How to get rid of Facebook's new trending articles

Facebook appears to be testing out a new feature called "trending articles" that intrusively adds articles that your friends have viewed into your newsfeed.  You can't just click on these and go to the story. Instead you are piped through some social reader app that you have to give permissions to before you can continue.

fb-trending.jpg

I don't particularly want to activate such apps and wanted to find a way to remove their spam from my feed.

Facebook has been making blocking applications more and more difficult lately, but I found a nice way to get rid of these pesky apps once and for all.

Go to Privacy Settings in the top right, then scroll down to "Blocked People and Apps" and click "Manage Blocking"

Then under Block apps, you can start typing in the names of the offending apps and add them to your block list immediately.  For the news reader type apps I blocked:

 

  • Yahoo!
  • Yahoo! (There's 2 of them)
  • The Washington Post
  • Washington Post (Thanks david!)
  • Washington Post Social Reader
  • Spotify
  • ESPN
  • Daily Horoscopes (Ton of apps with this name... the 2nd one did the trick for me.)
  • The Guardian
  • The Huffington Post

 

I'm sure more will pop up over time and I'll keep adding to this list as I see them.

fb-blocked-apps-1.jpgfb-blocked-apps-2.jpg

And there you go.  No more "trending articles".

Update - 1 June 2012

I logged in today to see "Trending Videos".  Here's the list of apps I've needed to block to get rid of this one. Not very many so far. I'm sure you get the idea now anyway if anything new pops up.

  • Viddy
  • Socialcam (thanks Amy!)

Update - 14 July 2012

Another nice method was brought to my attention today. Credit for this tip goes to UbdU in comment #62 below.

If you want to do a one-time removal of Trending Articles, you can install the browser extension Adblock Plus and add the following filter rule:

facebook.com##div.storyInnerContent.storyContent

I haven't tested this myself, as the blocking method suits my purposes quite well, but it should work like a treat.

Pros

  • Fire and forget. You don't have to worry about new reader apps bringing the Trending Articles back. This is a huge plus.
  • You can easily use this in conjunction with the blocking method above to limit the effect on other computers/devices.

Cons

  • You need to be using a browser that supports Adblock Plus or a similar extension
  • You need to install this onto every computer that you will be logging into Facebook on
  • You may not have control over browser extensions or they may be unavailable, say on friend's/work computer or mobile device or your preferred browser.
  • You may need to know a little bit about HTML should Facebook ever modify the code that displays this.

Update - 19 July 2012

This seems to be a very common question, so I'll try to bring a little more attention to it. "Trending Articles" is not an app it's a feature.  It will not show up in the app list if you try typing it in. You need to block all the apps that it aggregates in order to block it.  The apps I currently know about are in the list above.  Hope this helps!

86 Comments

Maria #1 970 days ago
Thanks for the tip! I do not need trending articles on my FB and I'm happy to be rid of this annoying new feature.
Rob #2 970 days ago
Worked great! Thank you! You're the only source I've been able to find online for deleting this feature!
Meagan #3 968 days ago
Just FYI, you can block them as they appear by hovering over the right edge of the item. An 'x' will appear. If you click on the 'x', you can block all from that app. It also works for any games or other apps that pop up.
Carl #4 966 days ago
Thanks Meagan, but I haven't been able to do that for awhile now. All I get is an arrow to the right that lets you, among other options, hide all posts from the app. However, when I log back in, all the posts are back as it didn't seem to add the app to the block list. I do remember they used to have the X you mention and it had the option to block. It would be nice if they'd bring that back.
Joe #5 965 days ago
Thanks for the post!
Caroline #6 964 days ago
Thank You, Thank you, Thank you!!!
Rudy #7 964 days ago
Now Fb has gotten rid of block app link. Grrrr!
Sara #8 963 days ago
I'll have to use this.

