Oh Look, My Friend Is Reading About Vibrators. Thanks Facebook!

If you don’t already block “social news apps” from illustrious organizations like the Washington Post, Yahoo, and The Guardian on Facebook, maybe this incident will change your mind. Facebook seems very keen for Jake to know that his female friend is reading about vibrators, but Jake would really rather not know. Really. He wouldn’t.

The applications let users share stories easily and within a special Facebook ecosystem of news. The flaw is that when you’re reading material from each site through Facebook, every article you read is broadcast on the live feed of all of your Facebook friends. That’s how Jake saw this message:


I logged onto Facebook and first thing in my newsfeed is that my friend happened to be reading about vibrators. I already think this feature is annoying, now it seems to be getting very TMI.

Don’t want your reading habits broadcast to everyone you know, or don’t want to know every article your friends read or Spotify song they listen to? This article is a handy guide to eliminating social news apps from your life.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Captain Spock says:

    Perhaps she was just interested in the Sex and the City connection?

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    Why wouldn’t you want to know your female friend is reading about vibrators?

  3. Harry Greek says:

    I’ve noticed this “like” and Facebook feature on porn sites as well. Who wants to announce they are looking at porn?

    Amazon.com also has a facebook announcement; do you really want everyone of your friends to know you bough a flesh light?

    • Captain Spock says:

      I suppose with the porn, they are just doing it because they can, and it doesn’t cost them anything. There are some skeevy people out there who would do that.

      • Rootbeer says:

        It also provides for an amazing prank opportunity for any friends that don’t log out of facebook. Not that I would know…..

    • GenXCub says:

      Side Note: At one time (and maybe still), if you went to like the World of Warcraft box set page on Amazon, “Users who bought this also bought:” and then a row of various fleshlights, horse masks, etc.

    • Snowblind says:

      It was a gift!

  4. Hi_Hello says:

    is her b-day coming up? maybe it’s a hint.

  5. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

    I don’t mind the trending article feature, but I’d really prefer it if it were somehow tailored to my interests. If only there were some way to track those, and tailor content to my preferences…

    • chefboyardee says:

      I mind that if one friend reads an article it’s called “trending”. That’s ridiculous.

  6. CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

    I start the conversation off with “The real thing is better, do you want me to cum over and help you??”

  7. StarKillerX says:

    A couple nights ago I was watching a movie, I belive it was on AMC, and one of the commercials shown was for a vibrator being sold by Trojan.

    It was truely a “wait, what?” moment if there ever was one. lol!

    • bhr says:

      I don’t sleep much, so I’ve gotten used to the euphemism filled “personal massager” commercials on late night tv.

      • StarKillerX says:

        Well I normally don’t watch any tv programs without recording them on my dvr so I can skip commercials but I was messing around on the computer this night so I only was sort of half watching tv but having never seen a “personal massager” commercial on tv this really got my attention.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      the one where the hair is all blown back? or the one with the couples talking about how fun it was?

      There may even be one that is both.

  8. Cicadymn says:

    The Oatmeal sums that terrible horrible no good very bad idea up perfectly.


  9. Cat says:

    I want to eliminate every social app and game.

  10. bhr says:

    I hate “reader” apps. I just wind up googling the titles if there is something I am interested in, because my friends/family/internet pals don’t need to know every single thing I am reading. if I find it interesting enough to share I will link it on my own.

    I think The Oatmeal said it perfectly. http://theoatmeal.com/pl/state_web_spring/yahoo

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Me too. The only app I ever used was a WordPress one that posted my blog posts on facebook, but it is acting nutty so now I just link to them manually.

  11. samandiriel says:

    Hurrah for blocking those annoying apps! I also block the apps that other people are using from appearing on my wall by moving my mouse over the right hand corner of the post, clicking on the little down arrowhead that appears, and selecting “Block all from “.

    If you’re interested, there’s a bunch more tips on generally securing your facebook profile & infromation here: http://www.techalberta.ca/tips-lock-down-facebook-profile/

  12. Chmeeee says:

    What annoys me even more is that when you see one of these news stories that you want to read, you can’t get to the site directly by clicking on it. The only way to read the story via clicking the link is if you activate the social reader app for yourself, which I have ZERO interest in doing. So if it looks worth my while, I have to google the article title. Silly complaint, but poor design as well.

  13. technoreaper says:

    Facebook has been doing this lately and it’s sick. I keep telling people to leave. Zuckerberg has lost his mind. Use Google plus people.

  14. drjayphd says:

    As I learned a couple days ago, Ghostery is a Firefox user’s… well, maybe not BEST friend, but the friend who’d offer to help you move and wouldn’t complain when your dresser scratches his car. That add-on stops sites from asking you about their social reader and swats down almost everything else that’s trying to track and monetize you.

  15. dangermike says:

    I was bothered enough seeing my portrait under news stories in facebook-linked commenting systems that I completely relegated facebook to incognito browsing windows. It’s an annoyance to login every time I want to use the social network but something I’m more than to put up with. I think I’m going to have to start doing the same with google, too, after I started seeing frighteningly targeted ads (a google search once popped up an ad for viscometers a couple weeks after I looked up brookfield’s spindle chart. I found it creepy.

  16. crankypaul says:

    How about not using Facebook altogether? Learn that there’s rally more to life than talking to others in the nether world.

    “Hi everyone. I took a fabulous dump this morning and wanted you all to know.”

    Talk about becoming a world of juveniles. I ceased using FB quite some time ago, and any sites that require I DO use it become sites that I DON’T use.

  17. Trireme32 says:

    Whenever you read an article via Facebook for any particular news site, a popup comes up that gives you the option to choose who can see that you’ve read any particular item from said news site. You can simply change this option to “yourself”. Very easy.

  18. corridor7f says:

    This is how I discovered some of my male friends enjoy reading about girlie things like astrology and supermodels.

    That said, you have to agree to allow the application to display that you’ve read / commented on it in your feed. If you’re stupid enough to not read something and agree to it.. yadda-yadda-yadda.

    Presto – you are now a spokesperson / free ad about a secret and embarrassing product. Hope you Mom, boss, brother, sister and co-worker are all proud!

  19. retailriter says:

    More and more, I’m finding reason to “Like” the fact that I don’t do Facebook.

    Get a life people.