If you've used Facebook at all this election cycle, your news feed has likely been brimming with political memes, sanctimonious posts belittling candidates and their voter bases, or even fake news spreading conspiracy theories. While Facebook's team has struggled to weed those last ones out, Grandma's hollering against Hillary Clinton's emails, or your coworkers rants against Donald Trump can become overwhelming, and these conversations often go awry, devolving into heated arguments and personal attacks by from sides of the political spectrum.
We're less than a week away from Election Day, but if you're sick of the squabbling, there's an answer to your prayers. Two Google Chrome extensions,Remove All Politics From FacebookandElections Filterpromise to keep your webbrowsing activities politics-free.
Remove All Politics from Facebook does just what it says. It functions as a toggle switch. Switch the switch to "on" to see politics news; switch it off to keep the news away. "Unfortunately memes will still exist. But we will do our best to take care of the rest," the developer said.
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Here's a screenshot of this reporter's Facebook feed with the filter turned on (meaningpolitical newswillappear):
And with the switch turned off:
Of course, it's not just this reporter's feed that should be singled out. The Pew Research Center hasindicatedthat more than one-third of Americans using social networking sites to like or promote politics and other social issues; 34 percent have used social media sites to post their own thoughts or beliefs on politics. There's a negligable difference between the usage of Democrats and Republicans.
Meanwhile, Elections Filter promises to filter web pages, including news sites and Twitter. Instead of removing posts, like the Facebook filter can do, this Chrome extension deletes any text relating to the presidential election.
Developers haven't specified what terms are filtered, nor do users have any direct control over the filter. It just says it will remove "all mentions of the 2016 US Presidential Elections."
Here's a screenshot of Time.com without the filter engaged:
And with the filter:
Both of these extensions are free to install, but are only available for Google Chrome browsers.