If for whatever reason you want to prevent your users from using the social features in SharePoint 2010, here is how to do it.
Deactivate Farm level feature
Firstly, in Central Admin, you need to deactivate the Farm level feature called ‘Social Tags and Note Board Ribbon Controls’, as referred to on Technet.
Note that as this is a farm level feature, its turning this off globally – you don’t have the option of doing this at a web app level, for example.
Having deactivated that feature, you should find that the ‘I Like It’ and ‘Tags & Notes’ controls, normally found on the top right of pages, like this…
…have now been removed:
At this point, the user will still see the ‘Tags and Notes’ tab in their profiles, like this:
Removing ‘Tags and Notes’ tab from MySites
There doesn’t appear to be a clean way of removing this, other than removing the user permission for ‘Use Social Features’ in the User Profile Service Application, as follows.
[Update 28/7/2011] Based on feedback from a couple of people, here is how to remove the ‘Tags and Notes’ tab:
Browse to the MySite Host – in my case, the URL is http://mysite/_layouts/settings.aspx
(You can check you are in the right place by looking for the ‘My Site Host’) –
In the ‘Look and Feel’ section, click ‘Quick launch’
Click the Edit button next to the ‘Tags and Notes’ item
You will now find that the ‘Tags and Notes’ tab has been removed for all users:
Removing ‘Use Social Features’ permission
As a final step (and this is not strictly necessary if you have followed the above steps, but for completeness…)
In Central Admin, click ‘Manage service applications’, click your User Profile Service Application, and then in the People section, click ‘Manage User Permissions’:
The permission to untick is ‘Use Social Features’ – note that for a default install you will need to untick it twice – once for Authenticated Users and then again for All Authenticated Users – then click OK.
Users will then see a 403 – Forbidden type error if they browsed to the Tags and Notes URL /_layouts/thoughts.aspx (which they would have to, seeing as the link has been removed)