ShareMeNot, Block Automatic Social Media Button Information Sharing - gHacks Tech News

ShareMeNot, Block Automatic Social Media Button Information Sharing

When you load a website on the Internet that has social media buttons embedded, you are automatically sharing information with those social media sites.

And this happens even if you do not interact with those buttons at all. Facebook, Twitter or Google can use the data to track your movement on the Web.

The absolute minimum that they get to know is the IP address, browser header (e.g. which browser is used, which operating system) and of course the visited web page. If you happen to be logged in, those information can be easily linked to your account.

ShareMeNot is a new Firefox add-on that protects web users from those social media buttons. The add-on disables the button functionality until you decide to interact with it. The extension does this without completely removing the buttons from web pages.

The Facebook Like, Twitter tweet or Google+ buttons are still displayed along with information like the number of likes the site has received by other users.

ShareMeNot blocks communication with Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Digg and LinkedIn automatically on every web page that you visit after installing the add-on.

This is indicated by the add-on's icon in the Firefox status bar which displays in red if elements are blocked from communicating with third party servers on the active web page.

block facebook twitter

Since the buttons are still displayed on the page, it is super easy to interact with them. A click on the button activates them. That's actually all there is to it. It is alternatively possible to reload one or multiple buttons from the context menu of the add-on that is triggered with a click on the status bar.

You can furthermore disable the blocking of a specific service in the browser. This is done in the add-on's preferences. The settings there contains a list of site exceptions where trackers won't be blocked on.

share me not options

ShareMeNot is ideal for Firefox users who do not run add-ons like NoScript 24/7 on their browser. The solution itself is more elegant than previous solutions which simply removed the buttons and scripts from web pages, especially if those buttons are used from time to time by you

Firefox users can install ShareMeNot from the official Firefox add-on repository.

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Comments

  1. Transcontinental said on September 13, 2011 at 5:36 pm
    Reply

    Great. This add-on will allow me to check if my anti-social Adblock+ filters work correctly :)

  2. Berttie said on September 14, 2011 at 12:01 am
    Reply

    There is a later version on the extension’s home page: http://sharemenot.cs.washington.edu/

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 14, 2011 at 12:18 am
      Reply

      Thanks for letting us know. Do you know what is different?

  3. Hy said on September 19, 2011 at 2:04 am
    Reply

    Nice idea, but neither version allowed me to open the add-on’s Options dialogue. Anyone know exactly what the Option’s default settings are?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 19, 2011 at 9:14 am
      Reply

      The default settings are to block all supported social networking buttons. That’s it I think.

      1. Hy said on September 19, 2011 at 7:30 pm
        Reply

        Thanks very much for the info. I was able to verify that the add-on is working by temporarily enabling the status bar and clicking on the icon there. For some reason I can access the add-on’s options from there, but not from the FF Tools, Add-ons window.
        Newest version 1.0.0.4, which adds support for YouTube and AddThis, available today on developer website, although Firefox add-on page is still installing version 1.0.0.1.
        Version history detailing differences between versions may be found here: http://sharemenot.cs.washington.edu/Versions.html

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