Friday, October 21, 2011

Picture-Screeds on Facebook

Okay, so I've got a few friends who keep posting a veritable crapflood of angry turgid extremist political bilge on Facebook. It was getting to the point where these few individuals-- say, three out of a total of several dozen Facebook friends-- were responsible for something like 95% of the posts I saw every time I dropped by Facebook. All angry lunatic politicized garbage.

It got so bad, I was finally driven to install a third-party Firefox add-on which enables me to block posts on Facebook based on content. Any post that contains terms such as Obama, Bush, conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat, dailykos, foxnews, Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street... I never even see those posts any more. They're blocked. Problem solved.

Or at least, the problem was solved until a few weeks ago, when these friends all took to what I take to be a new Facebook fad. Posting pictures. Pictures that don't really contain anything pictorial. Pictures which simply present a slogan or screed or rant. Angry rigid political picture-screeds, like the JPEG equivalent of a political poster. I can't block 'em, because they bypass any text-based filter. It drives me crazy. What is this, the latest escalation in the "political bilge" arms race?!

No, it must just be a new fad. Because my friends have no idea I'm even blocking anything on my end. And I never noticed any damn picture-screeds until quite recently. Whatever's going on, it's quite annoying. I haven't found a real good fix yet, though I have found a way to block most pictures on Facebook, period. It blocks cute baby pictures and harmless Harry Potter pictures as well as the politicized picture-rant bilge, but at least it's stemming the tide for the moment.

Meanwhile, what drives some people?! Really. Why do they think anyone wants to read dozens of angry extremist political posts from them every single day? I just don't get it.

Update: Bingo! I found the solution. It involves regular expressions. And it works with nigh-surgical precision.

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