The open source software "Shariff-Plus" allows you to share the current page on various social media services and to use the "Like" button of Facebook while respecting privacy.

The usual social media buttons of the social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, ...) transmit the data of the visitor with each page request to the respective network and thus give the providers of the networks precise information about the surfing behavior of the visitor (user tracking). The visitor does not have to be logged in or be a member of the network.

In contrast, a Shariff-Plus button does not create direct contact between the social network and the visitor until the visitor actively clicks or taps the button.

This is guaranteed as follows:

  1. The current page does not load any content (e.g. scripts or iframes) from social media services.
  2. For sharing, conventional links (hyperlinks) are used.
  3. The destinations of these links are opened in a new browser window in the form of a dialog box.
  4. Likewise, Facebook's actual "Like" button will appear in a new dialog box after the visitor activates the corresponding Shariff-Plus button on the current page.
  5. Only these dialog boxes make a connection with the social network. If they are closed, the connection is terminated.
  6. To display a counter of the number of responses (e.g. Facebook likes) on certain buttons, a server-side component is used which queries the counters at the social media services concerned. The current page queries the counters from this server-side component and not from the social media services.

In this way, Shariff-Plus prevents a visitor from leaving a digital track on every page visited, and so improves privacy.

Two components are used for this purpose:

  • My software project "Shariff-Plus" for the buttons
  • The software project "Shariff-Backend-PHP" of the German computer magazine "c't" as server-side component for querying the counters

Shariff-Plus is a variant of the project "Shariff" of the computer magazine "c't", which was extended by me with the Facebook "Like" button.

More information about Shariff Plus and download links:

More information about Shariff and Shariff-Backend-PHP: