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How to Stop Facebook SPYING on You!
The growing threat of Facebook and its ability to spy on your every move on the Internet has been noticed by paranoids such as myself and now something needs to be done to fight the evil Facebook in the wider world.
Facebook is the most successful piece of spyware ever made and is the sort of thing the Spanish Inquisition and the Nazi SS would have loved to have had. It's the CIA's pet poodle, and it does for George Orwell's BIG BROTHER what decades of CCTV in the UK tried to do, and yet without the CIA having to spend much money on active surveillance of the entire population.
Essentially the problem is those naff little Facebook icons that are an infestation upon websites and are as commonplace as rats looking at your with their beady little eyes out of every crevice during the period of the Black Death. The difference is, the rats were only working for themselves and hoping for something to eat such as your dead body, whereas the Facebook icons are all working for one huge conglomerate, with the purpose of watching your every move. If they said "Sponsored by J Edgar Hoover" it would be close to the truth. They are part of a vast spying network, and now is the time to put a stop to it.
It's unusual for me to review a piece of software before it's been written, but the importance of this is such that the freedom of the world depends on defeating Facebook, so here goes:
"Replacebook" is an anti-spyware utility which consists of a browser plug-in, like the add-ons which exist for Mozilla Firefox. This allows you to browse the Internet in peace, free from the all-seeing eye of the ubiquitous evil Facebook and whatever government secret services are implicated with it. The plug-in works by loading the page you want to look at, and then replacing any Facebook icons/links with something harmless, before displaying it.
The Facebook spying normally works by Facebook icons being remote-served, thus whenever you look at a page which happens to have a naff "follow us on Facebook" icon, THEY can see your IP address accessing the image. Replacebook does away with that by substituting the remote served icon, effectively anything with http://www.facebook in it, with something harmless, possibly a replacement image on your local machine. You never get to opt to like, hate, abhor, or otherwise interact with the dreaded Facebook, as your Replacebook browser plug-in cuts these things out for you and replaces them with an innocuous image of your choice.
If you're into HTML, you can easily see that any page with <img src="http://www.facebook ... etc is going to be visible to the server logs of the hosting company of Facebook, and therefore to whosoever Facebook chooses to sell your soul/info to.
You may be horrified to know: Facebook can spy on you even if you are not a member of Facebook! Your IP address is registered every time any page you look at has one of those "Facebook" icons on it. Deplorable! The only web pages that are safe from such intrusive big-brother-is-watching-you privacy-invasion are websites that are free of those little icons! Zyra's website is an example of a website which has absolutely NO Facebook spyware anywhere on it! It even refuses to link to the dreaded Facebook. Even the page condemning Facebook does not have any link to the place itself. There are a few other websites which are free of the dreaded Facebook, Wikipedia for example. I am considering writing a page of NO-Facebook sites, so if you have such a site, please write in, and let's start an online resource.
Here are a few more "Facebook Spying On You" references...
www.freedominfonetwork.org/profiles/blogs/facebook-is-funded-by-cia-to-spy-on-you - silenced!
www.desiclub.com/community/culture/culture_article.cfm?id=843 - your sexual preferences become their business
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/how_us_government_spies_use_facebook.php - Facebook in league with government spying
...and many others. Looks like the martyr Julian Assange has them sussed! Many other people are also starting to realise the Facebook problem.
It goes without saying that for your own safety and security you should avoid Facebook! If you are unfortunate enough to have joined, you should Leave Facebook and set up your own website instead! But you need to go further than that to protect your privacy from the Inquisition/SS/Facebook. Wipe out those little icons now!
The race is on now to write this app! Whoever corners the market in this could win big-time, replacing every Facebook icon in the world with their own or something else. You can release the software as shareware for the public good, or as a paid-for add-on to make a lot of money. Either way, these is a big need for this type of thing, just as there was for gasmasks during the war, or geiger counters in the next war.
Please write in, and let's get this anti-spyware anti-Facebook browser add-on on the market, and then... profit! and Freedom!
Update! There is a Mozilla Firefox add-on which may already do this.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/blocksite/ - this is it! Mozilla BlockSite! - This is already being used to BLOCK FACEBOOK!
Whatever "ban Facebook" utilities there are, it's important they get rid of the icons, widgets, "like" buttons, etc. The links are less important. The visible Facebook bits and pieces on websites, such as those naff little "f" letters in blue, are spyholes which are remote-served, and therefore Facebook can follow you around. Block them by having your Internet browser work for YOU not Facebook, and you are on your way to getting some of your privacy back!
Also see how to avoid retargeting (adverts that follow you around).
Interestingly, the Opera Browser may already have such a feature. It may be possible to eliminate Facebook icons (which spy on you) by right-clicking on it, and then selecting "block content". I am not sure if this still works.
Another stop-gap solution is to add this line in the file "hosts"...
(That's a TAB inbetween the 127.0.0.1 and www).
The hosts file on Linux is /etc/hosts
The hosts file on Microsoft Windows is c:/WINDOWS/system32/drivers/etc/hosts
On some Windows systems the file is read-only which means you may have to look at "properties" and change it so it's no longer read-only and then you can add the line in it, preferably right at the end. You can edit the file with Notepad2, or even Notepad.
This SHOULD prevent Facebook icons appearing. In practice it only stops the ones loaded from Facebook itself. However, even this actually stops Facebook from spying on everything you do on the Internet.
Other entries will need to be added as Facebook tries to wriggle out, like an netted shark. One such entry recently noted for addition to the Facebook banishment list is...
Others to be added as they crop up.
There is another idea which is now that Google has gone down the toilet, we could add Google Syndication and Google Analytics to the list of sites banished as entries in the list. This would not merely stop Google ads appearing, but it would also undermine the reliability of Google statistics.
Another advantage of banning Facebook by this method is that it also stops Facebook splat-advertising spamlike adverts appearing on numerous websites! They come up as blank or "not found error 404", so you are spared the annoyance, but also you can suss out which websites are disreputably pushing Facebook, and then avoid visiting them.
There's more about the Facebook problem on this page: Down with Facebook
Special paranoid note: The anti-Facebook icons on this page are part of my own website and are not remote-served by Facebook, obviously.