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How to Block Ads on Facebook

How to Block Ads on Facebook 2021

by Daniel Moore

From running FaceMash from a Harvard dorm room to getting grilled by lawmakers over Facebook Data privacy issues, Mark Zuckerberg has come a long way. Who knew an ordinary (but totally smart) guy could one day run the biggest online empire – Facebook.

Facebook is currently the biggest social media platform on the Internet. It generates around 4 petabytes of data per day (1 petabyte = 1000 TB) from its 2.7 billion users. Nowadays, Facebook not only functions as a social media platform but it has evolved into a platform where multiple brands and companies can expose you to their world.

So you might sometimes think if I’m signing up for free and if I’m not paying for anything when I’m online on Facebook then how does it even make money? Just one long word – Advertisements.

I know, these advertisements do get irritating and can pose a question to how they’re mining data from our profiles. By accessing key details about our private life, Facebook is able to understand the things we like and don’t like and what ads to display for a particular user.

If this is starting to get a bit scary and you’re now looking to find ways to block these ads from appearing, read on to find out everything you need to know about how to block ads on Facebook.

How to Block Ads on Facebook

Facebook has become a platform for a plethora of companies to host Ads. These Ads which started as random campaigns for companies to push their products, evolved into very personalized user-specific ads today thanks to Machine Learning and Data Mining.

Some people rarely bother about these ads and just ignore them as and when they’re displayed but for some, it is very annoying to see repeated ads (I’m one of them) and it sometimes feels very personal (which they totally are).

Let’s Check out How Facebook Ads work

How to Block Ads on Facebook

Facebook helps brands and other businesses to connect with their target audience through their advertisements platform.  Advertisers first have to create an Ad and select their target audience based on their location, age, gender,  and interests. They can also reach specific users based on the device they’re using (browser, phone, or tablet).

Facebook using their algorithms and machine learning technology builds an advertising profile based on your activity on or off Facebook and then uses this data and sells it to brands so that they can push their ads.

These ads connect with their target audience so well that sometimes we just end up clicking on them.


For Example: If I have liked a page about video games then I’m likely to get Ads from AAA or an indie studio promoting their game. Similarly, you might get Ads on your interests.

Turn off Personalized Advertising 

How to Block Ads on Facebook

Now that we have learned how Facebook ads work, now it’s time to tackle the Ads problem head-on. 

Lucky for us Facebook lets us turn off all these personalized ads. This won’t reduce or remove ads altogether but Facebook will completely stop displaying targeted ads and show some default generic Ads that may or may not be relevant to you.

So to disable these Facebook personalized Ads on the website

How to Block Ads on Facebook
  • Sign in to Facebook and select the Drop-down icon situated in the top right-hand corner.
  • Select “Settings & Privacy” and then click on “Settings“.
  • Proceed to scroll on the Left panel till you find “Ads” and click on it.

If you’re using Facebook Mobile then

How to Block Ads on Facebook
  • Select the Hamburger icon (it looks 3 dashes stacked upon one another) and select “Settings“.
  • Locate “Ad Preferences” and click to open it.
  •  Select “Ad Settings” and turn off all the following settings.

Data about your activity from the partner’s section” – These Ads are generated based on your activity on the Facebook partner’s website. For example, if I have purchased a shirt on the partner website then I’m likely to see the Ads from the said website on my News Feed.

Categories used to reach you” – These Ads are based on the Advertiser’s target audience’s interests and profile information. For example, I can get Ads based on which School I studied or where I’m currently employed.

Ads shown off of Facebook” – Here the ads are shown based on non-Facebook websites and apps that use Facebook’s advertising services. Like with ads on Facebook, advertisers can select categories of people who they want to see their ads off of Facebook. For example, an advertiser whose ads are about video games could choose the “Video games” interest category as the intended audience for these ads.

Audience based advertising” – This category is similar to the Categories used to reach you section. Here the advertiser defines their target Audience based on your information or off-Facebook activity. This information can again come from the partner’s website or the app.

