In: Social Media3 May 2013
Well, Facebook just made a Page admins job more difficult, as if we need to spend more time managing our Pages. I noticed a few days ago that I was starting to see a lot more comments being hidden as spam on my Page, as well as a few others I’m an admin for, but none of the comments were spam and often were posted by people who comment on the Page frequently. At first I thought it was a glitch but yesterday I ran a few experiments and posted the results on my Page and found that everyone was having the same thing happen on their Pages.
Basically, it comes down to this. Facebook is once again doing something they think is helpful when in reality, it’s not. I’m sure there are Pages out there that get quite a bit of comment spam but I doubt it’s something a majority of Pages suffer from. So, if once in a while someone posts some spam in a comment I can simply hide the comment and if they do it more than once I can ban them. Simple, right? Well, Facebook apparently doesn’t think that’s simple enough so they’ve decided to start helping us. That would be okay with me as long as they were just hiding comments that contain more than one link or keywords that obviously seem to indicate that the subject might be spam, but, unfortunately, Facebook has taken that a step too far and now they’re hiding comments as spam if they contain tags for Pages or links to other Pages or posts on other Pages.
I often refer to other Pages or posts on other Pages to support my point or to give credit to a source when I comment and the easy way to do that is to either tag the Page or post a link to a post on a Page. Mari Smith likes to have what she calls Fan Page Fridays and encourages her fans to tag their Pages or link to them in the comments so they can get some exposure and more fans. Now, Facebook is automatically hiding those comments as spam and until the Page admin unhides them, the only people who will see them are the people who posted them and their friends. What if the person who needs to unhide the comment isn’t actively following the comments for that post? That means that it may be several minutes to hours before the comment will become visible to others, if ever. And the fact that the person who posted the comment does see it themselves will lead to many people feeling their comment is being ignored when in reality it’s just not being seen.
I assume Facebook decided to do this to cut down on spam, which it will probably do, but unless a Page admin is vigilante it’s also going to cut down on the conversation and potentially lead to people no longer commenting because they think they’re being ignored.
How will you know when a comment has been hidden as spam? You’ll see a row of three dots where a comment should be.
Click on those dots and the comment will expand but remain greyed out, giving you the chance to read it and decide whether you want to unhide it or leave it hidden, or delete it. As you can see in the screenshot below, comments that include a tag for a Page or a link to a Page or a link to a post from a Page will be hidden as spam whereas a comment with a tagged friend or a link to a URL that is not on Facebook won’t be.
One thing that strikes me funny about this is that even though Facebook wants to keep people on Facebook and doesn’t like it when we post links that lead offsite, they are hiding comments with links within Facebook as spam but not hiding comments with links that lead people away from Facebook.
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Hugh Briss is the owner of Social Identities.