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Disable social reader apps in Facebook

You've probably seen Social Reader articles pop up on Facebook, and may have accidentally signed up for the app yourself. Learn how to avoid sharing everything you read.

Many of us, maybe all of us, use Facebook to share interesting articles and other things we find online. The Social Reader app, and other similar apps, try to make this process simpler, but often end up oversharing or otherwise crossing the line into annoying. Here's how you can keep from sharing everything you read: 

  • If you've already signed up for a Social Reader app, it's pretty easy to disable it or to limit what it shares. Just open up your Account Settings using the small drop-down menu in the top right next to the word Home, then select the Apps tab in the left sidebar. This should bring up a list of apps with access to your Facebook account. You can either remove the app's access entirely by clicking the X next to its name or click Edit to change its properties. (You may also want to prune the rest of the list while you're at it.) 
    Disable app in Facebook.
    Disable app in Facebook. Rob Lightner/CNET
  • If you're sick of seeing what your friends are reading, it's easy to block Social Reader and other apps. The next time one pops up in your timeline, just mouse over the item near the top-right corner until a drop-down icon appears. Click it, and at the bottom of the list you should see "Hide all by [name of app]." Click it and you'll never see posts like that again! 
  • If you see something that looks totally intriguing, but you don't want to sign up for a social reader app to view it, just copy its title and paste it into your favorite search engine. It's about 10 percent more effort for 100 percent more privacy.