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.]

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16 Responses to “Facebook Adds Keyword Moderation and Profanity Blocklists to Pages”

  1. Helen Nana Oye Asare says:

    Dear Facebook team
    i am unable to access my facebook account for the past month becos i was aksed to provide a second email address. I used my work email helen.asare@hounslow.gov.uk but i only found out that i cannot use my work email for personal or social activities. So i cancelled and facebook suspended my acc. i am unable to produce my secuirity code becos i must have deleted long time ago. Please allow me to access many thanks

  2. Guest Post: Social Media Developers Update | Neo Blog says:

    [...] Facebook Adds Keyword Moderation and Profanity Blocklists to Pages http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/02/10/keyword-moderation-profanity-blocklist This one is a big deal – it is doing a lot of what the Pixolüt Page Monitor is doing at the [...]

  3. Bryan Person, LiveWorld says:

    Good post here on the new Facebook moderation filters, Josh, though I’ll contend they aren’t going to put human moderators out of work, at least not on high-volume Pages where brands want to ensure a friendly, welcoming environment for all their fans.

    While filters can be used as a form of front-line moderation, they certainly don’t catch everything. We’ve seen over the years that savvy users quickly figure out ways around the filters. Trolls and troublemakers will add spaces, asterisks, etc. to bypass those filters.

    Even the rollout today of notifications on all new fan posts and comments. Imagine the brand manager who’s suddenly getting inundated with dozens or hundreds of e-mail notifications in her inbox. She’ll probably still want someone else — namely, trained/dedicated moderators — to review that content.

  4. Don Sanders says:

    This would be great if it actually existed. I’ve searched for the last two hours through every FB page, through all the settings, and the help center and I cannot find any evidence this exists. One help file referenced it but none of the links it listed to access it existed either.

  5. Mike Strutton says:

    Automated moderation tools like Vitrue Publisher (managing over 450 million fans) are absolutely relevant. Facebook’s feature only scratches the surface with profanity and a single block-list. 

    Professional tools offered by Vitrue  have advanced workflow, notifications, multiple lists, analytics, data auditing, and flexibility that brands need. Block-lists aren’t the only answer to moderation. Many brands monitor keywords not for removal but for followup or analytics/tracking. 

    Furthermore, brands need a great UI to filter, review and react to the plethora of data. Vitrue’s moderation makes it easy to manage a single page or hundreds of million-fan pages from one UI.

    We are excited to see Facebook introduce moderation tools. We hope to see their filters extend into the API so brands can more easily leverage their built-in functionality with the powerful professional tools they get from Vitrue.

    Mike Strutton
    Chief Product Officer
    Vitrue, Inc. 

  6. Four Tips To Guide Your Brand’s Social Listening Strategy | Blog | Newsroom | Buddy Media says:

    [...] understands the need for brands to moderate their Pages. On February 10th Facebook launched two new moderation tools, the "Moderation Blocklist" and "Profanity Blocklist." Both features serve [...]

  7. Bastien says:

    Moderating using keywords is not efficient, Yahoo implemented this technique years ago and it’s easily bypassed by trolls or spammers on a daily basis (one example on http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AuBuBatld9zqGbvHB3UTFzVDubYF?slug=ycn-7890866) 3rd comment, sorry for the language :( but that’s reality with keyword).
    On top of that, keyword is binary, how do you handle words like Dick or Fanny which are also first names?
    Brands on Facebook need powerful moderation tools able to handle this complexity like Oorook, our community management tool for Facebook Pages.
    We are happy to see moderation becoming an issue for Facebook users which means the user experience will be better and better for the millions of Fans using it on a daily basis.

    Bastien Hillen
    Scan & Target

  8. David says:

    I’ve tested this on comments and it doesn’t seem to work there. Am I missing something? Seems that comments are something a FB page operator would want to filter. Also, do these setting apply to comments on photos? For those without the budget of firms using Oorook or Vitrue, such functions are needed.

  9. 5 Tips for Using Facebook’s Moderation Blocklist | Kingmaker Global says:

    [...] recently released a Moderation Blocklist, a functionality that allows Page administrators to set parameters around certain keywords, [...]

  10. Do’s and Don’ts of Community Manager Rock Stars | Cedar Sage says:

    [...] Set the Facebook profanity filter. Consider blocking certain spammy words if you see them over and over, such as “win an [...]

  11. Why You Should Think Before Swearing On Twitter « simonemccallum says:

    [...] via Twitter. On Facebook it’s slightly more difficult due to the built in profanity filter. Oh, you didn’t know about that? Yep, when you write on a Facebook Page’s Wall, if the [...]

  12. 5 Tips for Using Facebook’s Moderation Blocklist | Off Madison Ave says:

    [...] April 2011, Facebook released Moderation Blocklist, a functionality that allows Page administrators to set parameters around certain keywords, [...]

  13. Páginas de Facebook: comentar como usuario, lista de palabras prohibidas y más mejoras says:

    [...] y definitivamente es bien recibida por los que trabajamos y nos divertimos con Facebook.Vía: Inside Facebook Este post fue publicado en Redes Sociales. Lee más sobre Administrar, Facebook, Moderar, Páginas, [...]

  14. Reporting content, moderating and managing audiences on Google+ says:

    [...] Plus Help brings up no responses, and there isn’t yet a profanity filter option (which Facebook does have). However, Google announced yesterday that a handful of social media management platforms (Context [...]

  15. The Facebook Pages redesign - what's changed and what does it mean? | eModeration says:

    [...] you wouldn’t wish to appear on your page.  See Facebook’s help section and this Inside Facebook article for more details: I’d love feedback on how they perform.  The obvious [...]

  16. Big Changes to Facebook Fan Pages | Ignite Social Media says:

    [...] Facebook also has a new feature, a moderation blocklist, in the works to block spam and profanities. Using this blocklist, admins can choose strong [...]

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