Blank feed on Facebook? Try checking your ad blocker

This one’s a bit off topic for this blog, I admit. I’m sharing it because I spent several hours trying to figure out what was wrong with my Facebook page, and I couldn’t find the right answer. I call this work-related because it is actually my job to police Signal Group’s Facebook presence. As much as I would like to goof off on social media all day, I stay pretty busy.

This is what I woke up to.

I’ve blurred a bit of it out so that I can retain the tiniest bit of privacy, or at least imagine that I am. No matter what I did, I couldn’t actually see any real posts. Every so often an ad would show up, but no real posts.

I started trying different things. I discovered I didn’t have the problem on my phone. I didn’t have it on Edge (pretty much the only time I use Edge is to figure out what’s wrong with Chrome.) I didn’t have it when I used an incognito window. So something was going on in Chrome, and it was annoying the heck out of me.

I cleared my cookies. Nothing. I rebooted. Nothing. I even uninstalled and reinstalled Chrome. Nothing. All the while, I was searching the web for anyone else who had this problem and the tutorials I got were pretty darn useless.

The culprit turned out to be…

AdBlock, one of the most common Chrome extensions. I use it and so do a lot of other people. It’s not perfect, but it does help you avoid the most heinous ads.

As soon as I told it not to block ads on Facebook, the problem went away.

If you have the same problem, and you use the AdBlock extension, you can disable it for one page by clicking on the red stop sign icon. It’s usually just to the right of the address bar.

Make sure you’re on Facebook and then tell it to “always pause on this site.” The stop sign will turn green like what you see above. You may need to refresh the page.

What’s weird is…

Initially I didn’t suspect Adblock since literally the only thing that Facebook was showing me was the ads. But whatever. I don’t know if this is something new, or if a recent Chrome or Adblock update lost the preference to allow ads on Facebook. I honestly don’t remember if I’d blocked them before. No matter, because it works correctly now.

A little bit about ads, and blocking them

So I find myself a little conflicted here. Honestly Signal Group runs a lot of ads, and we rely on people seeing them in order to help them find our site. We don’t make them blink or do anything annoying like that. But, we do use online ads. So I should be against ad blocking. But, I’m not. Just like you I feel like I would be inundated if I didn’t use an ad blocker.

Ad blockers try to detect what ads look like and strip out the graphics and sounds. Sometimes they work, and sometimes, like in this case, they make things a lot worse. I find Adblock to be the best of the Chrome extensions for this purpose, mostly because it’s easy to disable on a page by page basis. There are plenty of cases where I have to pause it, and now Facebook is one of them.

A bit about this blog

If you found this article through a Google search, you might not know about The Solid Signal Blog, or its parent, Signal Group LLC. SolidSignal.com is an e-commerce retailer of high-end consumer and installation equipment. I hope you’ll check out the site, because they’re good people and they let me post off-topic content like this now and again. If you are the sort of person who prefers to talk on the phone, call 888-233-7563 and if it’s during East Coast business hours, someone will actually pick up the phone. That’s the kind of company we are.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.