I've just been reporting every one of the trending articles as spam with the hope that FB (or the app) will get the picture that I don't want these in my news feed. (Hey, to me they are spam!) =)
Jason #9 963 days ago
Worked great !! Thanks SO much for posting this !
Carl #10 963 days ago
Good call Sara. Most of these apps on facebook don't seem to have any restraint.
Sonja #11 962 days ago
You are a champion, thank you Carl!
Luke #12 955 days ago
Excellent. I did just that. Keep blocking!!
Benny #13 955 days ago
Thank you so much!! That removes the pain ~ ^.^
Leah Cypess #14 949 days ago
THANK YOU. SO MUCH.
Deanna #15 947 days ago
Thanks! Did it through Manage Apps and Privacy Settings. Let's hope it does the trick!
Hopin #16 929 days ago
Thanks...Im going to do just that right now LOL
tu9tifive #17 929 days ago
Thanks very much...i browse on my phone so reducing trash for faster download is always a plus for me !!!! bless you!
Connie #18 927 days ago
Thanks for the post... I hate those trending articles.
Ken #19 927 days ago
Thank you SO much.
Rob in Wisconsin #20 924 days ago
Hey, thanks so much. The process will be cumbersome but maybe Facebook will get a clue. lol
kate #21 922 days ago
It didn't work for me. "trending articles" isn't in the list when I start typing it in. What am I doing wrong?
Mark #22 922 days ago
sometimes Kate you have to click the article to find out which app is sending, then type that apps name in the box. Trending articles is a category for that kind of app so you need to find "that" apps name first. I Had to do that for Sport24. That is what finally solved the problem for me.
John C #23 922 days ago
@kate:
That's because "Trending Articles" is not an app, it's a feature that Facebook has added onto their system. As Mr. Carl Champagne explained in his blog, it automatically adds into your newsfeed, articles that your friends on Facebook have viewed via a "social reader app", such as Yahoo!, The Washington Post, Spotify, ESPN, Daily Horoscopes, etc.
So if you receive a newsfeed that a friend of yours has read an article via "Spotify", and you don't want to be notified about articles from "Spotify", then you will need to block the "Spotify" reader app.
I hope that helps! Good luck!
Amy #24 922 days ago
It looks like they caught on to this. Most of those aps can't be blocked. There is no Yahoo! or Washington Post, and that's where mine are coming from. I did block them from showing in my timeline when the article showed, so maybe that's why.
Carl #25 922 days ago
@Amy That really sucks if that's the case for everyone. Maybe it was a temporary glitch?

This is the only method I know of using Facebook alone, however there are other methods floating around using browser plugins and extensions that may help you get rid of this.

Is anybody else experiencing this? I can't tell because I already have these apps blocked.
dm #26 922 days ago
ty
Lorraine #27 922 days ago
THANK YOU!!!!!!!
Amy #28 921 days ago
Socialcam is a new one to be blocked. I figured out how to do it on mine. I wasn't going down far enough on the manage blocks page.
Noreen #29 919 days ago
Thanks so much. Just started receiving Trending Articles today. I also have problems with apps showing on my Blackberry but not on PC where they are already stopped using x and remove. I'm hoping following your instructions will stop that as well. 38 - 40 reports on AstroGarden every morning is not funny!!
Thanks again
Benjamin #30 913 days ago
This is a grand idea for blocking a not grand idea! Thank you.
jelena #31 909 days ago
lovely! nice one :-)
Teresa #32 909 days ago
Thanks Carl for this info! Between you and other's input, I've been able to remove "Trending Article". I did try your Blocking Method, but for my situation, only found "Trending News" as an option. This did not remove the culprit. Then I went back to the post on my FB wall and hovered a little more - because as others have said, there was no 'x' as usual in upper right corner....Well, you have to have a little lower! The 'x' is the box within the box - hover down a little lower near the article heading on the right and there Is an 'x' to Remove. So I removed and Mark(ed) as Spam! Thanks everyone - so glad to get Beiber off my Wall.
ARD #33 908 days ago
Awesome! Thank you for posting this elegant solution.
Kate #34 908 days ago
I followed you instructions and typed in Trending Articles but nothing happened. Did not take.
david #35 908 days ago
The Washington Post has two as well...one with "the", the other without...thanks again for SUPER HELPFUL info!
Ann Williams #36 908 days ago
I just went over the Trending Articles and hit spam so far so good If that don't work then try to hide it and it will block it.
Carl #37 907 days ago
@Kate John C had responded before about this, but "Trending Articles" is not an app. It's a facebook feature that aggregates several popular social news reader type apps into a "convenient" form. You need to block all the apps that it pulls in (listed in the article above) in order to get rid of it. Thanks for the comment.
Naomi #38 906 days ago
Thanks very very much for that. I just recently received one and couldn't figure out how to get this of it so thanks.
sue #39 905 days ago
Thank you so much for taking the time to post this solution, it works wonders
Steve #40 902 days ago
Thanks!!!
jaent #41 902 days ago
Hi Carl,

This is all well and good, but is anyone thinking that while they are blocking what other people are reading, that everything they might read is being posted or advertised to all of our contacts?

