Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

It's the website that you're visiting that's putting those social icons there, and there's really no way for you to turn them off.

I get "Likes", Send, Twitter, Google+1, Stumble Upon, Share, almost every time I click on a news article in my Yahoo and other internet sites. The site seems to come up fairly fast but then I have to wait for these things to load before I can move the mouse pointer in the site. How can I stop these irritating icons from loading?

In this excerpt from Answercast #66, I look at all those "Like" and "Share" icons on web pages.

Can you get rid of "Like"?

Ultimately, I don't believe that you can.

The problem is that those icons are being placed there specifically by the site that you are visiting. In other words, heck... if you take a look at an Ask Leo! article, near the bottom of that article, you will see a couple of things about sharing it via email, liking it on Facebook, that kind of thing. Those things are there because I put them there.

Now, I've put them there in a way that I've tried to make as fast as is possible - because, as you know, speed matters.

Designed into the page

But, other sites choose to use pre-packaged solutions that run using JavaScript on your machine to create those things, kind-of sort-of at the last minute (just after the page has been drawn... but there's still this last thing that has to happen), and that last thing is the creation of these icons.

Those are there because the web page designer for the page that you are visiting specifically put them there. And I know of no way to turn them off.

Possible toolbar?

Now, I will give you one possible, low probability, possibility and that is: they might be getting put there by a toolbar you've got installed. I've never seen it but it could happen.

I've been trying to think of ways that those buttons would appear without having been placed there specifically by the web page itself. The only two things I can think of are:

  • Malware, I'm going to assume that you've done full and up to date scans for malware (I've never heard of malware that does this);

  • Or some kind of a toolbar that you've got installed in your browser that adds this, kind of, on top of the site.

So, excepting those two fairly unlikely possibilities, there really isn't that much that can be done. It's the website that you're visiting that's putting it there and there's really no way for you to turn them off.

Article C5981 - October 31, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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7 Comments
Ashkan
November 1, 2012 5:07 AM

Do Not Track Plus is a software I came across, a few weeks ago. I don't use it myself. But It claims to block lost of tracking technologies, including social media plug-ins. The company have some other products relating to online privacy.
https://www.abine.com/dntdetail.php

jimmy gambino
November 2, 2012 9:24 AM

There are many browser add-ons that will remove these buttons from pages. No-script will remove all scripts and allow you to choose which scripts to allow.it is for Firefox and for chrome I use script-no which does the same thing, there are learning curves in both but I always use them and the more u allow scripts the easier it becomes to use. Disconnect.me is an extension for chrome ( and maybe Firefox) which only does exactly what you want, it removes like buttons, twitter buttons, and google + buttons from most web pages. There are actually many addons that do this but they are mostly for Firefox and chrome, you just need to search for privacy addons at addons.mozilla.org, and in the google chrome store.

David
November 2, 2012 11:44 AM

I would really like a "Dislike" button.

connie
November 2, 2012 2:45 PM

@David,
I'm with you on that!

Paul Higgins
November 2, 2012 8:45 PM

I use the free Ghostery that can block these buttons- though I choose not to and also invisible trackers on webpages.

selfassuredwithnorealknowledgebase
November 3, 2012 9:33 AM

In firefox, 'facebook blocker' addon will do this without blocking a lot of other stuff you might want. Otherwise, 'no-script' is good. Other browsers have similar addons.
Also, the fact that sites load slowly suggests you may have too many addons already running. Or toolbars (anathama). Or slowing from a number of other possible reasons.

GREG JACKSON
November 8, 2012 11:22 PM

Do Not Track Plus [DNT+] software works. It really blocks all tracking technologies, including social media plug-ins. It also suppresses ads that also track you - whether you know it or not. It doesn't block normal ads that support a site, just the devious ones. Once DNT+ is installed, it just inserts a tiny Icon, which changes color [green, yellow, red] based on what's being blocked or not. For example, It may show yellow - you click the icon- and see Facebook is tracking you on that site. You configure it to allow it, or block it. That's it. It also displays all of the blocked tracking technology [3-5 avg. per site]. It's good mojo, folks.
https://www.abine.com/dntdetail.php

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