Having given up Orkut as a social NOTworking option recently, some would know that I shifted to Facebook. Being a penguin of principles, I refused to join under any network other than our own DPS VK – and finally got that after a bit of spamming Facebook support.
Facebook is well…WAY more sensible a place than Orkut, any day. It IS losing that semblance of sensibility though as more and more Facebook ‘applications’ get added daily. ‘App spam’ is a big issue for me on Facebook – because every time I login I’ve some 50+ app requests from folks on my friend list. It is VERY irritating to have to refuse all of them individually – stuff like ‘What colour are your eyes?’ or ‘How many toenails does the Great Balkhanistan Mountain Goat have?’ – and each time it’s stuff I don’t need thank you very much, and will simply bloat my profile.
Since my friends take vicious pleasure in Monty Python stuff, I needed a solution, quick. Sad part is, Facebook gives no easy way to, say, block all app requests. You need to INDIVIDUALLY go to each app’s page, and block it – and you can’t even choose a block option directly from the notification page. Fed up with all this, I went on a search for some respite…
…and I got it! Woohoo! So here’s what you need to do:
- Get Firefox if you don’t have it. IE sucks, OK? Safari sucks, OK? Opera doesn’t, OK?
- Install the Greasemonkey plugin for Firefox (in case you don’t have it), here’s where you can find it. No, you won’t have to deal with a very oily simian prat at home. This is what Greasemonkey is…
Greasemonkey is a Mozilla Firefox extension that allows users to install scripts that make on-the-fly changes to most HTML-based web pages. As the Greasemonkey scripts are persistent, the changes made to the web pages are executed every time the page is opened, making them effectively permanent for the user running the script.
- After you’ve done that, restart Firefox. Newer versions will prompt that automatically.
- Then, head over to get Auto-Block Facebook Apps Greasemonkey script here. Click on the ‘Install Now’ button – that’d be in the (right) sidebar.
- Restart Firefox again, and Greasemonkey will prompt you to allow the script. Do so, duh!
- Visit Facebook, and see your misery vanishing in a jiffy.
What the script does is that it searches for any Facebook app request links in your Facebook home page / notification page, and automatically follows through to the ‘Block’ link for it. These blocked Facebook apps can be viewed at this page, and if you feel like, then you can remove any from the block list and add it yourself. Note that this script won’t block existing apps on your profile, or block any apps that you add yourself.
There’s a helluva lot more you can do with Greasemonkey, scripts for which you can find at Userscripts.org. IMHO, it’s the best and a trustworthy place; which doesn’t mean you can add ANY script, because some baddie might just write a malicious one / exploit a flaw in some other to steal critical data from your system. Do keep in mind that too many scripts CAN slow down your browsing experience; and badly written scripts can even crash your browser. Read up the ratings before installing. More on Greasemonkey later.