For pages and sites with the any comments social plugin, it is common to find spammers and abusive users. For the Facebook comments social plugin, Facebook has built features to combat this allowing moderators and administrators to filter spam and ban abusive users. This article will go over the steps on how to hide these comments and ban repeat offenders.
Directly On Facebook
1.) Approve/Hide Comments
Page owners will typically receive a notification when they receive a comment on their site. (This is only if you have not disabled this in the page settings.)
Depending on the settings that the admin has chosen, moderators are then given the option to approve the comment to appear on the site or take no action and leave the comment hidden. In this case, let us assume that comments must be approved to appear on the site.
Clicking on this notification will direct the user to the Comment Moderation Tool page which can be accessed at: http://developers.facebook.com/tools/comments. This is a central location where all the site’s comments can be accessed and reviewed. To view comments that are waiting to be approved, you must click ‘Moderator View’ at the top comments section.
Once on this screen, the most recent comments should be at the top of the comments list. Let’s assume the comment below is spam:
Below the comment, click ‘Moderate’ and a drop down menu with three choices.
If the comment is already approved, it will appear in the public comments and will display a different number of choices.
Clicking on ‘Hide Comment’ will simply hide the comment from the page, but still make it visible to that user’s friends. You can still make the comment public once again by accessing the same tools. (NOTE: For friendless commenters, hidden comments will be visible to them, but will no longer be accessible to moderators.)
3.) Ban User
For excessively abusive users, it is possible to completely prevent their posts from appearing on your blog. By clicking on ‘Ban User,’ that user’s posts will only be visible to their friends. It is important to understand that once banned the user will continue to be allowed to add comments. However, all of these comments, past and future, are only visible to this user and not displayed publicly.
4.) Boost Comment
When you select the option to ‘Boost Comment,’ this puts the selected comment to the top of the comments section. Moderators should use this feature for comments that provide good insight and add value to a post.
Posts that are not ‘boosted’ are displayed in a personalized order, based on the user who is viewing them. This personalization is a unique feature of Facebook comments. Comments are displayed in the following order:
- Comments made by a user’s friends
- Comment threads with the highest number of replies. Unlike other commenting systems, Facebook Comments only has two levels of comment hierarchy, comments and replies.
- Comments with the highest number of likes. If none of the comments have likes or replies, they are then arranged in order of most recent to least recent.
On Facebook Widget
When moderating directly on the Facebook widget, there are few minor differences.
1.) Moderator View
Just like on the Comment Moderation Tool, comments must be first approved in the ‘Moderator View’ before they appear publicly.
Because of the small window size, it may seem that ‘Moderate’ does not have a drop down menu. You must scroll down to see the different choices.
These options have the same effect as in the Comment Moderation Tool. (Note: Clicking on the ‘Select All’ box allows you to hide entire groups of messages instead of one-by-one.)
When there is only one comment, there is a bug that does not allow you to scroll down to see the other options. The only real way to bypass this bug is to view the comment on the Comment Moderation Tool page.
As long as you are a moderator or administrator, you should be able to access that page. You can now choose the page you wish to edit on the right side.
4.) Top Commenters
Some of the more frequent commenters can earn the ‘Top Commenter’ title. These commenters take priority and will also appear at the top of the comment section. (Facebook does not provide specific guidelines on becoming a ‘Top Commenter,’ it seems to be issued to users whose comments receive a lot of likes and replies.)
The Facebook Comment Moderation Tool is an effective way to oversee the discussion on posts. Facebook has provided enough tools to use the tool efficiently manage a site to highlight good discussions and filter out spam.