Blocking Facebook at the DNS Level

It’s truly no secret that I have nothing but disdain for the so called social media ecosystem. It’s the underbelly of the modern web. It’s toxic, unhealthy and dangerous to societies. More insightful minds have written quite a bit about it and you don’t need to hear more of the same from me. Facebook in particular had always rubbed me in an especially wrong way. Interesting to see, now, that this gut feeling was quite correct after all.

Time to revisit a simple way to block many of Facebook’s servers collecting data on you. Just put the following into your /etc/hosts file and your machine will stop resolving the IPs of many of the known Facebook servers. This obviously includes Instagram and WhatsApp, as they are Facebook entities. You shouldn’t be using them in the first place.


If you’re looking for an actually secure (and yes, free) cross-platform mobile messenger alternative, you should use Signal. Sure, your friends will complain and you may miss out on stuff but as you’re willing to free yourself from the clutches of the Facebook hydra, it’s time for some hard questions. For example: what kind of friends are your friends if they are not supportive of your choice? Will they write an SMS or consider using Signal or — wait for it — actually call you to let you know of important information? Let’s find out! I guarantee you’ll be able to tell your friends from mere acquaintances in record time. Just be prepared to shrink your address book by approximately 90%. And you know what: that’s a good thing. Spend time with people who count, be less distracted and generally happier.

Three (well, four) stories to consider why “social media” is not harmless at all. Ah, and then there was that. Think about it.

The Facebook post (text only, no pics) went up the next morning. I had to wait until my husband brought the laptop into the hospital – this was before the days of widespread mobile internet.

Four days after that I posted 112 photos. Yes, you read that right. No, I didn’t accidentally put in an extra ’1?. One hundred and twelve photos. Hmm.

Five days after the birth of my niece there were ZERO photos and no announcement. As far as Facebook was concerned, she was still tucked up inside her mum kicking and punching her internal organs and generally making a nuisance of herself.

(Source: A dilemma: Baby born. Baby not on Facebook. Is baby real?

The first incident concerned my ten-year high school reunion. It was in 2013 in the Summer. I was living in NJ at the time, not more than an hour and fifteen minute drive from where I had gone to school on Long Island. I figured I would get a call or email weeks before the event. My parents still lived in the community near the school, and I had retained old email addresses from that time. What’s more I was on LinkedIn, easily searchable if you put in my first and last name. I figured it was no big deal that I did not have a Facebook account.

I never got an invite.

Never heard anything about it in fact until it was too late and an old friend asked me why I hadn’t gone months later. I learned from her that she had received her invite to the reunion on Facebook. “Everything was organized through Facebook,” she told me. Anyone who did not have a Facebook account was not contacted.

The second and far more serious incident occurred this year. It concerns a friend from high school whom I had been out of touch with for a long time. Lets call him ‘Chris’.

I don’t spend a lot of time with my friends. I have frequently gone a year or more without seeing people I consider close personal friends. What makes me consider them friends, however, is that in spite of these large gaps of time, when we get together it always feels like nothing has changed. We have the same mutual respect and affection that we have carried since childhood.

This context is important as it explains why I did not think it was odd that I had not spoken with Chris in a long time. I assumed everything was OK until I got a disturbing text message from a mutual friend.

Chris had committed suicide.

More disturbing was that the suicide had occurred months in the past. The funeral had already been held. Chris’ mother only used Facebook to contact people. She must have assumed that all of his friends were on Facebook and could see her posts. She made no effort to get in touch with me or other friends of Chris.


With respect to my high school reunion, it never occurred to me that not being available on social media disqualified me from attending.

(Source: Hating Facebook)

The UN human rights chief said last week he strongly suspected acts of genocide had taken place. Myanmar’s national security adviser demanded “clear evidence”.

Marzuki Darusman, chairman of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, told reporters that social media had played a “determining role” in Myanmar.

“It has … substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict, if you will, within the public. Hate speech is certainly of course a part of that. As far as the Myanmar situation is concerned, social media is Facebook, and Facebook is social media,” he said.

The UN Myanmar investigator Yanghee Lee said Facebook was a huge part of public, civil and private life, and the government used it to disseminate information to the public.

“Everything is done through Facebook in Myanmar,” she told reporters, adding that Facebook had helped the impoverished country but had also been used to spread hate speech.

(Source: Myanmar: UN blames Facebook for spreading hatred of Rohingya)