Deleting a comment: This feature allows the moderator to remove permanently the comment from a post, meaning that it will not be visible to anybody, including the user who posted it.

Click here to learn how to delete a comment from a post

Hide a comment: This feature allows the moderator to hide comments on posts published on the news outlet’s Facebook page. However, the user who wrote the comment, as well as the user’s friends, will still be able to see it.

Click here to learn how to hide a comment from a post

Disable/turn off comments: This feature is only available for video posts, Facebook Live and Facebook groups. (Moderation experts believe this option should be expanded to all types of posts.)

Click here to learn how to disable comments.

When would audience moderators normally delete or hide a Facebook comment?

In line with a policy of keeping their social media channels as open as possible, most media outlets tolerate an ample degree of criticism, even harsh criticism. However, when Facebook comments become threatening or abusive, media outlets have the possibility to delete or hide them.

Our research found that most social media moderators choose to delete, not hide, Facebook comments that breach relevant standards. The reason cited is that users do not know when their comments are hidden for being in breach of standards and therefore may engage in similarly abusive behaviour again. Social media moderators hence prefer deleting comments and informing the user in question, providing a link to the media outlet’s community standards.

However, when there is an avalanche of hateful comments under a post, some of the moderators consulted by IPI said they resort to deleting in bulk without warning or providing explanations to individual users. In such cases, moderators then typically post a single comment addressed to all users stating that the media outlet will not tolerate the user behaviour in question.

In addition, following the same policy applied on other social media platforms, moderators would instantly delete any spam or scams that appear under a Facebook post.