Even if it is all good, I do not think what is accessed on our computer should be sent to all FB friends. How do we block what we read from going out?
Sandy W #42 902 days ago
Thanks for the helpful information!
Carl #43 902 days ago
@jaent These readers and the associated web sites can only gather your data if you give permissions to the app itself.

If you just read an article on their site, the best they can get is aggregated impressions/clicks/shares through Facebook Insights.

On the other hand, Facebook itself has all the information they could ever want if a site integrates their social plugins. Much of the web has integrated it, including myself at the bottom of the article.

If you want to hide yourself from Facebook while you're surfing around the rest of the web, you'll need to install a browser plugin to block their javascript. There's many options for this and I have more details here: www.carl-champagne.com/blog/2010/4/29/2/blocking-facebook-social-plugins/.

You'll have to weigh up the pros and cons yourself. It's quite convenient to have like buttons, facebook commenting, quick logins and so on, but the price you pay is your browsing data.
Elaine #44 900 days ago
You can also hover in the right hand corner of a specific article shown and an X shows up. It gives you 3 options and one is to hide all articles from wherever that article came from. For example, I did what was outlined above, but one article still remained from CBS local and that didn't show up when I typed in CBS under Block Apps. So I went back to the post on my feed page and hovered over the right hand corner of the article, not the feed (there is no way to close the feed) and an X showed up and the third option was to "Hide all from CBS local". That's how I got rid of the Trending Videos feed, but today I deleted the Social Cam app. Maybe deleting wasn't such a good idea, but if I need to use my web cam to talk to someone, I'm sure I can do that.
Why in the world Facebook thinks we all want to know what all our FB friends are reading and viewing is beyond me. The videos were horrendous. Many of my FB friends are friends so we can play games and get game requests from them, not to be real friends and share what we are doing.
Pia #45 898 days ago
Thanks this was very helpful!
Susan #46 897 days ago
Thank you!
Caroline Mills #47 896 days ago
I thought this was helpful BUT... the article I got today was supposed to come from the Independent, but there's no way the Indy would publish such rubbish, so spam is creeping in somewhere. I reported it as spam but I doubt that has any effect. And I thought this app was supposed to show articles my friends had read, but nobody had read this article. Not surprising as it was about a Chinese bus driver turning carnivore!
Carl #48 895 days ago
Thanks Caroline. It's certainly possible that someone created an app with the same or similar name in order to draw traffic off their good name.

I did a search for "Independent" and came up with 4 results, however nothing but the real app was called "The Independent". Perhaps there was one and it was reported enough times and got deleted by Facebook. I also tried putting a "dant" at the end and searching with a lowercase L which looks identical to the uppercase I, but came up with nothing.

Also, it doesn't only show what your friends have read. Sometimes it'll show other random things that Facebook has decided that you should see, or maybe there's a paid component to get stories to bubble up to the top. Facebook works in mysterious ways.

Or maybe you just have a history of reading stories about carnivorous Chinese bus drivers!
Maria Johnson #49 895 days ago
Thanks - also found The Independant
Donna #50 894 days ago
Huffingtonpost is a big culprit
Gerald Turner #51 894 days ago
Thanks for this!
Diane Miles #52 894 days ago
Thank you so much. Trending articles just started on my FB page today. So pleased I found your tip on how to get rid of them so soon.
Loranne #53 894 days ago
Trending Article just popped back up at the top of my news feed after going away for a while. I can't click the little "x" (or even see one at all) that some users can. While blocking individual apps has worked for most of the stories, there's one from "SavvySugar" that I can't find an app for at all. It seems to be coming from PopSugar's Social Reader, but when I try typing that app name in to block it, Facebook claims there is no such app. It won't go away. Has anyone else had this problem?
Mary Alice #54 893 days ago
Thank you!!
Carl #55 893 days ago
@Loranne Fortunately I haven't had that problem yet, but have you tried clicking on the article link to see what app it takes you to? You should have to approve the app before you get forwarded off to the actual article so it's safe to click it. Perhaps they have another name in that popup, a link to the app page or some other bit of information you can follow to track down that rogue app. Good luck!
alyn ginge ainsworth #56 893 days ago
i went into app managment and disabled the yahoo app, it didn't do a damn thing. i haven't up-graded(down)to the awful timeline and have no intention of, but i've noticed my old FB is now harder to use and navigate and everything wants you to click on share info. below is an article thats old, but relevent to all of us peed off with FB messing and forcing you to open your computer to trogan/trakker/malware and private details to any and all who they want amd allow too

http://arstechnica.com/business/2010/05/understanding-the-latest-facebook-privacy-train-wreck/

