior to the user, which could be unfairly blamed on Facebook". However, it's pretty weak logic to begin with and user education would be a better approach.

NIH syndrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45135779)

Not Invented Here.

1. somebody's ego got bruised after so many people asked "why didn't FB think of this?"
2. If it takes off people may wonder why FB doesn't implement it for everyone.
3. FB had already planned to do some of it but was going to implement it differently or charge for it

Product vs. Customer (4, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | about 6 months ago | (#45135789)

"We don't know why Facebook would be against a browser extension that improves their users' site experience."

Easy. You seem to be operating under the very common -- but clearly mistaken -- belief that Facebook users are Facebook's customers. In fact, Facebook's advertisers are their customers, and Facebook users are the product. Once you look at it from this perspective, everything Facebook does makes sense.

Re:Product vs. Customer (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45135991)

Er, no, still doesn't make sense. To enhance the "product", Facebook needs to A) encourage more users to join and B) encourage existing users to spend as much time/information on Facebook as possible. This extension would seem to do the latter quite well by providing a better experience.

Re:Product vs. Customer (4, Informative)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#45136377)

Uh, no.

The primary purpose of the browser extension is to hide crap that you (the product) don't want to see, but advertisers (the customer) want you to see. Advertisers want to know who's clicking on trending crap - hiding it with a browser extension hurts Facebook's customers.

It also happens to have a few IU tweaks, like ENTER to carriage return.

Facebook has simply said that they're not going to keep providing a free platform for the distributor on it's own network.

[n.b. I use a similar extension, FB Purity.]

Re:Product vs. Customer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136495)

better experience.

The cow does not decide the way it want's to be butchered. It's about control, plain and simple. It may seem as small details that Fixer changes, but it's a lot more, users could get the idea that THEY decide how the page should look, we can't have that. Facebook decides what is a better experience, not the users.

Re:Product vs. Customer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136711)

The cow does not decide the way it want's to be butchered. It's about control, plain and simple. It may seem as small details that Fixer changes, but it's a lot more, users could get the idea that THEY decide how the page should look, we can't have that. Facebook decides what is a better experience, not the users.

Wow, mod parent up (Insightful). This summarizes accurately and precisely why Facebook has a problem with Social Fixer.

If you are a web developer and competent with JavaScript, you could probably roll your own Social Fixer as a Greasemonkey Script or a Chrome Extension. If you never distributed it to anybody, Facebook would never care. At some level, once the information reaches your computer, you're going to do whatever you're going to do with it.

However, if that extension becomes popular, and users start getting the idea that customizing their social experience is a possibiilty that's a HUGE risk.
Remember, Facebook is just the latest in a long line of social networks. The digital graves of a dozen "instant message" programs, Friendster, MySpace, LinkedIn, Google+ still loom large. The danger isn't that a user is modifying his/her Facebook experience, it's that one of those users might get the very bright idea:

I can kill Facebook by creating own my social network that has the features of Social Fixer and marketing that identifies Facebook as 'Your parent's social network.'

Facebook is a terrified rabbit getting a glimpse of the tiger (Panthera tigris socialis fixera) that is about to devour them.

Re:Product vs. Customer (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45136763)

In this case, it's more like offering the cow better food (UI tweaks, etc), which in turn gives the consumer higher quality meat (more time on Facebook).

Re:Product vs. Customer (3, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | about 6 months ago | (#45136043)

In fact, Facebook's advertisers are their customers, and Facebook users are the product.

Yep. One of the things my mom hates is that Facebook keeps on resetting her news feed to "top stories" or whatever Facebook calls it instead of "most recent." Why does Facebook do that, she asks?

Well, simple: because "most recent" shows her what her friends have been doing most recently, and "top stories" shows her ads for random pages she's liked, along with a couple of posts from actual humans scattered amongst the ads. Not that hard to understand, really: Facebook's customers pay them to show ads to their users, so Facebook constantly forces users back to the ad-based view.

(And to be clear, what I'm calling "ads" are in fact regular posts, they're just posts from pages like "American Idol" and "Top Chef" or whatever else my mom has "liked" on Facebook. In some cases she does actually want to see those updates, just not at the expense of not showing updates from actual people. So the obvious answer of "install AdBlock Plus" won't help in this case. It's already installed anyway.)

Re:Product vs. Customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136257)

This still makes no sense.

Being mad about window dressing has nothing to do with selling the users as a product unless this tool somehow removes ads from Facebook. And I'd think they'd be far more pissed about AdBlock, since it does exactly that.

