new internet game

playing Facebook.

That Facebook suggests games, is nothing new. That Facebook suggestions can be used as a game in itself, may not be recognized by all fb-users. I “played Facebook” for two hours straight just now, and feel pretty much “hooked” on this peculiar game because it is so different from any other game on the web.

I am otherwise totally uninterested in games of any kind, and can in all honesty say that apart from these rounds of “playing Facebook”, I haven't played a computer game since before the internet came to be. Watching others play them is more than enough to keep me from getting involved.

hide suggestions, is the game

On Facebook we have all the “SUGGESTED GROUPS”, “RECOMMENDED PAGES”, “GAMES YOU MAY LIKE”, and so on and so forth, taking up a good deal of space at the right side of main content. This is where we can play the “Facebook game”.

I got so tired of the constantly changing lists of ads and suggestions, that I coded up a tailored “Facebook noise blocker” to keep them out of sight. To “play Facebook” I simply remove my noise blocker for the duration of the game, so I can see and access these lists.

I then methodi­cally click on the hide button for these suggestions, over and over again to empty the list(s) completely.

Sooner or later the “We'll try not to show you this suggestion again” message1 pops up. This is integrated with the “Why did you hide it?” set of options2.

The goal of playing this game, is to end up with as many of these messages as possible below each other on a page, when the list of suggestions, or ads, has been totally emptied by hiding them all one by one.

I can of course not reveal how to increase the chance to get more than one of these messages on a page. This is after all a big part of the game. Or, in other words: this is what makes it a game.

a game that never ends

There is enough apparent randomness in how Facebook delivers suggestions, to make the “hide suggestions” game almost totally unpredictable. Thus, although one can become very good at playing it, the game never gets really solved.

This “Facebook game” can therefore be played over and over again for a long time, without becoming too boring.

To end up with two messages, is easy enough. Took me about five minutes and a dozen page-reloads to get the first “double”, and “doubles” came up quite often after that.

As the game relies as much on luck as on a systematic approach to hiding suggestions or ads, how long it takes to get a “triple” may vary greatly. Took me about two hours to get my first “triple”, which I proudly made a screenshot of – look in side-notes.

Don't know if it is possible to achieve more than a “triple” in this game. Someone with more patience and interest in playing games, will have to figure it out.


To some people Facebook may actually be the main, or maybe even the only channel they have for much needed social contact. All humans are in need of social connections in order to evolve naturally, so Facebook probably serves its purpose as social network3 to a significant number of people.

That one to a certain degree can preserve anonymity on Facebook, probably matters to some. Some need anonymity on the internet for personal reasons, which of course is perfectly alright.

There are also those who hide behind anonymity in order to spread maximum amount of damage everywhere with minimum risk to themselves, which we all – apart of course from the garbage-spreading morons themselves – can agree is bad, bad, bad.


Only reason I am on Facebook today, is that a friend many years ago wanted to show me some pictures on Facebook, and in order to see them I had to register. For more than a year after that I did not bother to allow anyone to become Facebook friends. I had neither time for, nor any interest in, chit-chat on social networks.

Now, years later, I have maybe three dozen Facebook friends all over the world – for the most part people I know from earlier. From time to time I look into half-a-dozen or so closed groups I am registered as member of, all centered around my interests in music and web design.

Some of my friends have a habit of communicating via Facebook, and usually I manage to pick up their messages within a day or two, or even the same day if I am prepared and not too busy.

Beyond that I usually open Facebook, or “Tryneboka”4 as we often call it in Norway, maybe three to four times a week, so can't say it occupies too much of my time and interest.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 07.apr.2014
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