[Edited by Carl - found the article post and linked to it instead of having it copied into the comment.]
addamooo #57 892 days ago
I tried the method described here but Trending Articles does not appear on the app list. It doesn't have the x either. So it's impossible to remove it. When I clicked on the article and was redirected to the popup where I should confirm and give them my data I found a tiny thing at the bottom saying 'Report' but when I clicked it I was only redirected to my Facebook main page. I guess the authors of the trendy articles have paid good so that it was impossible to delete this app and so that I finally let go and gave them my personal information.
Buke Lellville #58 892 days ago
It worked! Thanks.
Carl #59 892 days ago
@alyn Did you block both Yahoo apps? I did a quick google search on the article title and author that you posted in your comment and linked to the actual source instead. I hope you don't mind. Just keeps things a bit cleaner on my site and doesn't steal their traffic.

Anyway, I did read the article and the conclusion was that the uproar about the privacy concerns in that case were overblown. It was an unintentional consequence of the way they were managing offsite links. Not much information would have been leaked anyway and advertisers would have to go to a large effort to extract a small amount of useful data out of their logs. Facebook fixed the issue rather quickly and the problem was effectively resolved a long time ago. This is effectively a non-issue.

Facebook certainly does have a history of being loose with your data, but the fact is they have some of the most comprehensive privacy controls available anywhere on the internet. I don't like or agree with their philosophy of share everything first and allow people to opt-out instead of an opt-in approach, but that attitude is responsible for much of their growth. So, Facebook wouldn't be what it is today without it. Like most things in life, it's a tradeoff.

As far as the timeline, it seems like it was (another) change that people either love or hate. Personally, I love it. But it really doesn't matter what any of us think. Facebook can change their interface whenever and however they want. Some people will complain and maybe a few will delete their accounts. However, most who say they will leave are all talk and will be around to complain about the next change and the one after that. It's actually a credit to Facebook that they are able to roll out interface changes to subsets of people and allow people to maintain the old view. That's a rarity in web design. However, you can hold out for as long as you can, but eventually Facebook will upgrade everyone and move on, comfortable in the fact that any user attrition will be far less than the number of new accounts created on a daily basis.
Carl #60 892 days ago
@addamooo Please refer to comments #23 and #37. "Trending Articles" is not an app. It's a feature. You need to remove the apps it aggregates to hide it. Thanks for the comment.
Carl #61 892 days ago
Also, Thank you to everybody for leaving your kind comments. I'm so glad this off-hand post was able to help so many and continue to help more and more people everyday.
UbdU #62 891 days ago
Hm, doing all of this seems "clumsily reactive." I prefer the sledgehammer approach.

Install adblock plus, and then add the following filter to it:
facebook.com##div.storyInnerContent.storyContent

Problem solved so far.
Carl #63 891 days ago
Fair enough UbdU. This definitely works the best if you log in from the same computer (or computers that you administer) all time. However, if you're logging in from, say a mobile device or someone else's computer, browser addons may not be as helpful.

Thanks for the advice though. I added an update to the article with your filter to pass it along. I hope it helps some people out there.

Personally I'll stick with blocking, because it's been serving me well enough. Plus, it's kind of satisfying blocking apps. Not sure what it is about it. Anybody else feel the same way?
Linda #64 891 days ago
Thank you so much! This worked like a charm - it got rid of so much junk. Now I can actually see what my friends have to say instead of all the advertisements.
Nikita #65 889 days ago
THAAAANK YOUUUUU!!!!
Rick Felter #66 887 days ago
SocialFixer add-on for Firefox, Chrome, Apple Safari, and Opera allow you to set FB options the way you want them, and one of the "popular" options is to "Hide Trending News and Trending Videos" -- better yet, its a free add-on.
Ellie #67 887 days ago
You now have to wait until one shows up on your wall, like Trending Articles or SocialCam for instance. When you see it on your wall, move your mouse around in the upper right-hand corner of the article until the "x" appears. When you click on the "x" you have the option to hide that article, or to hide all articles by that app.
tim #68 887 days ago
I can't seem to block the application. By typing under "Block Apps", Trending articles, no option comes up on the scroll down menu, in other words not able to select it to block it.
brian #69 887 days ago
love the adblock one. thanks!
Carl #70 886 days ago
@Ellie #67 Whenever I have tried that "hide all articles" feature in the past, it only hides it temporarily while I'm logged in. If I shut down the browser and come back later, all these articles are back. If they've changed the way it works then that would be awesome. Thanks for the comment.
Ellie #71 886 days ago
Hmmm. Good to know, Carl. I haven't had the Trending articles appear since I blocked all of them, but if they show up again, I'll be back to comment. Grr!!

