How to quickly unsubscribe from 'liked' Facebook pages
Facebook Cleanser can help you scrub your feed clean, but you can accomplish much the same thing in Facebook's settings.
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
I think one reason people get so fed up with Facebook is that their feeds get so cluttered with junk, they rarely see the things they actually care about -- you know, baby pictures, ice-bucket videos, and friendship-threatening political comments.
That clutter is usually the result of excessive "liking," which I'm guilty of myself because very often you have to "like" a company or product in order to enter a contest. (Even worse, I never win. Unlike!)
Of course, because Facebook's settings are built to confuse, it's not immediately apparent how to remove all those liked pages. Enter Facebook Cleanser, a simple tool designed to make unliking easier. All you do is sign into your account, then wait a bit while it looks up your "likes." To unsubscribe from any of them, you simply click the corresponding Like button. (Seems backward, I know, but remember these are pages you've already liked. Clicking that button is the equivalent of toggling them off.)
Now for the bad news. Perhaps owing to heavy traffic, or perhaps because it's just glitchy, Facebook Cleanser doesn't work particularly well. I tested it using both Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, and the results were the same, it found only about a dozen of my liked pages -- out of maybe a hundred or more.
And if you review the comments section at the bottom of the tool's page, you'll see that lots of other users had the same experience. I tried refreshing the page and giving it extra time to populate, but it never did any better.
Fortunately, you can accomplish pretty much the same thing by venturing into Facebook's "Pages I like" page. It takes an extra click to unlike something -- once on the little pull-down menu, again on the Unlike option -- but the end result is the same. (Actually, you can mouse over that menu without clicking, but there's still a bit of delay.)
Whatever method you use, it's probably worth spending a few minutes to clear the "like" detritus from your Facebook feed. And who knows? Maybe you'll find the service less of a time-suck now that it's free of all that junk.