How to disable ads being sent to Gnome Notifications by Firefox

I’m not sure what triggered this, but it started happening shortly after I upgraded to Fedora 31 from Fedora 30. I now get a few ads sent directly to my Gnome Notification panel (see screenshot) when I first boot up.

My questions:

  1. Where is this coming from?
  2. How can I disable this?
  3. Is Fedora evil now?
  4. or have I downloaded some malware?

Thanks,
F Nurgles.

Hello @flurbnurgles welcome to the community. Please have a look to the #start-here category when you have time.

About your issue, probably you inadvertently enabled notification on some web site.
Have a look to this other post:

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To reiterate: Gnome/Fedora do NOT use targeted notification based advertising. @alciregi: should we update the topic title to reflect this, additionally, if this is a duplicate of the other post, maybe we just close this one (or merge with the other)?

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And to clarify a bit: Notifications from browsers (at least from Firefox and Google Chome / Chromium, I haven’t tested other ones) are “integrated” to Gnome (to KDE too as far as I know) like this: instead of drawing it’s own notification web browser just tells gnome: hey, here is a text for a new notification, please show it to the user – and then DE displays notifications all themed according to system-wide theme, etc.

All the major browsers mentioned now have a feature to receive notifications from a websites – usually they ask you to allow notifications from each website individually. If you allow one or more websites to send/show you notifications – this is exactly what you get.

And as @FranciscoD said above, Gnome or Fedora has absolutely nothing to do with contents of these notifications – that comes from a browser, which in turn receives it from a websites you’ve allowed – Gnome just provides a way to present them to you in a uniform way with system theming, nothing more.

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I didn’t intend for the title of my post to give others the impression that Fedora of Gnome uses targeted ads. I’ve tried making that a little clearer by rewording the title myself. Thanks for the suggestion.

But in fairness to the topic, I am getting unwanted ads popped up at me by a Fedora system, not having ever knowingly opted into them! Before posting this, I had hit the Gnome notifications page (https://developer.gnome.org/hig/stable/notifications.html.en). The guidance section does list this:

It is important not to needlessly distract users with notifications. This can easily become annoying and frustrating, and will not incline users to like your application. Therefore, always be critical when using notifications, and question whether users really need to be informed about the events you want to communicate.

If I had processed that better last night, I might have been able to work out what was happening on my own. But it wasn’t clear to me what the source of the notifications was when I first got them.

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Thanks for the welcoming message, @alciregi. I’ll take a look.

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I think your initial question is quite right? good? when viewed from a new / not very experienced user (even if this doesn’t apply to you specifically) standpoint. We can’t expect from everyone to be able to understand right away where such things are coming from – and seeing them is a reasonable reason for alert in my book.

This actually can be a good thing to report bug to gnome about. I don’t have an answer for how to solve it without cluttering each and every notification with more information (maybe by adding an icon of an application it came from – or by adding a provision to be able to review history with sources of recent notications to Gnome Control Center). But at least it can (and maybe should) be brought to attention of Gnome developers – they may find a good solution.


And the short answer to the new title is: they’re disabled in Firefox itself in Preferences on Privacy & Security page under Permissions subheader – you need Notifications.

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Sorry for the trouble @FranciscoD and @flurbnurgles. I moderated one of the two duplicated posts (they were placed in the top category #english instead of #english:using-fedora-english) and I didn’t mind to select the one with the most appropriate title.

No worries, thanks for that. I didn’t mean to suggest anything. It’s just that since the laws around targeted advertising (and how your data is used to generate them) are getting stricter everyday, we do need to sort of clearly state who the ads come from and how they are generated. So I just wanted to state that clearly for the record more than anything else :slight_smile:

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