I want to be a Facebook historical revisionist
November 3, 2012 7:41 PM   Subscribe

Facebook riddle: How do I remove all of MY comments on the posts of a local politician?

So for the past couple of years I have regularly made comments on the Facebook posts of one of my local political representatives, a Tea Partier who often posts inaccurate and misleading statements as conversation starters. Being easily trolled as I am, I often try to set the record straight. I am always polite but also strong in my disagreements.* To the credit of this politician, FB comments that disagree with his policies are not deleted from her page.

Now, I find myself wanting to launch a public initiative that will require his support. And I think he might support the initiative, and I don't want those FB comments to get in the way. I am pretty certain that he does not manage his FB page himself, and I think if I removed all the comments and waited six months, no one would remember or connect the comments to me.

How, though, do I delete all my FB comments on his posts over two years? How do I even find them? Google brings me direction on how to delete a single comment, but I can't even find the comments I have made on his posts. I did try Fplorer.com and it did show me all my comments on his posts, but they were not clickable--I could not go to and delete them.

Serves me right I guess--but can I fix this?

*I had no choice but to make these comments. Someone was wrong on the internet.
posted by LarryC to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Unfortunately, I would not assume that there's some simple answer you're overlooking. I generally take it as axiomatic that any obvious-sounding way to protect your privacy/reputation on Facebook just doesn't exist as a feature.
posted by threeants at 7:49 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm almost completely certain that the only way to do this easily would be to delete your account. And that might not work (I never bothered to check the last time someone I knew deleted themselves.)

You could go through his page (assuming the timeline shows everything) and match each of the comments you see on Fplorer to its location on his page. It'd take ages - possibly more time than it took you to read his original statements, write up replies, and click "post" (collectively.)
posted by SMPA at 8:09 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is this a personal page, or a "fan" page?

If it's a personal page, did you get email notifications when people commented after you? (i.e., "Sally Smith also commented on Politician Paul's status") If so, you could check through your email for that.

But I suspect this is a fan page, where you won't get those updates, or maybe you have email notifications off. Short of clicking through all of his posts, I'm afraid I don't know of any way to delete those comments easily. Even the "see friendship" feature (which only works for personal pages anyway) only shows you posts you made directly on each others' walls. Comments on status updates, etc. don't appear.

If it's a fan page, you could maybe change your name to Joe Schmoe, change your hometown/college etc., and set your privacy as tight as you can. Make it so nobody aside from your friends can see anything about you. That way the politican probably won't make the link. (Though, not having ever managed a fan page, I don't know if the page owner has the same access to your account that regular friends do, or if they're basically just considered "general public".)

Finally, there is the atomic bomb version: give your current account a fake name, fake location, delete your friends and all content. Of course this requires you to re-start your Facebook life from zero.

(Even if you delete your account, I *think* that your name still shows up on old comments, just not as a "clickable" link. [Not 100% sure about this though.] I think it's safer to just change the account name.)
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 8:15 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

maybe change your privacy settings so that no one, or just your friends, can see what you post
posted by cupcake1337 at 8:16 PM on November 3, 2012

(Oh, I guess *easiest* would be to change your account to a fake name, THEN delete the account.)
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 8:24 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Miss_kitty brings up an excellent point sort of: even if you can delete the comments, whoever set up the account would likely have access to the notification emails from your posts. So you can risk it and assume they just won't remember you, but I think either way they will figure it out.
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:34 PM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

don't you think that if you just delete, like, even a few months worth of comments and then wait 6 months, no one will be any wiser for it? I mean, maybe I'm underestimating the passion and the detail-orientedness of random political campaign workers who run Facebook pages, but I just doubt they have the time or the concern to check everyone who deals with this representative out on social media. They are not going to be searching for your name through months of Facebook comments to see if you ever said anything against this person.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:45 PM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Go to your timeline, and click on the "Activity Log" button that appears underneath the your cover photo.

On your Activity Log page, click on the "Post and Apps" button in the upper right, and pick "Comments" from the dropdown menu.

You should be now looking a list of every comment you've ever left on other people's updates. You can delete comments by clicking on the little circles at the end of each line.

That's the best I can give you. You might have to scroll through a lot of comments to find the ones you want, but it's probably faster than hand-searching the politician's page.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 8:46 PM on November 3, 2012 [15 favorites]

Best answer: If you delete your account, your comments should vanish, or at least they used to. I know this because my mother deleted her account, and all her comments from my pictures vanished.

However, I think you are inventing a problem that doesn't exist. If your initiative is politically advantageous to the politician, he won't care if most of your comments were personally insulting to his mother. Politicians spend their lives building short term alliances with people they hated the week before. It's in the job description.
posted by COD at 9:02 PM on November 3, 2012 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks, Faster. With the comments window you directed me to open one tab and my Florer.com search in the other, I was able to hunt down and delete about 8 months worth of snark. It will be another 6 months or a year before I am ready to approach the politician with the project, so I think I have sufficient cover. And COD is probably right that it might not be that big a deal.
posted by LarryC at 11:44 PM on November 3, 2012

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