Hiding the "n People Liked This" Thing in Google Reader

Google recently added some social features to Google Reader that I found to be terribly distracting. The footer of every post now has a button you can press to show that you “like” that post. Any post that anyone “liked” now has, at its top, a smiley face with “n people liked this”. Annoying because:

  1. I don’t care how many people liked that post. I really don’t. I’ll read the post for myself and decide if I like it. Whether anonymous people like it doesn’t matter at all to me. That people I know might matter, but mostly that’s covered by them writing about it on their own blogs.
  2. The “n people liked this” message appears at the top of the post! I can’t even easily ignore this useless information. It’s just clutter.

Only show 'Likes' by people you follow.

Fortunately, you can turn it off (mostly). In Google Reader’s settings, under “Preferences”, click “Only show ‘Likes’ by people you follow.”