Look no further, this is the definitive guide on hiding comments on Facebook.
If you’re responsible for managing a Facebook page or Facebook ads, you already know the important role engagement plays on the platform. It’s a “social” media platform after all.
Likes, shares and comments can present the social proof that convinces potential buyers.
However, the lack of such proof or the nature of these comments can also present a serious risk to your click-through-rates, sales conversion and brand reputation.
While Facebook says it puts in lots of effort to moderate the content on their platform, the options they offer to users to automatically moderate comments are very limited.
Basically we can just delete or hide comments on Facebook.
Before you start hiding or deleting every unwanted comment, you should first define a strategy for moderating comments on Facebook posts and ads. Including things like: the types of comments you should hide or delete, when to hide vs delete vs ban, and more.
This definitive guide on hiding Facebook comments is our attempt to help you shape your own strategy for Facebook comment moderation by answering commonly asked questions like:
- What actually happens when you hide a comment on Facebook?
- Is is better to hide or delete unwanted Facebook comments?
- How to view and sort all your Facebook comments so you’ll never miss one?
- Which options are available to automatically hide Facebook comments?
Let’s dive right in.
Why you should hide comments on Facebook?
Facebook is a social platform, where users engage with content posted by their friends.
But also with the content businesses post on their Facebook page. Or with the advertisements they use to promote their products and services. These posts and ads will inevitably attract comment replies.
Depending on your brand and the content of the post these replies can be positive, neutral or negative.
Positive or neutral comments could be compliments and questions. Negative comments include valid concerns and complaints from unhappy customer. But also inappropriate language and spam.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to Facebook comment moderation, but in general all comments demand a quick response.
Why, you’re asking?
Because these comments live in the public domain and are seen by others who scroll past your Facebook post or ad in their feed. Unanswered questions or concerns do not make your business look good. Neither does unmoderated spam in your comment section.
Consumer research supports this by consistently demonstrating the (negative) impact comments can have on sales conversions and brand reputation:
- Brightlocal’s Consumer Review Survey showed that negative reviews stop 40% of buyers from spending money with a business (source).
- Vendasta even wrote that 86% of potential customers will be hesitant to shop with an organisation with negative online reviews. This leads to the kind of delay that can extend a sales cycle and opens consumers to researching rivals and competitors (source).
- Research by PR firm Edelman showed that 47% out of 33,000 respondents believed that comments that appear near a brand’s advertising and marketing are an indication of that brand’s values. To make it even worse; 48% said it’s a brand’s own fault if its advertising appears next to hate speech, violent or sexually inappropriate comments (source).
Your potential customers will see comments as an integral part of your posts or ads and use all the information (including comments) to decide if they trust your business enough to make a purchase or not.
While you shouldn’t just hide any negative comment just because you don’t like to be criticised, you definitely should hide potentially damaging comments.
If you don’t, the comment section underneath your posts or ads will be full of things that will not just make your business look unprofessional... it will hurt business too!
Types of comments to hide on Facebook
Social media is all about transparency and public visibility.
While negative comments will make for a bad first impression, companies that publicly deal with criticism can also build trust by doing so.
Hiding comments on Facebook might be tempting, but it’s not always the right thing to do. First and foremost you should not leave potentially harmful comments unmoderated.
People want to feel heard. That’s why you should always be proactive and react to comments, questions and complaints. If you don’t, it will create an image of an uncaring brand that puts customers’ needs low on its priority list. Whether the commenter is right or wrong is irrelevant, you should act quickly.
Either by hiding a comment to have a bit more time to respond, by letting people know you’ll get back to them via private message or by directly and publicly addressing the issue at hand.
Any business expert will tell you about one of the most integral facets of establishing a loyal client base: turning awful customer experiences into exceptional ones.
Much of the time, these situations are just due to misunderstandings or human error. In both cases, by acting emphatically and working with a customer to reach a conclusion, businesses can cultivate a lifelong relationship with the customer.
When issues are transparently resolved on Facebook this can all happen publicly, which gives you a free chance to advertise your customer service skills.
But… the above only applies to relevant comments, not to spam, trolls and other junk.
When you receive comments that are not offensive but have nothing to do with your business or the content of the post, simply ignore them. If you want to keep your comment section clean, you can hide this type of comments to limit their public visibility or completely delete them.
There are some types of Facebook comments you should always hide or delete:
- Inappropriate language and hate speech: Anything that is clearly racist, sexist, homophobic or contains “$&#^%%*#” words and other explicit content doesn’t deserve your attention. This applies to both comment text as well as the images or GIFs attached to comments.
- Spam and self-promotion: Most active Facebook ads attract spam replies from people trying to hijack the ad and send some traffic to their own offers. Spam comments often contain links to referral programs or simply promotional links from competitors in your niche.
