Cleaning up Facebook “Friend” list

I created my Facebook account in 2007, when Facebook was slowly making its trend in this side of the world. And then I made the worst mistake – adding anyone.

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How I use Facebook on Android

Once installed their app, Facebook thinks they own our mobile devices.

At first, there was the peaceful all-purpose Facebook app. And some time later they separated messaging into another app, creating the Messenger. Initially it was at user’s discretion to use Messenger or Facebook app for messaging. Initially it looked polite but lately everyone was gradually forced to install Messenger. Another app… sigh! Personally, for me messaging is just messaging. I don’t want a childlike fairyland for just sending and receiving messages.

It didn’t stop there. Facecbook took unfair advantage of Samsung TouchWiz feature for displaying notification count on the app icon. When there are unread messages, Facebook app will add that up to notification count, forcing your mind to install the Messenger (or read them on computer to clear notifications).

And now it has come down to infiltrating our privacy through social engineering.

After all these took place, finally something is here that we can thank Facebook for. that is called Messenger Lite. That helps, because I don’t have to install that monstrous Messenger app just to read and send a line on the go. With Facebook app and Messenger Lite installed, here’s how I get maximum use of Facebook without letting it use me and eat up my phone.

Zero notifications

Go to Facebook app settings –> Notifications, and simply turn them all off at once. Who wants to be disturbed for every single Like and comment during an important office meeting?

Who wants fancy sounds?

Settings –> Sounds in the App – Turn it off. Just because I don’t want others to know that I’m using Facebook during a boring office meeting too!

Privacy of your contacts could be your responsibility too

Settings –> Continuous Contacts Upload – Turn it off.

I don’t want to be disturbed by every single new message

Go to Messenger Lite –> Notifications & Sounds.

Notifications: on. Notification previews: off. Vibrate: off. Light: on. Sound: off.

Now, one last thing. Messenger Lite app icon on GoogleNow launcher goes as just “Lite” that’s absurd (they think Messenger Lite is the only lite app?). Now I found a cool app called QuickShortcutMaker which will do the trick (you’ll figure out how to use it). I created a custom icon named “Messenger Lite” and removed the one placed by the official app installer. Now, all set.

However, these are my personal settings. Setting that prevent me from wasting too much attention on Facebook, making me use it only when needed. These settings may not work for you as-is, but I think it provides you with a good suggestion.

Remove imported (stolen) contacts from Facebook

I have reasons to believe that it rather steals contacts from your phone rather than politely synchronizing them.

Once you install Facebook, it forces you to install Messenger aside. If you don’t it will keep sending you new message notifications but not letting you read them. So you install Messenger.

Next, when you set up Messenger, they show you some an eye-candy stuff, and convince you to enable uploading your contacts, call and text history. This is where the problem begins. I don’t want to upload my contacts to Facebook, but Facebook developers have set up things in a way that it will convince most users to do so. Bad.

So here’s my normal routine when installing Messenger:

Text anyone in your phone: NOT NOW
Is your number up to date? NOT NOW (why the hell do I have to let people look me up on my phone number?)
Skip phone number? SKIP (are you effing kidding me now?)

So even after completing these three steps, Facebook Messenger won’t stop bugging you with Contacts Upload and Friend Finder stuff. I remember I accidentally touched a ‘Get Started’ button somewhere and it immediately started uploading my contacts. Just like a fish put back into the water!

I got panic and turned off WiFi immediately, but what’s done is done. After meddling with the Facebook and Messenger apps, I was able to turn off ‘Continuous contacts upload’. You can find that in the Facebook app settings.

After a bit of struggle with Facebook on web, I was able to find the following URL. Now, this URL is very important. I even recommend you to bookmark and share it with friends.

Go to that URL, and you will see your past invitations (by any chance if you had previously shared your email password with Facebook) and other contacts stolen from your email account in one place. Scroll all the way to bottom and you will see a hyperlink saying “Remove all contacts”. Click it, and after a couple of confirmations, it will delete your imported contacts.

Towards the top of the same page, there’s a hyperlink saying “See contacts you’ve uploaded in Messenger.”. Click it, and then click the “Delete All” button. Don’t even bother reading the confirmation, just hit “Delete All” when it tries to convince you to keep them. That’s it!

Now I’m even more careful when working with the Facebook and Messenger apps.


Create a ‘Locked Folder’ in Windows

Here is a tip for those who use Windows as their primary OS. This is about making a folder that is visible but not accessible within Windows environment. You’ll see the folder, but won’t be able to access it or delete/ rename.
What you need is a Linux live CD which has ntfs-3g driver included (preferrabally Ubuntu). Start the computer with Linux and open the NTFS partition and browse to the folder where you want to create the ‘Locked Folder’. Create a new folder and rename it to any of following names. It will be accessible with Linux but not with Windows.

  • prn (recommended for your hidden porn collection 😀 )
  • nul
  • con

Now restart to Windows and see it’s done!