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

Tim: I think most people reading this either know Social Fixer or are going to click a link to find out more about it. But in brief, this is a plug-in that lets people view their feeds on Facebook more efficiently. And a few days ago, you posted a note that Facebook has asked you to remove some crucial functionality – can you talk about how that came to be?

Matt: Well, a few weeks ago, my page that I have for the extension itself, it is on Facebook, an official page, I logged in and found that it was unpublished. So that meant that nobody could see it anymore and I had a note that said it has been removed because of spam. So no other explanation than that. So I wrote a blogpost about that questioning why that happened, why there wasn’t any more information than that given to me about what the cause was, and questioning basically how stable is Facebook for a business if everything can be taken away in a moment’s notice?

So I wrote a blogpost that got a lot of attention, and somehow it got circulated to the right people and someone at Facebook sent me an e-mail and said, “Hey, we would like to talk about your page and the situation around it.” So I had a conversation with them on the phone, and we talked about why it was removed and the situation around that. And they told me basically I could get the page back if I made some modifications to the extension to remove features that they don’t find acceptable under their terms.

Tim: To be clear the reason that this entire plug-in exists is to make it easier to read the page or more efficiently. What sort of features do people get out of using Social Fixer that Facebook doesn’t provide on its own at least right now?

Matt: Well, the big things and what they are arguing about right now is that it allows you to move posts to tabs, so you have your regular newsfeed but at the top are tabs just like a tabs browser, and by default it moves all the games to their own tab, so you don’t have to deal with that, and are mixed with all your friends and family, if you are playing Candy Crush or Farmville or some other game, it is in its own tab and you can focus on those posts when you want to. Then you can also set up your own custom filters to say posts with a certain keyword they should go to a tab, maybe I will call it ‘political’ and everything political goes there based on keyword, so I can kind of segment all the posts in my newsfeed and process them in the way that I want to digest the information. So?

Tim: No I am sorry, please continue.

Matt: Not only that but you can hide posts some people find language offensive and they hide posts based on the language or for example there are a lot of people that didn’t want to see spoilers for Breaking Bad when the finale come on. You can set up a custom filter to say anything with a certain keyword even move it to a tab or don’t show it to me and then later I can come back and view it. Aside from all the newsfeed filtering there are a lot of other features that fix little quirks about Facebook, little annoyances, things that don’t quite work the way you want it to. And I try to go in and fix those for the users and make it a little bit better place to visit.

Tim: As Facebook changes, as they frequently have their layout and quite how is the experience is for a user, you must have over the last couple of years, you’ve been tweaking these features, so that seems like a lot of work, this isn’t your day job, how much time do you put into this on an average day or week? I don’t know how you allocate your time.

Matt: Well, I do have a regular day job, I work at least 40 hours there, and then I probably spend at least two hours a day at night working on this. It comes and goes depending on my personal life, if my daughter has volleyball or I have all these other things to go to it, I will let it go for a week, and maybe not work as much and then I’ll make up for it a week later, and put in 20 hours in a week, and work on a lot of features. So it kind of adapts to my life. Yeah Facebook changes a lot. They changed their internal code structure users may not see all of the effects on the screen but underlying in the HTML, and the CSS and Javascript they change it very frequently. Since I hook in to all of those things, at a kind of a low level, I am constantly having to adapt my code to interface with the changes that they make.

Tim: But you are not working for Facebook itself so it seems like some of the changes that they’d like you to make are ones that anyone theoretically could do on their own home computer by filtering based on these inputs. You are not doing anything on their side of the computer connection.

Matt: Right.

Tim: So that brings me to the reasons that Facebook actually cited in telling you to remove features. Could you explain why you believe that their reasoning shouldn’t apply to you as a developer?

Matt: Sure. One of the main reasons that they give for me having to change what I do is that there is a line in the terms of service that says, ‘as a user of Facebook, you agree not to do anything that alters the display or proper function of the site’ and I think that that is not consistently enforceable, because for example, if they design a site to look a certain way, and a user changes their font size and it renders it differently, is that breaking the rules? If they use a browser that can’t show images correctly, is that breaking the rules? If I have some visual problems, eyesight problems, and I want to change the look to be dark or different colors with contrast, is that breaking the rules?

So there is no way that they can tell a user you have to display the site exactly as they intended. So I think that Social Fixer and other browser extensions are just taking the content that they deliver and tweaking it according to what the individual wants to see. And that’s within their domain to control. Facebook doesn’t have a right to say, “You must display the site exactly as we intended with no modifications.” So I think it is within the user’s control to say, “Once I have the data that you’ve delivered to me, I choose how to display it, and you can’t strictly enforce that.”

Social Fixer does nothing to their servers, it does nothing to the content midstream before it is delivered to the user. I don’t intercept any traffic or anything like that. So every user of the extension gets all of the content that Facebook is sending to them, and then the user decides, “I just want to display it differently.” And they should have a right to do that. So I think if Facebook is enforcing that terms of service on my extension, they have a lot bigger problems to deal with, because there is no way they can enforce that. And then the other rule that they cite as part of the application developer terms is they say that you can’t create a function that Facebook explicitly does not give to users.

