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(Update: We have less control than ever on Facebook. Use socialfixer.com. It’s the best we have.) Facebook sucks when it comes to privacy. I can’t wait until somebody sues them for it and forces them to change. Maybe someday they’ll realize that good usability and privacy is a great business model.
Until then, here are three different ways to clean up one of the most egregious facebook privacy screwups to date.
Annoyed that facebook has decided to make every detail of your actions everybody’s business? Tired of clicking the little x and then clicking “remove” from the annoying facebook confirmation popup over and over again? Here’s how to quickly delete your facebook recent activity.
There are three ways to eliminate all of those annoying updates with a single click. The downer is that you still have to do it periodically. Most of these are cross-browser compatible for at least firefox and chrome.
- Use better facebook. There are tons of other reasons to use better facebook too. Not the least of which is that my top blue facebook bar is locked in place while I scroll the content of a page. Very convenient.
However, betterfacebook implementation of remove recent activity is less than perfect. It misses some from time to time. But it adds a “remove all activity” link to your activity. The new version of Better Facebook removes all recent activity (or whichever bits you specify in the settings,) each time you visit your facebook profile page. Get better facebook!.
- http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/67751 You have to install greasemonkey first, but it’s totally worth it. I heart greasemonkey, This one adds a “Remove Recent Activity” button to the right facebook side panel. Works like a charm, once you find it. Facebook is so damn cluttered. (Edit: turns out you have to reload your profile page for the button to appear.)
Using Verizon or Alltel to connect via EVDO/3G and having problems with Facebook? You’re not alone. Call Verizon Now (1-800-922-0204) Some have suggested “fixes” to this problem ranging from deactivating and reactivating your Facebook account to editing about:config in FireFox. (No internet explorer specific “fixes”) but alas these efforts are either temporary at best or in vain completely. When I started getting the content encoding error after logging into Facebook I Googled and noticed this thread over at Mozilla. There I first suggested that this could be a problem with Alltel / Verizon. (The former was recently eaten up by the latter.) Turns out I was right. Everybody experiencing the Facebook error is also using Alltel / Verizon.
But how did I know? I used to use Wild Blue satellite to connect to the net. I couldn’t get to a specific site to load. Most people could. Then I talked to somebody else using Wild Blue and he too was unable to load the page. Turns out it was some sort of caching problem within their network. Additionally, after I later switched to Alltel / Verizon EVDO I noticed that they were doing some things that caused certain pages to parse weirdly. (e.g. arstechnica.com articles’ text was illegibly too similar to the background color.) I did some troubleshooting with ars and found that Alltel / Verizon was parsing all of the external js and css files inline amongst other allegedly bandwidth saving tactics. Alas, their attempts to save money and time often cause problems.
We’re running into the same sort of thing with Facebook now. I called Verizon (1-800-922-0204) and tried telling them about the problem and the solution. Unfortunately, while their tone is friendly, they don’t really know what they’re doing. They kept trying to tell me it was a firefox problem. So I read them the IE error too. They tried to tell me it was a problem on my end. I told them that my laptop works fine with Facebook from non-Verizon connections. They tried to tell me the issue was local to my service area so I tried in vain to inform them of their many other subscribers having the problem nationwide. No dice.
So I insisted on opening a ticket. But alas, they failed to note some pertinent info. Somebody’s supposed to be calling me back within 72 hours. Lame. So, if you’re having the same problem, call Verizon now and tell them about it. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. I hate that I’m stuck with Verizon. They messed up Alltel so bad.