Re:Product vs. Customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136355)

the "product" (user) must view ads, must view posts and such in the right order, must have oodles of page views, must spend MORE time on the site in order to provide a greater value their customers (advertisers and data brokers).

socialfixer allows for no ads, custom display settings, and reduced page views and time on site... everything facebook DOES NOT want because it decreases the value of its product.

facebook is well within their right to revoke api access and dev account status, deny the plugin from having a page, and even change its site code to 'break' the plugin, etc etc.. it's their site, and their oft-changed terms.

the developer of socialfixer knew he was skating on this ice and that it was only a matter of time before facebook brought the hammer down. now that that has happened, big deal, facebook is garbage anyway, with or without a plugin.

Re:Product vs. Customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136441)

Maybe...

I saw an article a few months ago saying the exact opposite. That they liked the extension. Have offered him a job, bla bla bla...

This sounds more like he is dealing with a NIH program manager who is all twisted up about something he doesnt control.

Re:Product vs. Customer (1)

Arker (91948) | about 6 months ago | (#45136713)

I know that's how they look at it, but the fact is they are putting out a (very poorly done) webpage. They dont appear to understand what a webpage is. A webpage has no 'appearance' to be modified - it's appearance is the result of layout decisions made by the rendering agent which may or may not even have a visual display. So prohibiting their cattle from 'altering appearance' here is worse than stupid, it's nonsense. There is no appearance to alter.

If they dont like that (and it's clear they dont) then their remedy is to get the f off the web and build their own infrastructure that will work as they wish.

Of course they arent going to do that either. And as long as idiots in huge numbers keep signing in and implicitly supporting this travesty, providing them with a profit motive, they are just going to keep crapping all over the web.

The solution is not social fixer. The solution is to just say no to facebook.

It's not your client, Facebook. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45135803)

Seems like if I choose to make my browser client render things the way I like on my computer, that's my business. If someone releases an extension to help me do it, if anyone is breaking your TOS it's me and not them.

He's Banned Now (4, Informative)

andywest (1722392) | about 6 months ago | (#45135841)

Facebook ... says creator Matt Kruze must remove them if he doesn't want to be banned from Facebook.

The threat appears to have been carried out. Kruze's Facebook page is made 'unavailable'.

Re:He's Banned Now (3, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 6 months ago | (#45136123)

what a pity... now he can do whatever the f*** he likes without any regard for consequences.. like what's Facebook going to do, ban his page?

He should still open source it, then he can truthfully say "it wasn't me".

Streisand Effect? (4, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 6 months ago | (#45135847)

Hey Facebook, Google "Streisand Effect". Especially useful when you're attacking that which you have no control over.

Re:Streisand Effect? (4, Interesting)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 6 months ago | (#45135927)

Okay, this is what I've done. IF you use FB, please feel free to copy / modify / use it.
----

Facebook has a problem. I'm trying to amplify it a bit.

It seems that Facebook doesn't like this particular webbrowser extension http://socialfixer.com/ [socialfixer.com]

So they have banned people for posting links to it and such. If you think that Facebook shouldn't ban people for posting links to Browser Extensions, please share. FYI, this extension does not harm Facebook, and doesn't use any feature or service offered by Facebook. They are just upset that you can change how Facebook looks and behaves.

So, please "reshare"

They don't want your experience streamlined (5, Insightful)

Sarusa (104047) | about 6 months ago | (#45135957)

The fundamental bad assumption here is that FaceBook would be happy about the user experience being streamlined and more efficient. If they're showing something to you it's *because they want you to see it*, even if (or especially if) it slows you down and means you have to click more and see things you didn't want to see. You didn't want to see it, but *they* want you to see it. This extension takes away their total control.

You aren't the customer, you are the product. The cow doesn't get to choose how it gets milked.

Re:They don't want your experience streamlined (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45136103)

"If they're showing something to you it's *because they want you to see it*, even if (or especially if) it slows you down "

That reminds me of what one of the shopping districts in the area tried to do recently. The road was two lanes in each direction (30mph limit) and would frequently get jammed up, especially during busy shopping seasons. Their proposed solution? Reduce it to one lane in each direction to force people to go *even slower* so that they would notice the local shops more. Fortunately, the plans were abandoned after a huge number of people called in to tell them they would just boycott the whole area if they intentionally increased congestion.

Re:They don't want your experience streamlined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136211)

The cow doesn't get to choose how it gets milked.

Neither does the bull.

