Do you share things on the web? Are you tired of seeing all these Tweet, Facebook Like, Digg, etc… buttons everywhere?
Almost all websites, from blogs to forums to large corporation homepages, have some types of sharing buttons to encourage users to share their content and have proven to be very effective.
The sharing widgets provide a live count to how many times a certain URL has been shared. Some widgets like Facebook take it one step further and show a bunch of faces of others who have liked a certain item. Unfortunately, loading all the sharing widgets can take even longer than the actual content of the webpage, such as Facebook’s slow Like button.
But suppose you don’t really share things on social networks, you’re using an add-on like Shareaholic, you’re concerned with some privacy issues regarding social networking sites, or prefer copying and pasting URLs. How do you get rid of these pesky widgets entirely?
Adblock extensions do exactly what the name implies. They block advertisements, however they are actually able to do a lot more. What they actually do is block scripts and content from certain domains and HTML tags. So how can Adblock help us here?
Social sharing widgets all load from a certain external domain as well as wrap themself in the same HTML tags, so Adblock can easily look for these tags and domains and block it completely.
Note that you do not actually have to block ads when using Adblock, so you can choose to use Adblock to block only social widgets and allow ads to keep showing.
So start by installing Adblock for your browser:
Note: The filter being used in this tutorial blocks the most popular widgets and buttons, like Facebook, Twitter, and Digg. It is possible to block additional widgets by manually specifying a filter.
Mozilla Firefox – Adblock Plus
Start by right clicking on the Adblock Plus icon and selecting Preferences.
At the top menu, go to Filters > Add a Filter Subscription.
At the bottom of the window, click on a link to Add a different subscription.
Enter a name for this subscription (it can be anything) and the following URL for the location: https://monzta.maltekraus.de/adblock_social.txt, as shown by the screenshot below.
Click Add Subscription and then Apply and you’re done.
If there’s any widget not part of the filter you would like to block, use the element hider or manually enter a filter by clicking on the Add Filter button.
Safari and Google Chrome – Adblock
The Safari and Google Chrome versions of Adblock are from the same developer and are nearly identical.
Start by going to the extension settings. In Safari, simply click on the toolbar button. In Chrome, go to Menu > Tools >Extensions. Select Options under Adblock (Plus).
On the Options page, head to the Filter Lists tab.
Enter this URL into the Enter a URL field: https://monzta.maltekraus.de/adblock_social.txt
If there’s any widget not part of the filter you would like to block, you can add a filter manually by going to the Blacklist tab.
Enjoy a Faster and Cleaner Web!
Now that wasn’t so hard was it? With this Adblock filter, you can now enjoy a faster and cleaner web.
Sure, you can just ignore these widgets and buttons, but some sites place so many on their pages that the website slows down to a crawl.
Personally, I like to share things by copying and pasting the URLs manually. What about you? Do you prefer to block these social buttons completely or do you find them useful?