The example there is the Friendtracker that says, when you are unfriended, it tells you who unfriended you - they highlighted that specifically in the conversation with me and they said that’s something that we think is harmful to users and something that users should not have so we don’t allow it, and your feature enables that, so you are breaking that rule - I am giving them a feature that Facebook specifically does not offer. But again I am doing it on the users’ behalf in their browser and not modifying Facebook’s function at all. So I don’t think that applies to me. And I am not using their API under the developer platform, so I am not really bound by those rules.

Tim: You have, though, in the end decided that it is worth doing what they like rather than basically go out and say like, you can’t be everyone’s Robin Hood and the decision seems to make more sense to you as a developer - do you have second thoughts about that, or is that simply the practical upshot of this kind of rule?

Matt: Well, I have second thoughts. I am thinking about it a lot in my head and trying to figure out is there another way. I am trying to get a hold of Facebook again and say to them, we will make a compromise. Can I change some features and not others?Is there any way that we can maintain the functionality that so many people like without breaking the rules? Part of the reason why I made the blogpost was to kind of highlight the consistency of going after one extension when that’s a rule that they could apply to many other pieces of software, and they are choosing not to. So users are left wondering “What can I and cannot do?When is Facebook going to come after me.” But for now, when it comes down to it, I have to do whatever I have to do to maintain my access to the site to keep the extension up and running and not get sued and all of those things, right. So if it comes down to it, you know, I have to bend to their will and do what they say.

Tim: To keep getting sued sounds like an expensive outcome for you, and you see that.

Matt: You are right. I might have a problem with that.

Tim: Is this the first time in the history of Social Fixer, this is not a new extension, so is this the first time that it actually had an objection to the things that your software does?

Matt: As far as the functionality, yes, this is the first time I have heard from them. Previously, when it started out it was called Better Facebook the name of the extension was Better Facebook, modeled after other similar extensions Better Gmail, Better Ibibo those kind of things. They objected to using their name in the extension name, so I had to rename it, change my website to a new address, do all those things. So I agreed with all of that, I understand trade mark law, so that was fine. It was kind of a hassle but this is the first time they’ve asked me to actually change functionality.

Tim: Okay. Are you aware of other extensions, other plug-in writers who have faced the same sort of attention from Facebook?

Matt: Yeah, there is another extension called FB Purity - it stands for Fluff Busting Purity now, that’s ____10:24 and he has had issues with them, and I’ve talked with him a little bit and he is taking an aggressive response to Facebook and not done everything that they wanted him to do, so he is banned right now. He can’t be on Facebook, and if you post a link to his site, it marks it as spam and you can’t post it. So that’s the kind of situation I want to avoid. Because I don’t want to be in the camp of something that looks like spyware malware and users question it. So I want to be legitimate. And there is another extension called FB Unseen, I think that is what it is called, and its function is to say when you receive a message don’t send a response back that says you’ve read it, whether it is a chat or mail, and that was just taken down recently. Facebook contacted them and said you can’t do that.

Tim: Going forward with your development work on Social Fixer, Facebook has asked you to remove certain features – does that mean Social Fixer won’t be around?Or can you create other features that are around the ones that Facebook has objected to?

Matt: It will definitely stay around. There are a lot of other features that people find useful.For example, visual things like themes, changing the look and style the colors and everything of the site, - they haven’t objected to that. So those things will stick around. All of the little user interface tweaks for example, when you hit enter in a post or a comment right now, it submits it, so one of the features is to avoid that. Because that annoys some people. And there is a whole bunch of tabs of features that all get to stay, it is just the filtering of the newsfeed that they seem to have an objection with. That along with the Friendtracker.

Tim: Okay. Have you gotten any support that you know of from inside of Facebook? Have you gotten any impression that some of Facebook some of the unseen people there actually like what you do?

Matt: Well, a few years ago, there was a user inside of Facebook that used Social Fixer and he actually got me lined up for a job interview and I went through that whole process with them. So I know there are at least a few people within Facebook but I wonder if they have a rule against it or something, I don’t know, but other than that, no; no contact inside of Facebook from anybody that says, hey you know you are doing something useful.

Tim: And Matt, Finally, I know that you take donations to support your development work. Has that been successful to you?Has that sort of helped defray some of the time and energy you put into making the software?

Matt: Definitely, I have a lot of hosting costs because I have a lot of users and they hit my site frequently, so my hosting costs and then some support related costs. Donations cover all of that, and then they give me a little extra side income that I use to save up maybe and take my family on a little vacation once in a while. Certainly not enough to quit my jobor to call this my main career, but it is nice and I totally appreciate all of the people who do donate and kind of support the cause. When it is 2 a.m. in the morning and I am working on a bug, and I think, you know what, people are generous with me so I am going to be generous with my time. It works out for everyone that way.

Tim: But not enough yet for a legal defense fund?

Matt: No, definitely not.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

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

Comments Filter:
  • 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.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:56PM (#45135799)

      I always just use shift+enter.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SJHillman ( 1966756 )

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

      • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:06PM (#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.

        • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:11PM (#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.

        • 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.

