Facebook Launches Spam Filter for Wall Posts to Pages

Facebook has added a spam filter to the walls of Pages. Appearing as a separate wall tab which is only visible to admins, the filter automatically removes posts to the Page’s wall which are likely to be spam. These include those that link to spammy websites and requests for users to Like, install, or send a friend request to a specific Page, app, or profile. The feature has been in testing since September, but has now been rolled out to all Pages.

A major problem for Pages is that in order to allow open discussion and increase engagement, admins have to allow those who Like the Page to post to its wall. However, this gives spammers the opportunity to damage the perception of a Page by filling it with malicious or profiteering links or objectionable content. This can cause users to Unlike the Page or stop engaging in conversation there.

In a newly updated Help Center article about administering Pages, Facebook explains how it is combatting the problem:

Facebook is now helping Page admins ensure that the most valuable content posted by users on their Page wall is more visible to anyone viewing the Page. We are now offering automatic content filtering on Page walls that will ensure that posts soliciting spam are removed from public view as well as ensure that posts containing good content remain more visible.

Page admins now have a “Spam” tab on their Page’s wall, visible when an admin clicks “Options” in the top right corner of the wall. Along with the standard options to view only the Page’s post, only user posts, or both together, admins will be able to view a feed of all comments Facebook automatically filtered as spam. Admins can delete individual posts in the filter, or unmark them as spam, returning them to the user comments feed.

Not addressed in this new anti-spam feature are spam comments to a Page’s posts. Even the posts of Facebook’s own official Pages have their comment reels quickly filled with links to unrelated Pages which are trying to accumulate more Likes. For instance, a user posted a link to a spanish-language “I Hate Doing Homework On The Weekends” Page on Facebook’s Page’s latest post of a video which comforts victims of bullying. Some Pages select not to expand comments on stories in an attempt to obscure this spam, but there is no way to disable commenting on a Page’s posts or prevent comment spam without manually removing each spammy comment.

By creating better systems for fighting spam on Pages, Facebook can make them a safe place for brands. This encourages brands to make their Facebook Page a more prominent part of their web presence, leading to more brand advertising revenue for Facebook.

[Update: Facebook has rolled out this feature to all Pages.]

[Thanks to Eti Suruzon and GoRumors.com for the tips]