Facebook Introduces a Credibility Score With New Social Commenting Plugin

Facebook may be preparing to launch a new version of its Social Commenting plugin. Judging by the version currently implemented on Facebook’s own blog, it may surface high quality comments or help users identify trolls and spammers by assigning users an aggregated credibility score. Since this score travels with users wherever the plugin is integrated, it should encourage more civil, thoughtful commenting.

The aggregated credibility score is shown as a percentage and a total number of comments in the hovercard that appears when a user is moused over in the Social Commenting plugin. Through extensive testing, we’ve determined that the percentage is calculated using the formula (total Likes – total instances marked as unhelpful or spam) / total Likes. For instance, a commenter who has had their comments Liked seven times and been marked as unhelpful once would have the equation (7 – 1) /7, which equates to 85%. Scores are rounded down and are higher than the equation specifies when there are less than five Likes.

Users and admins will be able to look at this credibility score and deduce whether a certain comment is from a reputable source. Trolls and spammers will accrue a low score or have a low number of total comments, indicating their comments aren’t worth replying to, and their links shouldn’t be clicked. High quality users will build a high score and large number of comments over time.

Authenticated Identity is Too Valuable to Risk

Websites often run into issues using their own commenting system or a third-party solution such as Disqus and Intense Debate because there are few deterrents to abusive behavior other than of a site-wide or widget-wide ban. Spammers, trolls, and those looking to dispense hate can easily create another account or move to another site without losing much.

But Facebook wields a much more powerful weapon: the ability to terminate a user’s account, severing all their friend connections. Most users will be too scared of such social ruin to abuse the Facebook Social Commenting plugin with their real account, whether professionally, as a joke, drunk, or in a fit of anger. Since the aggregated credibility score reduces the reach of using a fake account, users have to respectfully comment with their real profile to be part of the conversation.

Examples of the power of authenticated identity to promote serious discussion are already emerging. At the recent Online News Association meetup at Facebook headquarters, Andy Carvin, NPR’s Senior Strategist with their social media desk, said that the conversation on its Facebook Page is more civil than that occurring through the proprietary commenting system on its website.

With its simple cross-publishing feature; quick login for Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo! users via OpenID; aggregated credibility scoring; and the repercussions Facebook can levy against abusive commenters; any website that accepts comments should strongly consider implementing the new Facebook Social Commenting plugin when it’s released.

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21 Responses to “Facebook Introduces a Credibility Score With New Social Commenting Plugin”

  1. Bryan says:

    I can see how easily this will lead to more division, less honest bipartisan debate and less understanding between opposing viewpoints.
    Though it says the intention is More civility i know there will be situations where there is LESS civility as a result. Think about it…have you ever been the one to stand up for tolerance in a room full of racist jokes? presenting the sober, right, civil and logical facts in a discussion where people have lost their objectivity is a necessary role thats rarely “popular” but still nonetheless an honorable and much needed action. When commenting becomes subject to popularity contest type ratings does not unite, it says go away, because you don’t think like US. Also considering how much $ has been thrown by big corporations lately into gaming the social media landscape, it would be easy for an organization with big $ to silence dissent by dumping an army of fake comment spammer accounts ratings onto the loud outlier who speaks the truth or blows the whistle. Civility is a great goal but division without interaction or debate is a sad move.

  2. Facebook: kommt bald ein robustes Kommentartool? | Blog zu Social Media und Facebook Marketing says:

    [...] Insidefacebook.com und allfacebook.com in Berufung auf CNET.com berichten, plant Facebook die Herausgabe eines [...]

  3. Adam says:

    It’s strangely enough you do not practice what you preach…

    And it’s not the best solution for bloggers, when facebook will integrate commentluv that would be an achievement!

  4. Facebook Comments « Wir sprechen Online. says:

    [...] makes comments real-time and seems to open its functionality to third-parties; [...]

  5. Josh Constine says:

    @Adam: We are waiting to test the new version of the plugin for ourselves.

  6. Josh Constine says:

    @Bryan: Good points, but other third-party commenting widgets have the same problems. At least with the Social Commenting plugin, it will be easy to tell which commenters are using fake accounts. Since a user’s comments can be easily published to Facebook, their friends can help them defend the facts in the face of hate.

