Comments DENIED: Now Facebook stops users making 'irrelevant' posts
New 'feature' censors comments on site
'This comment seems irrelevant'
No official statement from social-network giant
Outcry from bloggers over 'censorship'
The powers that be at Facebook are now blocking comments they consider ‘irrelevant or inappropriate’ before they can be posted – leading to an outcry of further censorship from the social networking giant.
Policing comments before they are shown appears to be a new security method that Facebook had not thought to flag up to its users.
However, the controversial new system was quickly exposed when Robert Scoble, a well-respected technological blogger, had one of his comments blocked yesterday.
He had tried to post an inoffensive comment about the nature of blogging to a fellow tech but was prevented from doing so.
Instead, he was sent an error message that read: 'This comment seems irrelevant or inappropriate and can’t be posted. To avoid having comments blocked, please make sure they contribute to the post in a positive way.'
Scoble, who has previously worked as a strategist for Microsoft, wasted no time in posting the comment on his Google+ page along with an explanation detailing how Facebook had blocked his message.
Scoble’s post about the incident has received almost 500 comments with other people adding that Facebook has disallowed their seemingly mundane messages as well.
To try and minimize abuse and spam Facebook has previously allowed users to flag up 'offensive' comments or activity, which are typically then removed from the site.
A Facebook spokesman said in a statement to techcrunch.com, ‘We have automated systems that work in the background to maintain a trusted environment and protect our users from bad actors who often use links to spread spam and malware.
‘They’re not perfect, though, and in rare instances they make mistakes. This comment was mistakenly blocked as spammy, and we have already started to make adjustments to our classifier.'
However Scoble, who is best known for his Scobleizer blog, saw the funny side too and posted: ‘What's fun is that this causes me to come over to Google+ just to be able to post my comment.’
The incident has led to a conspiracy theory that Facebook simply blocks posts which include ‘Google+’ or links to their rival.
One comment, posted by Mim Eisenberg, said: ‘I have been unable to share anything on FB with a G+ link.’