Under Audience based advertising, you have to click on each business name and then click “They uploaded or used a list to reach you” section and select “Don’t Allow” under Showing Ads to You Using a List and Excluding You From Seeing Ads Using a List section.

You’ll have to do this with each and every business. If in case you get tired of going through each business name then you can wait for their ad to appear on your News Feed.

How to Block Ads on Facebook
  • Click on the dots in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Then, choose Why am I seeing this ad? from the menu.
  • There will be a button on the right side that says Options, tap it and choose to hide all ads from this advertiser

This won’t prevent businesses from collecting and using your data, but you’ll block them from serving you with ads on Facebook.

All these options prevent Facebook from utilizing your information from its partners and from tracking your movement on Facebook. This also stops their partners from targeting ads on their websites.

Block Ads on the Facebook Website using Adblock

How to Block Ads on Facebook

The above settings only disable the personalized ads and don’t really block them. To truly block ads on Facebook, we need to use every advertiser’s worst enemy – Adblockers.

These Adblockers are tiny (yet powerful) extensions that can be installed on your browser. They work their magic by using filters. These filters are rules to define what should be blocked and hidden on web pages you visit. These filters not only block ads but can be used to block adware or pop-ups on websites.

Now there are many Adblockers present on the internet. I would recommend the Adblock extension which is really simple to use and also a well-known extension for all browsers and apps. Depending on your browser you can use the below steps to install AdBlock.

I have covered only the three major browsers – Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Chrome

How to Block Ads on Facebook
  • Go to Get AdBlock via chrome browser and select Get AdBlock now button or you can go to Chrome Store and search for Adblock extension.
  • Select Add to Chrome and then click OK to accept the permissions AdBlock requests.

Firefox

How to Block Ads on Facebook
  • Go to Get AdBlock via Firefox browser and click select Get AdBlock Now button or search for it in the Mozilla Add-ons Store
  • Click +Add to Firefox. (Learn about the permissions AdBlock requests.) Click Add.

Safari

How to Block Ads on Facebook
  • Open the Mac App Store and search for Adblock and click Get.
  • Click Install
  • After the app is installed, click Open
  • Click “Enable AdBlock” in Safari
  • Enable the check-boxes next to both AdBlock Engine and AdBlock Icon

Block Ads on Facebook using Adblock filters

How to Block Ads on Facebook

As mentioned above, Adblock uses filters to block ads on Facebook or any other websites you visit. It comes with few default filters that can block many Ads on Facebook and disable the tracking down to some extent.

To enable these filters,

  • Click the AdBlock button in your browser toolbar and select the gear icon.
  • This will open a new tab, select the filter lists tab on the left side.
  • Under the  Other filter lists category, enable Antisocial. The Antisocial list blocks the “like,” “share,” and “log in using Facebook” widgets that also send information about you to Facebook, whether or not you actually click them.
  • You can also select the Easy Privacy filter list, which blocks all other kinds of tracking (from all websites including Facebook).

Block Ads on Facebook using Adblock Custom Filters

Sometimes the default filters might not block all the ads that are spread across Facebook. Thanks to the hard work of some individuals there are quite a few custom filters available online that can extend the Adblock behavior for blocking Ads.

You can also enable custom filters in Adblock, provided that you have the URL.

How to Block Ads on Facebook

To do this

  • Click the AdBlock button in your browser toolbar and select the gear icon.
  • This will open a new tab, select the filter lists tab on the left side.
  • Paste or enter the filter list’s URL mentioned below at the bottom of the page and click Subscribe.

You can eliminate the additional annoyances on Facebook by subscribing to these filter lists

Unfortunately, users of the native Facebook application can only turn off personalized advertising to reduce the targeted Ads as there is no way to block generic Ads by using an Adblocker.

Conclusion

To summarize, we have covered the various ways to turn off and also block the Ads altogether. Although these Ads are sometimes good (you might come across a really good product), it is still a bit annoying to see them constantly on your News Feed.

Hopefully, thanks to the above solutions your News Feed looks a bit cleaner and now you will be able to scroll or browse without coming across any of those pesky Ads.

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