  7. MW-Tips: 2011-02-01 says:

    [...] Facebook Introduces a Credibility Score With New Social Commenting Plugin Snappade upp den här nyheten redan igår kväll, men här kom den paketerad med lite fylligare information som bland annat beskriver lite hur systemet kommer att byggas utifrån Facebooks ekosystem. Jämförelsen mellan kommentarer på sajt – Facebook page är också intressant, där den senare alltså skulle innehålla en mer sansad dialog enligt källor i artikeln. [...]

  8. Facebook Launching It’s Commenting System says:

    [...] plugin but It’s not something people are fond of at this moment.  According to Insidefacebook report, this new plugin will have lots of features which will also help to prevent spam and more over you [...]

  9. Обновление плагина Social Commenting | fbfon says:

    [...] слухи о скором обновлении плагина Facebook Social Commenting. Главным [...]

  10. wwworld Update #1 | Web AddiCT(s); says:

    [...] ‘Facebook Introduces a Credibility Score With New Social Commenting Plugin’ – Facebook may be preparing to launch a new version of its Social Commenting plugin. Judging by the version currently implemented on Facebook’s own blog, it may surface high quality comments or help users identify trolls and spammers by assigning users an aggregated credibility score. Since this score travels with users wherever the plugin is integrated, it should encourage more civil, thoughtful commenting. via InsideFacebook. [...]

  11. Nancy says:

    I think most people will be turned off by this. I definitely am.

  12. If you have no friends, there’s a reason | SoapBox If you have no friends, there’s a reason | Jabberings from the people at Mars Hill & BCG says:

    [...] And how Facebook is combating against these purchased profiles with the new announcement of authenticity scores for profiles. Authenticity is based on how many activities any normal “real” person on Facebook would do, [...]

  13. Facebook S’Apprête A Lancer Un Nouveau Système De Commentaires | Emarketinglicious.fr says:

    [...] le vote des commentaires (ou encore le pourcentage de votes positifs) est remplacé par un score de crédibilité (source : InsideFacebook) [...]

  14. Talia says:

    My concern is when you are discussing something sensitive. I don’t mind sharing my opinion on a recipe or the situation in Egypt but if I was going through a divorce and was posting on a divorce support site, I wouldn’t want to make the world aware of that. There has to be a nice balance between what we share publicly and what we keep to ourselves. The beauty of the internet is that I can find abuse support without having to tell my neighbors about it.

    We have to have the choice to share or not.

  15. Josh Constine says:

    @Talia: That is a very interesting point. There is still a need for anonymous commenting on the internet. In many cases, authenticated identity promotes better conversation, but it can also make users too uncomfortable to comment in some situations. Facebook may need to develop an option to allow commenters to choose to hide their identity from everyone except a site’s admins.

  16. Sad says:

    Ability to posting logged to facebook with showing my reputation but without showing my name is import for many third party sites covering sensible topics.

  17. Alex says:

    With FB commenting plugin it is still possible to post “anonymous” comments, at least I always leave this option open, when I implement this plugin on my sites… It allows people who do not have FB account to leave a comment the same way they would without it – it asks only for name and email then.

    So I guess, it could be used in thos cases, when subject is sensitive and one doesn’t want to show his or hers identity.

  18. Facebook Credibility | Check It Web Design Blog says:

    [...] measure everyone’s Facebook activities and put them on display for everyone else. It’s your credibility on the stage, now. Now imagine that Facebook will provide a way to handle your website’s [...]

  19. SXSWrapup (Part 6): Stocking Up for the War on Whiners | The Awesome Blog (.net) says:

    [...] identities. But, even though your mom told you that you’re just as important as everyone else, Facebook is now testing an “aggregate credibility score” that might prove otherwise (see the image below). This score would be calculated by the percentage [...]

  20. Off the Pass: week of February 7, 2011 | theblackboard.net says:

    [...] Facebook Introduces a Credibility Score With New Social Commenting Plugin Facebook let’s the world know just how credible you are, adds eBay-like concept of trusted commenters. I have always seen this as a grey way of compensating for the lack of body language online. That seemingly simple score can at a glance provide important context for a comment. Is that person a huckster or a trusted person? Should I take that comment seriously or is he taking the piss? As your Facebook identity travels with you to more and more sites, your comments seen by more people you don’t know or never even met, mechanisms like this will become more important to facilitate conversation. [...]

  21. Content, context and code: verifying information online | Online Journalism Blog says:

    [...] to give extra information on the ‘human-ness’ and content of particular accounts. On Facebook there is the social commenting plugin which attempts to give a credibility score to [...]

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