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?
Not 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.
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.