How to Keep Posts With Foul Language Off of Your Facebook
By David Weedmark
Although Facebook has strict guidelines on some types of content, foul language is not monitored or even discouraged on personal Timelines. If you find someone is swearing or using inappropriate language, you have several options for removing the content from your news feed. These choices range from hiding individual posts to blocking people from your feed and preventing them from interacting with you on Facebook. If you have a Facebook business page, you can automatically filter out foul language from posts by using your Page's Moderation and Profanity Blocklists.
Hiding Individual Posts
If you are find an occasional post from someone who uses inappropriate language, you can hide the post from your news feed so that you won't see it again. To do this, click the small "Arrow" located in the upper right corner of the post. A drop-down menu opens with a "Hide" option. When you click it, the post disappears. If the post came from a page, you can then select the "Hide All Posts" option. If it is a friend's Timeline, you can choose to limit the posts you see to "Important" posts only.
Unfriending or Unliking
If a Facebook friend or a page you have liked continues to post foul language, you may want to consider sending a message asking the person to stop. If this doesn't stop the problem, consider unfriending the person or, in the case of a Facebook page, unliking the page. To unfriend someone, go to the person's Timeline, hover the mouse over the Friend button and then select "Unfriend." You can unlike a page the same way by hovering the mouse over the Liked button and selecting "Unlike."
Blocking and Reporting
Sometimes there may be more behind foul language than bad manners. In this case, you may prefer to block or report the person to Facebook. Blocking someone prevents you from seeing his activity while preventing him from seeing yours. Facebook does not have a policy on foul language, but it does have strict policies on pornography, threats, spam, bullying and graphic violence. You can report someone for any of these violations, and you can block him. To report a single post, click the "Arrow" beside the post to find the "Report" option. To report or block a person or page, click the "Gear" button beside the Message button on the person's Timeline or page.
Changing Your Mind
When you decide to hide posts or block someone, you can undo this later if you change your mind. To unhide posts from Pages or Apps, hover the mouse over the "News Feed" link in the left menu of your homepage, click the "Pencil" icon that appears and select "Edit Settings." All of the Apps and Pages you have hidden from your Timeline are displayed. To remove a Page from the blocked list, click the "X" beside its name and then click "Save." To review who you have blocked, click the "Gear" icon in the upper right corner of any Facebook page, select "Privacy Settings" and then click the "Blocking" option in the left menu. Everyone you have blocked is listed with an "Unblock" option beside each name.
If you have a business page on Facebook, you can take proactive measures to eliminate foul language on your page. Just click the "Edit Page" link and select "Edit Settings" to find the options. Here, you can change the Profanity Blocklist menu to "Medium" or "Strong." Facebook automatically blocks the most common profanity deemed offensive by the general Facebook community from your page. You can also add specific words or phrases by typing them in the "Moderation Blocklist" text field, separating every word or phrase with a comma. Posts using those specific words won't appear on your page.
Information in this article applies to Facebook as it functioned in April 2013. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.
A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.