+3
Answered

Facebook Comment Mirroring

Henry M. Lopez 10 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 3 weeks ago 8

TownNews support says it can't help me and referred me to Facebook, but as you all know, that's a black hole. Well, I have mirroring set up correctly as far as I can tell. The comments originating on my FB page and my site page show up in the moderation panel but the site comments from my site don't make it to FB nor vice versa. I think this has something to do with the way TN forms it urls. I notice in my moderation panel a url might be http://www.santafenewmexican.com/tncms/asset/editorial/6f4e907b-a7b2-5f94-acb5-00044cdd1e52/ but a front end user sees http://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/letters-to-the-editor-march/article_6f4e907b-a7b2-5f94-acb5-00044cdd1e52.html for the same asset.


I'm throwing out the Bat signal. Someone, be brilliant, help me out.


—Henry

+1
Under review

Hi Henry!


We are actually still actively investigating this. Yes, we think you are right that Facebook is tying their comments specifically to the URL, and we use the "permanent" section/title-agnostic URL in BLOX.


However, if we change that, and use the "true" asset URL, it means that any time you change the story section or title, the URL changes, and all of the comments are lost. This happened to several of our customers and it was clearly an unacceptable situation. Using the permanent URL fixes that.


Now that Facebook is offering comment mirroring, we have had this question a few times. Unfortunately, if we fix it and pass the "true" URL that Facebook recognizes, then you will be unable to change article sections or titles (if you have the "titles in URLs" option turned on).


As far as I can tell right now, according to the documentation, there is no way to pass an ID or another identification method to Facebook which isn't the URL.


All that being said, we are still trying to determine if there is a way to fix this. We have a few theories, which we are discussing, but none are really easy at this point, and require software changes.


I will also say, as a side note, that we tested having an identical URL on one site and it actually didn't fix comment mirroring either, so even if we figure this out, it isn't guaranteed to work! Just a note of caution.


Anyway, we just spoke about this at a meeting last week, so I will ask if anyone has had a chance to experiment more on this. Thanks!

This is something we set up also but never saw it working.

Ditto for one of our sites using the mirroring. It simply didn't work, despite the little message beneath comment forms on both FB and Blox saying it would be cross-posted.

Thank you Christine. I appreciate the response. I hope we can figure out something in this instance. I think we all appreciate the potential in being able to have the conversation happening in multiple places.


If I can be of help, let me know. I'm glad to see that we're on the same path regarding the urls.


Michael and Nick, if you fellas have any insight, please do share.


One question for Christine. By what mechanism is the permanent url currently being passed to FB. When I look at the source code, I don't see references to the "permanent" url there (unless I missed it of course.)


—HML

>> One question for Christine. By what mechanism is the permanent url currently being passed to FB. When I look at the source code, I don't see references to the "permanent" url there (unless I missed it of course.)


It is the data-href property.

Thanks, Christine.

Please let me know if your team has explored this. What it seems to me the problem is that there is a discrepancy between what we are passing to Facebook through the og:url tag and separately through the data-href property. And that the solution would be to pass the same information in both places, giving Facebook a clear relationship between how we are identifying the page and the comments data, which we are currently identifying as different entities.

If I got to a random page on my site: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/local_columns/skandera-snow-day-both-all-wet/article_fcfc74e3-f717-504d-85a9-ee4b6de4b559.html

The og:url property is:

<meta property="og:url" content="http://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/local_columns/skandera-snow-day-both-all-wet/article_fcfc74e3-f717-504d-85a9-ee4b6de4b559.html" />

I can go in to Facebook debugger and verify it as such.

Meanwhile the comments box identifies the same page using the permanent url: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/tncms/asset/editorial/fcfc74e3-f717-504d-85a9-ee4b6de4b559/

It seems to me that it's a case of mistaken identity and FB can't match the pages.

I take your point about the name-in-url function. So, it seems to me what we want to do is output the exact same information in the og:url property as the data-href property with a different construction.

To eliminate the changing variable of the title, we don't output it in this instance. The url construction for data-href and og:url should be [domain.com]+[article id]+[.html] instead of [domain.com]+[category]+[subcategory]+[articleid]+[html]

In this protocol you could change your title as often as you like and it wouldn't matter since the og:url and data-href wouldn't be affected since the title doesn't appear.

This doesn't change your canonical url for google and it still allows for Google to read the title via the <title> tag while allowing Facebook to read og:title for its purposes.

I'm of course assuming that the Blox CMS can output a custom url for the asset. This would then identify the instance of the page and the instance of the comments box are the same. That would fill the gap in FB's identification. Right?

Let me know your thoughts.
HML

Thanks, Christine.

Please let me know if your team has explored this. What it seems to me the problem is that there is a discrepancy between what we are passing to Facebook through the og:url tag and separately through the data-href property. And that the solution would be to pass the same information in both places, giving Facebook a clear relationship between how we are identifying the page and the comments data, which we are currently identifying as different entities.


If I got to a random page on my site: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/local_columns/skandera-snow-day-both-all-wet/article_fcfc74e3-f717-504d-85a9-ee4b6de4b559.html


The og:url property is:

<meta property="og:url" content="http://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/local_columns/skandera-snow-day-both-all-wet/article_fcfc74e3-f717-504d-85a9-ee4b6de4b559.html" />

I can go in to Facebook debugger and verify it as such.

Meanwhile the comments box identifies the same page using the permanent url: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/tncms/asset/editorial/fcfc74e3-f717-504d-85a9-ee4b6de4b559/

It seems to me that it's a case of mistaken identity and FB can't match the pages.

I take your point about the name-in-url function. So, it seems to me what we want to do is output the exact same information in the og:url property as the data-href property with a different construction.

To eliminate the changing variable of the title, we don't output it in this instance. The url construction for data-href and og:url should be [domain.com]+[article id]+[.html] instead of [domain.com]+[category]+[subcategory]+[articleid]+[html]

In this protocol you could change your title as often as you like and it wouldn't matter since the og:url and data-href wouldn't be affected since the title doesn't appear.

This doesn't change your canonical url for google and it still allows for Google to read the title via the <title> tag while allowing Facebook to read og:title for its purposes.

I'm of course assuming that the Blox CMS can output a custom url for the asset. This would then identify the instance of the page and the instance of the comments box are the same. That would fill the gap in FB's identification. Right?

Let me know your thoughts.
HML



Answered

Just FYI... unfortunately Comment Mirroring is being deprecated at Facebook, per this post: https://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/2017/11/07/changes-developer-offerings/


I think we had basically figured out that this wasn't working because Facebook wasn't fully following our redirects (though they do for "likes") but I assume that will not be fixed now.


Let me know if you have any questions or if you have any updated information.