How to Filter Comments on Social Media

By | April 1, 2022

Sometimes it seems the internet is filled with strangers filled with hate. Especially on social media. And while that may be an exaggeration, for the sake of your mental health, you should try to filter out toxic comments.

Such comments can have a bad impact on your online experience or make you want to leave social media. Fortunately, though, you can easily filter out toxic comments on social media.

How to Filter Comments on Instagram

Instagram allows you to disable certain sets of keywords. Alternatively, you can enable the option that automatically hides frequently reported words. Comments that include these words will be removed from your post and will not be visible to anyone. Additionally, there are algorithm-backed settings that try to detect and block offensive comments.

To access these tools on your phone, you will need to go into the settings on the Instagram app. There, go to Privacy and Settings > Comment Control. Here you will find all manual and automatic filters.

Under Manual Filter, you can add as many words or phrases as you want. To enter more than one, you must separate them with a comma.

You can also change who is allowed to comment on your posts and limit only the people you follow. If any user regularly leaves toxic comments, you can specifically block that account as well.

To do the same on your computer, launch the Instagram web app and go to Settings. Click Privacy and Settings and then hit Edit Comment Settings.

How to Filter Comments on Twitter

Twitter lets you mute certain words from your replies as well. However, it doesn’t remove related comments from your post for everyone.

On Twitter, you can mask tweets from appearing on your timeline or in notifications when they are found with certain phrases, words, or even hashtags.

In addition, you have the ability to specify an expiration period, after which the string will be automatically removed from your muted list. This can be useful, for example, if you’re trying to avoid tweeting about shows you don’t like or spoilers for TV shows.

To access Twitter’s mute settings in its mobile app, tap the Settings and Privacy option from the left navigation drawer. Then, enter Privacy and Security > Mute Words. To add a new entry, tap the Plus icon, type a word or phrase, select the area from which you want to disappear, configure the duration, and you’re good to go.

On your computer, activate the Twitter website. Go to Settings and Privacy from your profile > Content Preferences > Silent > Silent Words and add a filter.

How to Filter Comments on Facebook

Facebook also offers several comment filtering options. You have to manually set the list of words you want to block. Like Twitter, Facebook will hide matching comments completely from your timeline, not just from your posts.

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However, Facebook’s implementation is mostly barebones and you can’t access the settings from its mobile app either. At the time of writing, this is limited to websites.

To mute certain words on Facebook, log into your account. Tap the little down arrow in the top right corner, and hit Settings. Go to the Timeline and Tagging page, and click the Edit button next to the “Hide comments containing certain words from your timeline” option.

Now, add the words, phrases or even emojis that you want to hide from the comments section of each post. Facebook also allows you to upload CSV files too if you have a long list. When finished, click the Save Changes button.

How to Filter Comments on Social Media

There’s a limit to the number of words you can mute, and it’s hard to anticipate the kinds of toxic comments you’ll see online. So when the official tools of sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook fail, you need Google Tune.

Google Tune uses a variety of machine learning frameworks and lets you customize the toxicity of online comments you want to see. It works on various leading platforms including Disqus, YouTube, Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter. Since Google Tune supports Disqus, it is also available on most websites.

You can enable it to read every comment or turn it down to block all toxic comments. Leaving it somewhere in the middle allows you to skip comments that fall into categories like personal threats, insults, obscenities, and sexual harassment.

The Google Tune extension, for now, can only be installed on the Google Chrome desktop client. It’s free, however, and even though it’s in a trial phase, Google Tune delivers pretty accurate results.

To get started, you’ll need to download Google Tune from the Chrome Web Store. Once installed, sign in with your Google account and activate it for the sites you visit. If you are concerned about privacy, Google explicitly states that Tune does not store your personal data.

How to Turn Off All Online Comments

If you’re just looking for a quick way to turn off all online comments, try Close. This is a browser extension that can disable discussion on platforms like YouTube with the click of a button.

It remembers your preferences too so the next time you visit, you don’t have to set them again. Shut Up is available as an extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, and as an app for iOS.

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