Like Tim, Trending Articles, etc. don't show up for me when I try to block them using "Block Apps". And actually nothing I tried to block shows up that way. Seems we are always a few steps behind FB, doesn't it? Frustrating! :)
Carl #72 885 days ago
Thanks for the info Ellie. It certainly does feel like that sometimes.

I'm still able to block apps through the box. It's happened before to another commenter so I'll mention it just in case, but are you typing the app names into the last box on the Blocked People and Apps page? The one labeled "Block apps". Sounds like you are, though.

"Trending Articles" definitely will not show up as it's not an app (See Update - 19 July 2012 above), but the ones in the list, like Yahoo!, The Washington Post, Spotify, etc. should be there. If they already happen to be in your block list, they also will not show up as you type. Maybe they were put there when you hid all articles from the app?

Of course, the key thing is you aren't seeing Trending Articles anymore.
CyberGuy #73 883 days ago
Ditto: Thanks so much! I'd blocked this nuisance via a Firefox skin app on my PC's, but was stumped as to Mac/Safari.
Went through most of the list, back to FB and saw a video I hadn't even thought about - but after all, it's what all your friends and friends-of-friends are accessing via social readers, and some may be using apps (unlike the big news orgs) not everyone knows. Your list was the perfect solution, and then looking at the reader to see what was left. Plus, it brought me back to FB's privacy settings, which it's good to check in on from time to time, as they tend to change the rules without telling folks. ;-)
Dana #74 880 days ago
I tried the adblock one, but now it won't let me view any stories in my feed other than the most recent. If I click on "More stories," it doesn't work. Is anyone else dealing with this?
Dana #75 880 days ago
Never mind, that glitch seemed to be temporary. Working just fine now. Thanks!
Tricia #76 879 days ago
Thanks for the tip. Now do you know how to block the endless "comments and likes" on things I have no interest in. I've gone on each friend and marked "Block comments and likes" and yet they reappear incessantly, cluttering up the feed.
Carl #77 879 days ago
Tricia, I don't know of any way to do that. This might be the kind of thing you're talking about, but I personally wish there was some way to block fan pages so that you don't see the comments/likes/shares that people pass along, i.e. George Takei. I'm sure many will disagree with me, but it's just too many shares happening for my liking. It's kind of like the new email joke forward.
Rhonda #78 878 days ago
Thanks much! :)
davy #79 867 days ago
thanks it works !!!
Rena #80 865 days ago
God bless you
DKS #81 861 days ago
I get a lot of posts in the trending articles from 9GAG and Wetpaint Entertainment, so those might be worth blocking as well.
JR #82 855 days ago
Carl, thanks for the post. I run Adblock Plus on Firefox. I added the suggested filter and it worked like a charm.
Tim Schutte #83 846 days ago
Thanks for the tip. The 'Trending articles' feature is very annoying, so I also added the AdBlock filter rule, and it works fine.
branden #84 737 days ago
unfortunately, facebook.com##.storyInnerContent.storyContent also blocks content when you click on notifications. it brings you to a page with the person's name on it, but none of the post or comments the notification was about.
Bill Hubert #85 655 days ago
Thanks for the post I really appreciate it it was very useful
James Davidson #86 326 days ago
I've found a great way to hide the new Trending Topics box on Facebook. Theres this app called FB Purity, its basically an add-on for your browser, and it has tons of neat features for tidying up facebook, and making it less of a nightmare to use. You can get it for all types of browsers including Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera, it even lets you disable autoplay videos. If you want to check it out, go here: fbpurity.com

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Web Programmer. Shutterbug. New Father. Enjoying life in New Zealand.

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