[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Facebook Limits Comments On Page Posts

Page Admins Rejoice As Facebook Trolls FINALLY Put On Notice

A few weeks ago, the Queen of Twitter, Chrissy Teigen, upped sticks, called it a day, threw in the towel and said enough’s enough. Why? Online abuse, racism and bullying.

The following week, French football legend and possibly coolest man on the planet, Theirry Henry, pulled the pin on all his social channels. Why? Online abuse, racism and bullying. Wales football captain Gareth Bale also looks set to follow Henry possibly, and they surely won’t be alone.

After months, if not years, of criticism for inaction in this area, Facebook has decided in recent days to finally introduce features that will go a long way to help mitigate the problem.

Facebook has made substantial changes impacting who can comment on public posts for Pages, influencers and all public accounts.

Interesting timing.

The updates, which had been long overdue, especially after a 2019 Australian court ruling, said media organisations were liable for defamatory comments under their posts, will allow users to control who can comment on their posts.

Ramya Sethuraman, Product Manager, Facebook

“Now, you can control your commenting audience for a given public post by choosing from a menu of options ranging from anyone who can see the post to only the people and Pages you tag.”

Create more wholesome engagements

By the sounds of it, Facebook will make it easy to control your commenting audience. While a more restrictive setting will negatively impact engagement, it could result in higher levels of positive engagement and a safer space that promotes more helpful, healthy and meaningful conversations on your Facebook Page.

For brands and creators, this could lead to a more inclusive, gentle community and encourage sensible Followers to engage in a more wholesome way.

A huge step towards mitigating risk

As we touched on earlier, this is an incredibly welcome change for those affected by that 2019 court judgement within the press.

Media organisations can now restrict who comments on posts with legally sensitive subjects and avoid the risk of falling foul of defamation. As happened in the case of Dylan Voller, who sued a raft of Aussie media companies (including Sky News Australia and the Sydney Morning Herald) over comments made on Facebook posts about him between 2016 and 2017.

In 2019, the New South Wales supreme court ruled that media companies were liable for those defamatory comments. This change will help mitigate that risk and allow the redirection of human resources away from moderation.

Trolling, which has become an epidemic across social media, will also be controlled via this method.

Ramya Sethuraman, Product Manager, Facebook

“By adjusting your commenting audience, you can further control how you want to invite conversation onto your public posts and limit potentially unwanted interactions.

“And if you’re a public figure, creator or brand, you too can choose to limit your commenting audience on your public posts to help you feel safe and engage in more meaningful conversations with your community.

The Facebook feed is changing

The way Facebook recommends content to users is also changing and will be influenced in three main, new, ways.

  • A post can be suggested for you based on the actions of other people who interacted with the post, and also interacted with the same post, Page or group as you. This will open up more avenues for organic discovery and engagement.
  • Facebook may suggest posts that are similar to topics you’ve already engaged with.
  • Facebook will also suggest posts based on your location and what people close to your location interact with.

Ramya Sethuraman, Product Manager, Facebook

“To help you discover new and relevant content, we suggest posts in your News Feed from places like Pages and Groups that you don’t already follow, but we think you may be interested in. These post suggestions are primarily based on factors such as post engagement, related topics, and location.”

Facebook is also making it easier for users to view content based on chronology rather than the usual algorithm-ranked stuff we see so often.

The newly installed Feed Filter Bar gives users access to a Most Recent tab, which will allow you to switch between algorithm-based feeds and chronologically-based feeds.

Favourites will also give users the power to ‘control and prioritise posts from the friends and Pages you care about most in News Feed.’ Up to 30 friends or Pages can be marked as a Favourite, which will give their posts higher prominence in News Feed and can be viewed as part of a separate filter.

Ramya Sethuraman, Product Manager, Facebook

“We’re also making it easier to sort and browse News Feed, giving you more control over what you see. We recently launched Favorites, a new tool where you can control and prioritise posts from the friends and Pages you care about most in News Feed.”

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