How to block the Facebook popup on MajorGeeks and other sites

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MajorGeeks is a highly reputable site in the software hosting vertical. It is a software portal that is considered one of the best by many, and while its design and layout may say otherwise, it has its own charm that many users like.

If you visit the website today in your web browser of choice, you may notice that a Facebook Like widget is displayed as an overlay on the screen after a moment.

Here you can click on like to add a like to your Facebook account, or click no the x icon to remove the widget from the page. The overlay is designed in a way that it dims the rest of the screen.

While it may not be evident, you can remove it from the screen with a click on that area as well. Bad news is, this is not a permanent solution.

If you delete cookies of the site in the browser for example, it will be displayed again the next time you visit it and don't click fast enough around to avoid it.

facebook popup widget

So what can you do about it to block this popup and similar ones permanently?

You need a script orĀ  an ad-blocking extension for that. I'm going to highlight how to block it using Adblock Plus on Google Chrome, but the method should be very similar if you use a different ad-blocking extension or script to block these kind of things.

The first thing we need to do is check out the popup to find how it is displayed on the screen. Right-click it and select Inspect Element in Chrome.

The browser displays a source code browser and highlights the element selected. It may not be the main element though, so click on other elements above it until you reach a point where it is still shown as selected in the browser window.

In this case, it is <div id="fanback" style="display: block;"> which is responsible for the popup widget displayed on the screen.

fanback element

Facebook popup widget

Now to block it in Adblock Plus, click on the extension icon, switch to add your own filters, and add www.majorgeeks.com###fanback to the list.

This should take care of the Facebook popup widget that Major Geeks displays on the site.

The same method works on other sites as well that display popup widgets that you cannot easily block using your ad-blocking extension as it won't recognize the correct element to do so.

Browser extensions such as NoScript block it outright, so that you do not have to do anything in this regard. There are other methods to deal with it, for instance to set the element to display:none; in Stylish or userstyle.css directly (in Firefox).

Have you encountered other popup widgets on sites that you cannot get rid of? Let me know in the comments.

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How to block the Facebook popup on MajorGeeks and other sites
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How to hide the popup widget that is displayed on Major Geeks website.
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Responses to How to block the Facebook popup on MajorGeeks and other sites

  1. Oxa May 28, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    AdBlock Plus Element Hiding Helper does this too, but it seems much easier. All you have to do is highlight the offending popup to add it to the blocking filter. No need to hunt around in the page code to find the offending script.

    • Martin Brinkmann May 28, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

      Good point. I think it is always good to know your options though.

  2. Jim May 28, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    Boy, I hate those stupid popups. Why are so many sites still bothering with Facebook popups? They must not be familiar with the Facebook algorithm that hides their posts from many of the people that have "liked" their page. I closed my Facebook account a while back and good riddance to it. Ugh.

  3. Oxa May 28, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    PBS is the worst offender I know of. First they blast you with a popup asking you to sign up for their newsletter. Then, after that popup is closed, they show another asking you to identify your local PBS station. It's really irritating.

  4. Dave May 28, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    It's like you read my mind, Martin. The world needs something to block this new kind of overlay ad everywhere. I wonder if there are any solutions kicking around yet.

    • Oxa May 28, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

      Well, there are several solutions shown on this page already.

  5. Jay May 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

    thanks Martin. I used this technique on Nashbar (cycling gear):

    www{DOT}nashbar{DOT}com###contestPopup

    Works Great!

  6. Tom Hawack May 28, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    Added majorgeeks.com###fanback to Adblock Plus. Immediat & radical solution. Muchos gracias :)

    Now what can possibly travel within the brains and interfere with an administrator's reasonable thoughts to the point of letting such a piece of craps soil his site's pages ?

    • Jim May 28, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

      Tom, I think it's greed for page views and ad impressions (they think they will get traffic from Facebook) and a blithe ignorance of Facebook's algorithm that hides their posts from people who have "liked" their sites. You'd think more webmasters would know about these things, but it seems like tons of them still believe that "likes" mean a lot more traffic.

      And yeah, this kind of stuff just encourages people to use adblockers, which can hurt other sites that don't engage in this kind of bad behavior. It's really too bad. I wonder when people will wake up to what a scam Facebook is these days. It exists solely for the benefit of its shareholders, not for sites looking for free traffic.

      • Tom Hawack May 28, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

        Jim, I still wonder what is the worst, the guru or the followers. You cannot beat followers, more you criticize the guru more the blind will follow him. This is the whole point of what is called and abused as communication. Handle the masses and you'll handle the world.
        Anyway, I don't advocate people's happiness. And I don't even spread the word of combat. If they like the guru, if they agree to be slaves, if hyper advertizement doesn't bother them anymore than getting undressed in the face of the planet : good, makes the businesses running. It's a wide wild world, I guess there is a fair distribution of likes and dislikes which sums to the peace of the lucid ones together with the hysteria of the others.

      • Martin Brinkmann May 29, 2014 at 12:33 am #

        I think that is, but there is another motive. When it comes to advertisement, a large fanbase on Facebook is always "liked" by advertising companies regardless of how the community is run. So, if you say my site has 100k or 1million likes, that is great in terms of advertisement on your site.

        You may also get offers to advertise directly on Facebook.

  7. JohnP May 28, 2014 at 11:48 pm #

    Why stop there? Block Facebook altogether from harassing you around the web with these rules:

    ||facebook.com^$third-party
    and
    ||fbcdn.net^$~image,domain=~facebook.com

    Also, you can subscribe to one of the adblock list called fanboy social list.

    • Tom Hawack May 29, 2014 at 1:16 am #

      Facebook is such a problem for some users that there is even a dedicated blocklist (I-Blocklist) usable with an application such as PeerBlock ( https://www.iblocklist.com/lists.php?category=organizations ).

      When you use this Facebook blocklist and have a look at PeerBlock's logs, you discover that some Facebook calls occur even if the user has blocked all he could with the HOSTS file + Adblock Plus & Disconnect add-ons. This means that some sites call Facebook directly with the numerical address (xxx:xxx:xxx:xxx) bypassing as such traditional blockers....

      Save Our Souls :)

  8. tom snead May 29, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    Use your hosts file.
    127.0.0.1 facebook.com
    127.0.0.1 facebook.net
    127.0.0.1 http://www.facebook.com
    127.0.0.1 http://www.facebook.net
    127.0.0.1 connect.facebook.net
    127.0.0.1 fbcdn.com
    127.0.0.1 fbcdn.net
    127.0.0.1 http://www.fbcdn.com
    127.0.0.1 http://www.fbcdn.net
    127.0.0.1 ak.fbcdn.net
    127.0.0.1 static.ak.fbcdn.net
    127.0.0.1 profile.ak.fbcdn.net
    127.0.0.1 graph.facebook.com
    127.0.0.1 xx.fbcdn.net

  9. chesscanoe May 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    I use the ScriptBlock extension on Chrome Version 36.0.1985.32 beta-m, and don't have the problem.

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