Social Networks

How To Block Applications (Farmville and such) On Facebook

Facebook has made it relatively easy to “hide” application announcements — to keep them from cluttering your news feed. As others have pointed out, “hide” is not “block.” So, for any of you who haven’t yet blocked an application, here’s how. (It is more involved than “hiding” an application.)

In order to block an application, you have to find the application’s Facebook page and click the “block this application” link. Finding that page may not be straightforward. Here is a walk-through of how I blocked Togetherville after I had “hidden” it from my news feed.

(1) I was more than a little disturbed to find that Togetherville showed up on my “recently used” applications page. I had not “used” this application! I “hid” it! [Account (upper right hand corner of any Facebook page) -> Application Settings -> Recently Used.]

Facebook Applications
Applications That I "Hid" Yesterday Are On My "Recently Used Applications" List. WHY?

(2) Clicking Togetherville on “recently used applications” page (above) led me to this:

Facebook Togetherville
What Will Happen If I Click That Button? No, I Do Not Want To Join! I Want To Block This App!

(3) I shook my head and clicked “Learn More.” I reminded myself that that I had not yet “allowed” the application access to anything. (And that I could reverse that decision in the my applications preferences.) That click lead to a more familiar-looking Facebook popup.

A More Familiar Interface

(4) Since I did not want to join Togetherville, I knew that I did not want to click “Allow.” But “leave application”? That’s not exactly what I want to do. So I once again clicked a plain-text Togetherville link. Finally, we get to the actual Togetherville Facebook page. Click that “Block Application” link on the left to ensure you get nothing else from this application. Ever. (For the FB definition of “forever” – one I leave to the imagination of the reader.)

Facebook Togetherville
Finally - The Togetherville Application Facebook Page

Is it asking too much of Facebook to either make “hide” the same thing as “block” … or to add “block application” as a one-click option?

If Facebook valued its community over the application developers, we know that the answer would be “of course it’s not too much.” Instead, we have an overly complex process that only the more sophisticated community members will understand or navigate.

Oh. One last thing. Can someone explain why recently blocked applications do not show up in my “applications not authorized to post” list?

Addendum – I think this answers the above question: “You can prevent Country Life from getting any info about you. This will not prevent you from seeing Country Life if other people have it installed.”

So, in Facebook language, “to block” appears to mean “you can’t access my info” and “to hide” means “I don’t have to see any announcements from you.” Both seem essential.

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

3 replies on “How To Block Applications (Farmville and such) On Facebook”

Stop apps posting to your News feed – doesn’t work in lists
1. Privacy Settings
2. Blocked People and Apps – Manage Blocking
3. Block app invites – add all your friends here.
This will block them sending you app requests

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