Facebook Adds Keyword Moderation and Profanity Blocklists to Pages

Facebook now allows Page admins to set up a keyword moderation blocklist and enable a profanity blocklist that filters wall posts and comments by users into the Page wall’s spam tab. Admins can configure the list from the Manage Permissions tab of the Page admin interface.

The addition will reduce the need for automated and human-powered third-party moderation systems, and could therefore slow the growth of the Page management and moderation industries.

A Help Center article linked to from the moderation blocklist says that posts and comments including the blocked words will be hidden from public view. The profanity filter explains that “Facebook will block the most commonly reported words and phrases marked as offensive by the broader community.” Admins can set the profanity filter to strong, medium, or none, though Facebook does not provide a list of exactly what words will be filtered under each setting.

If admins want to make an exception, they can click the ‘x’ next to the post or comment in their Page’s spam tab and click “Unmark as Spam” to return it to public view.

Facebook has been aggressively improving its spam identification and prevention systems recently. It implemented the Spam tab on Page walls in October. Then last week it began making spam comments on Page posts appear gray to admins for easy removal, and hiding them from other users.

Many of these features are commonly included in Page management and moderation software by companies we’ve profiled including Parature, Buddy Media,Context Optional and more. Some brands even pay for around-the-clock human Page moderation during PR crisises.

By offering these features free of charge, Facebook may hurt moderation software sales and put human moderators out of a job. This is one of the dangers of working on a rapidly evolving platform. Companies providing products or services that are too close to the core of Facebook risk having their functionality replicated and offered for free.

Page admins — learn more about specific tools and advanced strategies to work with new features like keyword moderation at the Facebook Marketing Bible, Inside Facebook’s complete guide to marketing and advertising on Facebook.

[Thanks to Amit Lavi for the tip.]