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Facebook Starts Filtering Comments – Censorship Or Spam Filtering?

Within the last few days, a number of people have experience difficulty in posting their comments simply because a Facebook error message would pop up, suggesting that their message is either irrelevant or inappropriate. In many cases, this has happened even when a person has tried to post a perfectly innocent message. Has the social network started censoring comments or is it a result of spam filtering?


This instance has happened with a lot of people and is being reported on a number of tech websites. Naturally, it prompted many to be concerned as to whether or not Facebook is censoring comments, something which would go diametrically opposite to Facebook’s proclaimed policies.

The exact error message that is being experienced reads, “This comment seems irrelevant or inappropriate and can’t be posted. To avoid having comments blocked, please make sure they contribute to the post in a positive way.”

Facebook filters spam; no censorship:
Interestingly, many people posting different kinds of comments though equally innocent, have faced this message. So the question is, why is it happening. Soon after the tech websites started crawling with queries regarding this, Facebook chose to respond to this issue. According to a statement issued by Facebook spokesperson,

“To protect the millions of people who connect and share on Facebook every day, we have automated systems that work in the background to maintain a trusted environment and protect our users from bad actors who often use links to spread spam and malware. These systems are so effective that most people who use Facebook will never encounter spam. They’re not perfect, though, and in rare instances they make mistakes. This comment was mistakenly blocked as spammy, and we have already started to make adjustments to our classifier. We look forward to learning from rare cases such as these to make sure we don’t repeat the same mistake in the future.

For more information about our spam prevention systems, please see this blog post: https://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=403200567130.”

On the page quoted above, Facebook does indeed goes on to divulge the details of how and when the social networks tends to block a comment or a message. According to Facebook, it runs a lot of spam-filtering algorithms and just some of these filters may make the mistake of considering an innocent comment as spam. Naturally, such glitches are there in an automated system that is used for an audience of nearly a billion users.

But we do hope that Facebook continues its efforts to try and improve the spam-filtering system so that only such comments which really are spam, get to be filtered.

Source: TechCrunch

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