Facebook Comment Ranking


That was an interesting meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister Abe, frankly speaking. But I will put it aside for now, as today I want to talk about the ranking system of Facebook comments.

The right picture is part of my Facebook newsfeed page. Although Mr. Alexander’s comment here is the first comment with real words I can see, it is not the first comment that appears in my comment area. Why? It is probably because that Hermione, the first comment maker ever that I see, is a friend of mine on Facebook. So how does Facebook rank all these comments? Friends first, strangers later?

%e5%b1%8f%e5%b9%95%e5%bf%ab%e7%85%a7-2017-02-11-%e4%b8%8b%e5%8d%885-58-31Not exactly. Before digging into the comment ranking system, we should know that Facebook has actually provided users the rights to use it or not. Under settings->public posts, there is a button of “comment ranking,” allowing users to decide whether they want to see the comments of public posts merely chronologically, or more complicatedly–with Facebook’s comment ranking algorithm.

屏幕快照 2017-02-11 下午5.10.05.png

As we can see, the ranking is not simply about the number of likes as well. First, if you were asked about your definition of a “good” comment, what would you say? Maybe likes, replies, relevance, followers of the commenter, whether it has the “see more” button or not, etc.. So which one of them is the key element? Well, “all of them” would be more close to the answer.

According to Mr. Sean Taylor, a computational social scientist on Facebook’s Data Science team, Facebook would take in all the possible elements, but not exclusively, that we mentioned before, and generate a “quality score” for every comment by a specific algorithm. The algorithm will particularly take several elements into consideration. They are likes, replies, the time spent on writing the comment by the comment maker, the survey responses that Facebook collects when users occasionally respond to surveys like “How do you find this comment: good/bad; helpful/not helpful,” and others. Facebook will incorporate these features into models, find out the quality factors, and finally create the “quality scores” for every comment. The order of the comments that we can see, if we open the “comment ranking” function, is based on the descending order of different comments’ quality scores.

Still find the order of comments a mess? You can probably turn off the “comment ranking” function and make them appear merely chronologically.

This entry was posted in algorithms, Facebook. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Facebook Comment Ranking

  1. sydhavely says:

    You’ve hit on an aspect of big data that is causing fits of frustration from people who are its “victims” (read social media content users) and platforms and providers for providing information for their users and advertisers. Great post, Angela.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s