Online harassment has been an issue for about as long as online communication has existed. Facebook is known for taking measures to combat abuse and bullying on its platform, and it seems the social network is working on another feature to that end. You may soon be able to block comments containing specified words, phrases, or emoji from appearing on your timeline.
According to a screen grab shared by Jane Wong on Twitter, the in-development feature would let you choose words, strings of words, and even emoji that you don't want to appear in comments on your timeline. Comments containing those terms will show up for the people who posted them and their friends, but other users won't see them. Such an approach to blocking content could prevent offending commenters from trying to circumvent moderation by letting them think their comment was posted successfully.
Facebook is working on letting users to ban words/phrases/emojis from showing up on their personal timelines
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) November 27, 2018
Aside from the obvious application of blocking rude and combative comments by, for example, disallowing comments containing profanity, the feature could be handy for stopping your aunt from turning every post about your cat into a political debate. Let's hope this paves the way for manually filtering terms out of our news feeds.