Published: Fri 02 Mar 2018

Facebook: The Theory of the Great Purge

Some thoughts on the great purge that happens every now and then, also known as "I'm removing anyone who hasn't commented on my Facebook posts recently".

Mark Conroy Facebook Cover Image from Halloween 2015

Every now and then, quite often actually, I come across someone on my Facebook wall (I rarely use Facebook these days) saying they are going to purge a load of "friends" because these friends obviously have no interest in being part of the poster's conversation. Here's a few thoughts (adapted from a comment I left on a recent purge notice).

If people don't comment on your posts, it's not necessarily because they don't like you or don't want to comment. It's often because they do not see your posts - Facebook's algorithm decides who sees what.

For example, the comment I left was on the first post of of this particular poster that I had seen in about a year. That's not my fault - I can't control what posts of theirs Facebook decides to show me. I reckon a lot will see that particular post, because Facebook won't want them to reduce their friend list - that's bad for Facebook's business model.

I often see people saying they are going to remove friends who don't comment on their posts (almost no one comments on my posts), but you have to remember, it's probably not your (Facebook) friends' fault; they probably simply didn't see them.

So, before you go for the next purge, and start getting annoyed with people for not interacting on your wall, think who might be to blame for the silence. It's probably not your friends.

If you like what I write, you might like to follow me on Twitter @markconroy

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