        • History: The IBM 3270 series terminals, which predated the PC and with which all the original IBM PC developers were familiar, had separate "Return" (carriage return) and "Enter" (submit form) keys. This architecture minimized precious CPU interrupts. You would fill out an entire form in the terminal, with multiple fields and multiple lines on the peripheral device, then send the whole form to the CPU in one action. This was important in an architecture originally designed for batch processing, and which re

      • Also depends what sorts of post you mostly do.

        If most of posts are multi-line, then it is more convenient to do a "normal" ENTERs throughout and a CTRL-ENTER once at the end.

        This post saves 5 SHIFT's and costs one CTRL with Matt's scheme.

  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:47PM (#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.

    • 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.

    • by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:26PM (#45136213) Homepage Journal
      One of its features is blocking ads (and paid placements, i.e. ads.) That's what Facebook is upset about. It's that simple.
      • 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?
        • See previous story []: "Bizarrely, when he asked Facebook why they don't also threaten Ad-Block, the Facebook rep claimed to have never heard of it."
          • by mjwx ( 966435 )

            See previous story []: "Bizarrely, when he asked Facebook why they don't also threaten Ad-Block, the Facebook rep claimed to have never heard of it."

            Adblock also doesn't work very well on facebook. It cant tell the difference between user content and Facebook's paid for content.

      • by roninmagus ( 721889 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @05:21PM (#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.
    • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:50PM (#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.

    • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:06PM (#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.

      • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
        Plus, people who have the know-how to install this sort of thing probably won't immediately blame Facebook about issues with the site. If they installed it for relatives, you just know the relatives will call them at the first sign of a problem, extension or not.
  • by pete-classic ( 75983 ) <> on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:55PM (#45135789) Homepage Journal

    "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.

    • 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.

      • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:40PM (#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.]

    • by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:12PM (#45136043) Homepage Journal

      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.)

    • by Arker ( 91948 )

      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 th

      • Those of us who don't use facebook are also affected by the facebug like icons on every website. First we have to waste time and bandwidth downloading it, it sometimes covers parts of the page we want to read, and it almost certainly is reporting everything about us to facebook whether we want to be part of their product or not.

        Is there a list of facebook's cdn's? Just blocking [*.] doesn't seem to be quite enough.

  • Most likely it is, or will be, interfering with the feeding of ads. Nothing mysterious.

  • by rk ( 6314 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:58PM (#45135829) Journal

    so Facebook will ban me too?

  • He's Banned Now (Score:4, Informative)

    by andywest ( 1722392 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:58PM (#45135841) Homepage

    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'.

  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:59PM (#45135847) Journal

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

    • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:04PM (#45135927) Journal

      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 []

      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"

    • I'd never head of it.

      Now I'm going to install it.
  • by Sarusa ( 104047 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:06PM (#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.

    • "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 pla

      • Although I've heard the "dump more traffic on the off chance they'll decide that even though they're late for work and pissed at us for making this situation, they might come in and buy something anyway" argument, cutting four lanes down to three wider lanes (1 ea. dir + 1 turning lane) does, in fact, sometimes improve the traffic situation.

    • by darien.train ( 1752510 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:31PM (#45136277) Journal

      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 []

      • by Sarusa ( 104047 )

        Fascinating... okay, my metaphor sucks!

        • Fascinating... okay, my metaphor sucks!

          Not so! It is still quite appropriate. Facebook is the old fashioned dairy conglomerate which imagines that milking the cow when and how it wants to is good for business. Social Fixer extension is the modern milking machine which was given for free to all of the dairy conglomerates' farmers. And that whistling sound is the potential profit being whisked away as the conglomerate bans these devices from their farms.

      • by Zalbik ( 308903 )

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


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

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

        • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
          If you hear your cows tell you they want to be milked by Seth Rogen in a thong, I think you have bigger problems than a milking machine.
  • 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

  • Agree - thanks to Streisand Effect coupled with the mere fact that FB is against it, I'm installing it!
  • Streisand Effect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AnalogDiehard ( 199128 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:27PM (#45136231)
    Once again, I learned about and downloaded a great utility thanks to the Streisand Effect []. Thanks, Facebook!
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @05:07PM (#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.

    • by Richy_T ( 111409 )

      I've been thinking that would be good as a generic browser extension. It should be trivial to encrypt text boxes and should be available anywhere. Maybe there is already one out there.

  • by CopaceticOpus ( 965603 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @05:10PM (#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.

  • 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...
  • Shift-Enter generally works for line breaks when Enter has been hijacked. No need for some mutant offspring of GreaseMonkey to get a usable text box.

  • the internet as we know it will die and be replaced by "apps". Companies don't like that the user controls one half of the interface. Companies prefer apps because it allows them to control everything.
  • And now I'm going to keep using it, because it's pretty cool.

    If I were an app developer, I'd be tempted to bribe Facebook to start going after my app and drive up interest. :P

  • Is it a good idea to let Facebook be so deeply ingrained in your process of communicating with friends (and in some cases business associates) when they can and have proven they will block anything you say that they don't like? For example, links to browser plugins they don't fancy? Perhaps it's time to step away from the facey spacey.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.