Over the past few months, Facebook has developed algorithms that automatically filter certain comments on posts in an effort to improve authentic conversations. This is a relatively new feature that is part of a larger framework called Comment Ranking.
Facebook argues that comment filtering is intended to weed out spam and other unwanted responses from "rogue" users. However, this turned out to be a controversial issue. Some see it as an attempt to play judge and jury at the same time, and they prefer to see all the comments in chronological order, without a random algorithm deciding what is important and what is not.
If you want to stop Facebook from filtering comments on your personal profile, business page, or favorites group, you can do so in just a few steps.
In this entry, we show you how to go about it.
Can you stop Facebook from filtering comments?
At a time when free speech has taken center stage, Facebook and other social media platforms have struck a chord with many people around the world. That's because you can create an account and share your thoughts with family, friends, or clients in minutes. No wonder there are already over 2 billion active users on Facebook.
Most people adhere to Facebook's Community Standards and Account Usage Policies, but some don't. Facebook maintains that some people are simply unwilling to engage others with decorum, courtesy and respect. This led to the creation of a comment ranking system.
Although the system is driven by complex algorithms that work in the background, the results can be summarized as follows:
- Comments with the highest engagement rate appear first.
- Responses unrelated to a post are pushed back further.
- Offensive comments are either pushed back or removed from the platform.
For all its positives, comment filtering has had its fair share of criticism. Some see it as an attempt to silence dissenting voices. For others, especially companies, it denies them the opportunity to see alternative perspectives and ideas that could help them improve their products.
The best thing is that you don't have to use comment ranking. You can turn it off and view the full, undiluted list of comments, no matter how controversial.
Let's see how you can do it.
How to prevent Facebook from filtering comments on a Facebook page
Suppose you are the administrator of a Facebook page. In this case, comment filtering can help you create a more organized page, avoid spammers, and prioritize meaningful engagement that adds value to your business and your customers. It can also protect your brand's credibility by removing unpleasant or negative views that might distract your audience.
But filtering reviews can also get in the way of your quest to improve your product or service. This can force you to unwittingly go back on your promise to always listen to your customers and act on their requests.
Luckily, you can turn it off in just a few steps.
If you are using a desktop computer:
- Open your Facebook page and click on "Settings" in the lower left corner. This should bring up the page settings section which lets you change anything from messaging and page roles to ad limits and cross-posting.
- Click on “General”.
- Uncheck the box next to "Profanity Filter", then click "Save Changes".
- Next, click on “Page Moderation,” remove any words or phrases that you no longer want Facebook's algorithms to hide, and save the changes.
If you're using the Facebook mobile app:
- Go to your page and tap the gear icon in the top right corner to open the settings section.
- Tap "General".
- Scroll down and tap on “Content moderation”.
- Make sure 'Coarse Filter' is set to 'Off'.
- Under 'Page moderation', remove any words or phrases that you don't want Facebook's algorithms to hide, then save the changes.
Following these steps will open the page for all users, including those using what could be considered offensive language. The advantage of such an approach is that you will be able to identify critical issues that can improve your business, even if the words or expressions used by your customers are not appropriate.
How to prevent Facebook from filtering comments on a personal profile
Comment filtering is not only available for Facebook Pages; it is also enabled for personal but popular profiles. If you've been successful in attracting followers and growing your audience, Facebook may filter some comments if foul or inappropriate language is used.
But this has consequences. For example, you might end up stunting your brand's growth because some users might opt out if they realize their voice isn't being heard. Also, the user engagement rate on your wall will be reduced. This can prevent you from expanding your reach and taking advantage of Facebook's algorithms that automatically increase exposure for popular posts.
Fortunately, disabling comment filtering on personal profiles is simple.
If you are using a desktop computer:
- Click the down arrow in the upper right corner.
- Select "Settings and privacy" from the drop-down menu.
- Click on “Settings”.
- Click on “Posts”.
- Make sure "Comment Ranking" is disabled.
If you're using Facebook on a mobile device:
- Tap the three horizontal lines in the upper right corner.
- Tap on “Settings and privacy”.
- Tap “Settings”.
- Select "Followers and public content".
- Toggle “Comment Ranking” to the “Off” position.
When comment ranking is disabled, all replies to your public posts will be displayed chronologically. All comments will be visible, including potential spam.
How to prevent Facebook from filtering comments as a user
If you don't want Facebook to categorize or filter comments on your favorite Facebook page, popular profile, or group, you can only remove these restrictions per post. In other words, you will need to turn off comment filtering in every post that appears in your feed. This may take some time, but it allows you to see all the comments a post has attracted and better gauge your engagement rate.
Here's how to do it:
- Access the position that interests you.
- Click the tab that shows the number of comments the post has received.
- I clicked the down arrow at the bottom right of the post, just below the “Share” button. This will open the comment ranking drop-down menu, which is automatically set to "Most relevant".
- Click on “All Comments”.
And that's all. All comments will now be displayed below the post in chronological order.
Expand your reach
Facebook is a powerful social media platform that can help your business grow. Yet its comment filtering tools can limit your reach and prevent you from engaging every user who demonstrates an interest in your brand, even if they don't seem happy or satisfied.
Filtered comments aren't always bad. A dissatisfied customer may react "in the heat of the moment" and use words deemed inappropriate, but that does not mean that he does not deserve to be heard. Seeing and responding to such comments in an assertive yet courteous and respectful manner sends the message that you listen and are open to other points of view.
Even if yours is just a personal profile with little business or marketing focus, an unfiltered comment list makes your audience feel valued and appreciated. As a user, unlocking hidden comments can expand your knowledge and challenge you to approach issues from different angles.
Do you run a popular page or profile on Facebook? What do you think of Facebook's decision to filter certain comments?
Let us know in the comments section below.