- Trolling: Comments that are completely irrelevant to your post or ad and that are coming from obvious internet trolls. These people have too much time on their hands and as the saying goes…”don’t feed the troll”.
What happens when you hide a comment on Facebook?
When you “hide” a comment on your Facebook posts or ads, it limits the reach and visibility of that comment. The comment will still be visible to you, to the person who wrote it and to their friends.
But everyone else who sees your post or ad won’t see hidden comments.
Will someone know if their comment is hidden on Facebook?
When hiding comments, you might wonder if the person who wrote it will find out if you hide their comment. The short answer is: probably not.
Commenters will not get a notified by Facebook that you’ve hidden their comment so in most cases they will never know. The only way for them to check if their comment was hidden by you, is logging-out and revisiting the post to see if their comment is publicly visible or not.
Hiding vs deleting comments and banning users
When you click on the three little dots next to a Facebook comment a menu will open where you can delete, hide / unhide the comment or report it to Facebook. Next to that you’ll sometimes find a small link underneath the comment itself to ban the user who wrote it.
Let’s discuss the options that are available to us in more detail.
Hiding a comment on Facebook
When you hide a comment on Facebook, the comment will remain visible to the person who wrote it and their friends while at the same time it will be hidden for everyone else.
Replies to hidden comments are also hidden.
- The person who wrote it probably won’t find out that their comment was hidden.
- The comment can still be seen by all the friends of the person who wrote it.
- Hiding a comment on Facebook is a reversible action, you can unhide later.
- You can still reply to hidden comments to solve the issue.
Deleting a comment on Facebook
When you delete a comment on Facebook, the comment will be removed completely and will no longer visible to the person who wrote it or anyone else. Deleting a comment on Facebook is an irreversible action, you can’t restore a deleted comment later.
- The person who wrote it can see that the comment was deleted.
- Deleting is the only way to make sure a comment no one can see it anymore.
- You can’t reply to deleted comments anymore to solve the issue.
Deleting comments will create a strong feeling of censorship and will often lead to more comments. So be careful when deleting comments and only use it in exceptional cases, preferably when combining the deletion of the comment with a ban of its author.
Banning a user on Facebook
When you ban a user on Facebook, he or she is added to your page blocklist and can’t leave any future comments on your posts or ads anymore.
A blocked user will not get notified when he or she is banned, but will see it because the comment field on your posts isn’t visible to them anymore.
Deleting and banning are very useful for repeat spammers or trolls who are clearly out for a fight, but in most cases hiding a Facebook comment is the better choice.
How to hide, unhide and delete comments on Facebook?
Now that we’ve discussed the pros and cons of hiding vs deleting comments on Facebook, let’s look at how to actually hide, unhide and delete comments on Facebook.
How to hide comments on Facebook
- Navigate to a comment that you would like to hide.
- Click on the small three dot icon next to it to open the menu.
- Choose the “Hide comment” option to hide the comment.
- Alternatively you can click the “Hide” link underneath the comment text.
Comments that have been hidden will be grayed out a bit, so it’s easy to see they were hidden.
As mentioned before, hidden comments will still be visible to you, the person who wrote it and their friends. For everyone else these comments will be invisible.
When you hide a comment all the current and future replies that are nested under this comment, will also be hidden. When hiding a nested comment reply, the parent object (comment) will still remain visible.
How to unhide comments on Facebook
- Navigate to a hidden comment you would like to unhide.
- Click on the small three dot icon next to it to open the menu.
- Choose the “Unhide comment” option to make the comment visible again.
- Alternatively you can click the “Unhide” link underneath the comment text.
You can unhide Facebook comments that you’ve accidentally hidden. But you can also use the unhide feature to make a hidden comment publicly visible again after you’ve replied to it or solved the issue.
How to delete comments on Facebook
- Navigate to a comment that you would like to delete.
- Click on the small three dot icon next to it to open the menu.
- Choose the “Delete” option to delete the comment.
When you click on “Delete”, Facebook will ask you if you’re sure you want to delete the comment and will only do so after your explicit confirmation because this action can not be reversed.
How to see all comments on Facebook posts and ads?
It’s important to keep an eye on the comments you receive.
But that can be tricky when you have a large number of posts and ads, because you’ll quickly loose overview when scrolling through the endless stream of Facebook comment notifications.
Alternatively, when looking at your individual posts it’s also easy to miss comments, because Facebook applies sorting to the comments. So the newest ones aren’t always automatically shown at the top.
When you get a new comment on one of the Facebook Pages that you’re an Admin of, you’ll receive a notification. You can filter “All” notifications or just look at notifications for “My ads”.
When you receive just a few comments, this might be a good way to keep track of your comments and see all of them. But when you manage multiple pages or receive many comments you’ll quickly lose sight.