"Moo"ving off-topic (1)

Glires (200409) | about 6 months ago | (#45136263)

Well, with the automated milking systems used on precision dairy farms the cows do get to choose how they get milked. Not that it has anything to do with the Facebook discussion other than to suggest that Facebook treats its users with less respect than the average dairy cow.

Re:"Moo"ving off-topic (1)

Sarusa (104047) | about 6 months ago | (#45136403)

And of course in theory you can actually leave Facebook, though in practice the peer pressure works pretty damn well.

Let me just bury that metaphor under a rock somewhere.

Re:They don't want your experience streamlined (4, Informative)

darien.train (1752510) | about 6 months ago | (#45136277)

The cow doesn't get to choose how it gets milked.

While I agree with your premise your metaphor is actually incorrect. This is likely due to the age of the expression but robotics now allows cows to choose when and how they are milked. Cows also give the most milk and are far less stressed with the "elective milking" system.

Automatic Milking [wikipedia.org]

Re:They don't want your experience streamlined (2)

Zalbik (308903) | about 6 months ago | (#45136949)

now allows cows to choose when and how they are milked.

Facinating!

So, using this system, if cows choose to be milked, say, by Seth Rogen in a thong (ha, made you think of it....now you can't unsee it!), they can choose this?

I'd say this system allows cows to choose when they are milked, not how.

Facebook and usability (2)

intermodal (534361) | about 6 months ago | (#45136005)

Facebook doesn't seem to understand that, while the "users" are the product and the advertisers/leeches/dataminers are the customers, the "product" has legs that can and will be used when they make it bad enough to leave. SocialFixer, if it did nothing else, kept me on there a bit longer than I otherwise would have stayed. At this point, I pop in briefly to make sure I don't have messages from cousins. While using a fake name and hoping to get banned so I don't have to constantly debate how long before I finally leave.

Agree - thanks to Streisand Effect! (2)

n5yat (987446) | about 6 months ago | (#45136079)

Agree - thanks to Streisand Effect coupled with the mere fact that FB is against it, I'm installing it!

Fake people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136121)

Fuck Facebook.

Open Source the Code for the Plugin (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136185)

Just make the code for the plugin open source. Other people will maintain it and make their own offshoots of it. Facebook won't be able to shut that down.

No offense, Matt, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136245)

...you're kind of an idiot for revealing your real name to the public? If you had remained anonymous, Facebook wouldn't have any leverage over your account.

Hi. I'm a narcissist, and so I LOVE facebook. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136417)

As I'm desperate to be the center of the world's attention, I think social networking sites such as facebook are the greatest thing ever since myself.

Look at me, everyone. Look at me.

TL;DW (1)

capaslash (941889) | about 6 months ago | (#45136535)

TL;DW Prefer text, since it can be scanned rapidly. Video is sooooooo sllooooooooooooooowwwwwwwww. Omg. So slow.

FB browser add-on with simple encryption (4, Interesting)

swb (14022) | about 6 months ago | (#45136625)

I'd love to see something like this. Clearly it wouldn't work for everyone, but it would be fun to have the ability to encrypt -- even if it was a basic substitution cipher -- postings and messages that would automagically be decrypted by anyone using the add-on (and having whatever the key was).

I'm not thinking of "hard" encryption, but scrambling that would totally defeat Facebook's analytics and the desire by Facebook to turn off privacy settings to enhance their search, etc.

Bullying (2)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | about 6 months ago | (#45136649)

For most websites, banning would be a limp threat. However, Facebook has an unusual amount of power - for some users, the site may be the primary way that they keep in touch with family and friends, and could even be important to a person's career. There is no ready replacement for this. Unlike email, a person can't just switch to another provider and have a similar experience.

Facebook is being a bully here and trying to make Matt Kruze fear what he will lose if he continues development of this free browser extension. His development hobby has nothing to do with his personal, social use of Facebook. It's an irresponsible, dickish use of the power that Facebook derives from their unique market position.

Oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136651)

Social fixer may make sewer rat taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherfucker.

Line break (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45136685)

A line break can be added with Ctrl-enter without using a plugin. It's a hold over from the days of Line Feed and Carriage Return for printers.

I want one for the iPad... (1)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | about 6 months ago | (#45136707)

I'd like this feature, but I pretty much always access FB from my iPad. I do have a 24/7 Linux box running at home that could host a filtering proxy server tho. If anyone has suggestions for one of those that'd be way better than a firefox plugin...

Facebook hacks are tech news fodder? (1)

BlindJesse (26572) | about 6 months ago | (#45136837)

I just stopped by too see the latest from Jon Katz and I find an article about a (weak) facebook hack? Oh....

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