|Whether you want to or not... apparently.|
This information is out there but it's scattered all over so here it is neat and tidy and all in one place. I've tried all of these solutions and am currently running them successfully with minimal inconvenience.
I did the legwork for you... hope it helps!!
So, where to start?
Want to get rid of the Facebook ticker that is now showing up on the side of your news feed? Well, if you are browsing with Chrome there is a quick fix that will get rid of it for FREE! No info, no 'liking' anything. Just a click to install the Chrome extension.
Go here to get it: https://chrome.google.com/webstore
It's legitimate and it takes about five seconds, then you refresh the page and *poof* no more annoying ticker in your sidebar!
I've read that there is also a Firefox script you can run, but I can't recommend something I haven't tried myself, but here's the link if you want to give it a shot: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/facebook-ticker-removal/
Unfortunately, I haven't found a reasonable way to eliminate it with other browsers.
Now how about this annoying top stories business appearing above your feed?
This one is a little tricky and it isn't a one click solution, but over time it should clear the section entirely. See those blue triangles in the top left hand corner of your 'top' stories? Click it. It will mark that type of story as less important and if you clear them all and refresh your news feed goes back to normal! The catch? Whenever Facebook reloads it finds new 'top' stories. The hope is that eventually after marking stories as NOT top stories they will eventually stop showing up altogether. To be honest, it's yet to be seen, but it is a quick and simple short term solution!
There is also an issue with FB showing select stories only in your regular feed or whittling down the amount of posts. The solution to this seems to be creating a list of all of your friends... call it 'everyone' or 'all' and then in your sidebar under lists go to your new 'everyone' or 'all' group and Voila! all the posts from all of your friends are back!
As far as privacy goes, this would also serve as a solution if you are worried about tagging and commenting activity showing up where it isn't supposed to. Just set your privacy settings to ONLY the 'everyone' or 'all' group. Then no one will else will be able to see your info or tags, likes, comments etc...
The only catch to this list solution is that you will have to revise it a little every time you add a new friend, but I think it's worth it...
Hope this was helpful!!! Feel free to let me know if you've found a quicker or easier way or if you have any other Facebook tips/tricks to make it less annoying and better protect our privacy.
Oh yeah... and consider this my admission that I'm a total nerd.