Luckily you can use Facebook’s Page Inbox, by navigating to your Facebook Page and then clicking Inbox in the left sidebar. This opens an inbox where you’ll find all your comments received on Facebook, Instagram & Messenger.
In the Facebook Page Inbox you’ll be able to see all comments on Facebook posts & ads.
In your Inbox you can quickly see previews of your posts and ads, with the comments underneath it. You can filter or sort the comments in various ways.
To make sure you don’t miss any comments, it’s recommended to select the “All comments” view. You can also change the chronological order (newest or oldest first).
Select “Hidden by this Page” to view all comments that were hidden.
Facebook comment ranking
Facebook applies comment ranking on your Facebook page, to highlight “most relevant” comments.
This means that comments with the most likes or replies will appear at the top (first ones below your post). The same goes for comments from other verified Facebook Pages and profiles.
If the Comment Ranking checkbox isn’t checked, the most recent comments will be displayed first.
From the perspective of users, it makes sense to have Facebook rank comments to show the most relevant ones first. This will highlight comments with high engagement or the ones coming from credible sources. But from the perspective of a moderator it can be a double-edged sword.
While on the one hand high engagement can provide social proof, on the other hand it’s not necessarily going to be positive engagement.
How to turn off Facebook Comment Ranking?
If your the Admin of a classic Facebook page, you can find the Comment Ranking setting in your page settings (Settings > General > Comment Ranking).
If your Facebook page has been migrated to the New Pages experience, you can find the Comment Ranking setting via Settings & Privacy > Settings > Privacy > Public Posts.
Automatically hide comments on Facebook
Facebook offers limited options to automatically hide comments based on their content.
If you don’t want to always be on guard to protect your posts and ads, you can automate (at least some) comment moderation using Facebook's moderation settings.
- Facebook’s content moderation feature, which functions like a keyword blacklist and hides comments that contain any of your blacklisted words.
- Facebook’s profanity filter to automatically hide comments with profanity.
But that’s about it, at least when it comes to Facebook's native moderation options.
Sadly there isn’t an easy way to completely turn off Facebook comments or review and approve Facebook comments before they’re publicly visible. But luckily there are 3rd-party comment moderation tools that fill the gap by solving these issues and automating comment moderation using machine learning.
Let’s start with the options that are natively available on the Facebook platform.
Facebook page moderation word list
Facebook allows administrators of pages to add a list of keywords, phrases or emojis that will be filtered.
When a new comment is posted that contains anything on this keyword “blacklist”, the comments will automatically be hidden to anyone except the authors and their friends.
While this is a useful moderation feature, our tests showed that not all variations of keywords are detected. And more importantly, creative spelling and “internet slang” isn’t understood either.
You can use this feature to block certain words on Facebook, but it’s far from perfect.
Facebook profanity filter
Next to the keyword list for comment moderation, Facebook also has a built-in profanity filter.
When activating the profanity filter, Facebook will automatically hide comments that contain profanity. They will use a list of the most commonly reported offensive words and phrases for that.
Sadly, the filter supports only English profanity, no other languages.
Next to that our Facebook profanity filter test showed that some of our more creative ways to introduce profanity (“fck yrslf” and “effing stupid”) were not detected and hidden by this filter.
CommentGuard: Facebook and Instagram moderation software
Next to Facebook’s native tools for automated comment moderation there are 3rd-party solutions like CommentGuard, our Facebook & Instagram comment moderation tool.
CommentGuard uses a combination of machine learning algorithms and smart filters automatically hide unwanted comments of any kind you can imagine. And even some you would never think of...
You can even hide all new comments when activating “private mode”.
When using CommentGuard, you can: see all your comments (organic and paid) across all your pages in one place, auto-hide unwanted comments 24/7 and speed up your workflow with saved replies, auto-replies based on trigger keywords, filters, bulk actions, and more.
It's fully approved by Facebook and Instagram and works like a charm.
If you'd like to try it yourself, you can do so risk-free with our 7- day free trial (no credit card required).
In this guide we’ve covered the why, how and when to hide comments on Facebook.
By now you know why hiding comments on Facebook is important, the types of comments that you should always hide, what happens when you hide a comment and who will still be able to see it.
We’ve also discussed the pros and cons of hiding vs deleting comments, and banning users.
And finally I’ve showed you how to hide and delete Facebook comments manually, partially automated using Facebook’s profanity filter and moderation word list, and fully automated using 3rd-party comment moderation software like CommentGuard.
To conclude this guide we’d like to reiterate that the “social” nature of Facebook as a marketing platform, can be a double-edged sword. Engagement in the comment section can create social proof and build brand reputation, but it can also turn into a toxic environment that hurts your business.
That’s why it is vital to be proactive when it comes to Facebook comment moderation!