How can I block Facebook apps from posting on my Wall?
I keep seeing messages posted on my Facebook wall from friends of mine who are running Facebook applications like "Pillow Fight". How can I block these messages from being posted on my wall?
Recently, a number of recent Facebook applications that have become popular seem to have gained the ability to post automatic messages on the walls of their Facebook friends. Not so good and if you have friends like I do, you'll find that without some sort of response, these updates can take over your timeline.
A typical automated post from one of these applications looks something like this:
That's is a post that a Facebook friend of mine left on my wall using the "Pillow Fight" application. Other common applications that leave automated posts on your Facebook wall include "Angels", "Quiz Creator", "Smiles", "Friend Secrets", "iHeart", and "Snow Fight". While some people might find these automated posts mildly amusing, it got old for me pretty fast, partly because I have about 4,900 Facebook friends as a result of people adding me after they receive e-mails from the proxy mailing list that I run. Among other things, the wall posts from Facebook applications started to crowd out the thoughtful personal messages that friends were leaving on my wall (like, "Hey!"). If it's already starting to get old for you as well, here's how to block those types of applications.
(Note that if you have an application that is posting updates not on your Facebook wall, but posting updates about you so that they show up in your friends' news feeds as entries that look like status updates authorized by you, that's a separate problem, and indicates that you may have inadvertently authorized a Facebook app to post updates about you. See the separate article, "How do I remove a Facebook application?" for more information about that. For the purposes of this article, I'm assuming that what you actually want to do is to stop other people's Facebook applications from writing to your wall.)
First, click on the words "Pillow Fight" (or whatever the name of the application is) at the bottom of your wall post:
(Note that the words are not underlined, so they don't exactly "look like" a link, but you can click on them).
This will take you to the home page for the Pillow Fight application on Facebook. On the Pillow Fight page, you can click a link in the left-hand column labeled "Block Application":
Click on that link, which will bring up the following dialog box:
This is somewhat confusingly worded, because where it says "You can prevent Pillow Fight from getting any info about you", what that means for these purposes is that you can block other users from using the Pillow Fight application to post on your wall. To confirm that this is what you want to do, click the "Block Pillow Fight" button.
This will not, however, remove the "Pillow Fight" posts that have already been posted to your Facebook wall. To remove those, go back to your own Facebook profile, and for each post that you want to remove, move the mouse pointer over the post so that the "Remove" button appears in the upper-right corner:
(The "Remove" button will not actually appear until you move your mouse pointer over your Facebook post.)
Unfortunately there does not seem to be a general method to block all Facebook applications from leaving automated posts on your Facebook wall. You have to look at the name of each app that's leaving posts on your wall, and decide if you want to block it using the steps above.
Bennett Haselton is a technology and political blogger whose other major contribution to humanity for today was making a page about how to bypass the Blue Coat web filter / K9 Web Protection.
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