Facebook Took Steps to Improve the Quality of Comments People See on Public Posts

The change impacts pages and people with large follower counts

Comments that violate Facebook’s community standards are removed olegback/iStock

Facebook revealed changes to the way it ranks comments in public posts.

Product manager Justine Shen said in a Newsroom post that comments on public posts will now appear more prominently when those comments have interactions from the page or person who originally posted them, and when they are from friends of the person who posted them.

Shen explained that Facebook ranks comments on public posts from pages and users with large follower totals because those posts tend to spur many comments, and it wants people to see the most relevant and highest-quality comments.

Signals used in those rankings include:

  • Integrity: Comments that violate Facebook’s community standards are removed, with Shen saying the social network wants people to see safe and authentic comments. Other signals, such as engagement bait, are taken into account, as well.
  • Give the people what they want: Facebook has been surveying users to help determine the types of comments they want to see.
  • Interaction: Facebook factors in whether people like, react to or reply to comments.

Shen wrote, “People can moderate the comments on their post by hiding, deleting or engaging with comments. Ranking is on by default for pages and people with a lot of followers, but pages and people with a lot of followers can choose to turn off comment ranking. People who don’t have as many followers will not have comment ranking turned on automatically, since there are fewer comments overall, but any person can decide to enable comment ranking by going to their settings.”

She added, “We will continue to take other signals into account so we do not prominently show low-quality comments, even if they are from the person who made the original post or their friends.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.