The ability to “hide” a comment, as compared to deleting a comment, on Facebook has been around for a while, however Facebook users are still unsure of what it does. Does it hide it just so that you can’t see it? Does it hide it from all users? We explain, as well as explaining the difference between hiding a comment and deleting it.
First, in case you aren’t familiar with the options to hide or delete a comment on Facebook, you access those options by hovering over the three little dots next to the comment:
This will cause these options to pop up:
Moreover, you can also hide comments by others on other people’s timelines (but you can’t delete them, you can only do that on your own timeline).
So, what does hiding a comment actually do?
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If you hide a comment on your own timeline, you will no longer see that comment or any replies to it. In general, your friends will no longer be able to see it either.
However, the person who posted the comment will still be able to see it, so they will have no idea that you hid it. Moreover, their friends will still be able to see it and reply to it. That means that any friends that you have in common will still be able to see that hidden comment (not realizing that it is hidden), as well as reply to it.
If you hide a comment on somebody else’s timeline, it will only be hidden from you, as will be any replies to that comment.
Basically, hiding a comment on somebody else’s timeline enables “out of sight, out of mind” for you only.
Hiding a comment on your own timeline enables “out of sight, out of mind” for you, and for any of your Facebook friends who are not also the Facebook friends of the person who posted the hidden comment.
Hiding a comment on your own timeline also stops notifications to you regarding that comment thread.
You can also ‘unhide’ a hidden comment – Facebook puts 3 dots as a placeholder where the comment was hidden, and mousing (trackpadding?) over those dots pops up the option to unhide it.
It also gives you the option to reply to the hidden comment.
Now, alternatively, you can delete a comment from your Facebook timeline. That completely removes it, and nobody will see it – not you, not your friends, not the person who posted the comment, and not their friends. BUT, the person who posted the comment will know that you deleted it. So will anybody who replied to their comment.
Each option has its merits, and its downsides, so it pays to take a moment or two to think about what you are trying to accomplish by hiding or deleting a comment.
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