Facebook gives users ability to control who can comment on public posts

Social media company also introduces new controls for newsfeed

Facebook is giving users, brands and creators the ability to control who can comment on their public posts, in a bid to help users limit unwanted interactions on the social network.

The new feature will allow creators to limit the comments to those profiles and pages that are tagged, or open it up to anyone who can see the post.

“By adjusting your commenting audience, you can further control how you want to invite conversation on to your public posts and limit potentially unwanted interactions.

“And if you’re a public figure, creator, or brand, you too can choose to limit your commenting audience on your public posts to help you feel safe and engage in more meaningful conversations with your community,” Facebook said in a post on its Newsroom site.


“This new tool is the latest example of how we’re helping you control and curate your news feed to best reflect who you are as your interests and priorities evolve. We also want to continue to help you understand why you see the content you do on news feed.”

Filter bar

Facebook has also brought new controls for newsfeeds, with a new menu known as the filter bar that allows users to switch between the algorithmically-ranked newsfeed, chronological order or favourite pages.

It has also further clarified its process for suggested posts that appear in your newsfeed, expanding the “Why am I seeing this?” option to give more context to users.

"In the long run, people are only going to feel comfortable with these algorithmic systems if they have more visibility into how they work and then have the ability to exercise more informed control over them," Facebook's vice-president of global affairs Nick Clegg wrote in an essay published alongside the announcement.

“Companies like Facebook need to be frank about how the relationship between you and their major algorithms really works. And we need to give you more control over how, and even whether, they work for you.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist