With the Republican National Convention now in our rear-view mirror and the Democratic National Convention about to convene, we political junkies are sating ourselves with the constant streams of information coming from all directions. But some of us may grow weary of the vitriol being tossed about on Facebook by those misinformed supporters of the wrong side in this election. The trouble is, many of those people are family members and actual friends and co-workers.
So what can you do? To unfriend them on Facebook because of their political leanings could lead to unintended consequences in real life.
Thanks to a browser extension Social Fixer for Facebook, you can effectively remove those posts from your Facebook news stream without endangering friendships. (Hat tip to Christopher S. Penn, who shared Social Fixer in a recent edition of his email newsletter. Visit his site to subscribe.)
Penn highly recommends this tool, and not only to sanitize your stream from political posts. “Take everything you don’t love about Facebooks, from sanctimonious holier-than-thou religious posts to the endless cesspool that is politics and quarantine or just obliterate it all.”
This blog post from Social Fixer explains how to set up your filter.
While installing the add-on, Penn suggests adding the following to the filtering string:
I doubt I’ll be using this add-on — at least not yet. I tend to enjoy the vitriol, and if you’re a friend of mine on Facebook, you may have noticed a posting or two in which I express my own political leanings. Philosophically, I prefer the messiness of political discourse, even though I realize how unlikely it is that I’ll ever change the views of those on the wrong side who are posting their own views, any more than they’ll change my views. Also, I tend to pay more attention to my Twitter stream than to Facebook. Twitter is just my preferred social media venue and platform.
Still, hearty discussion of politics is beneficial to the common good of a democratic society, right? We can learn from each other. We can reason together. Right? Right?