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I get these updates on my Facebook feed saying John GuyYouKnow commented on the following link: insert stupid link here.

Naturally I am now curious what my friend said about that stupid link. So I click on the comments, only to find out there are about 30,000 of them. There is no way I'm finding my friend's comment in there. So why did Facebook even bother to notify me? Or am I missing something... is there a way to locate that comment easily?

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When you click on the notification, what does the URL look like? Is there a comment_id=..... in the URL? –  karancan Jul 22 '13 at 22:55

2 Answers 2

The only way I managed was by showing a sufficient number of comments by clicking on "View previous comments" multiple times. Then press CTRL+A to select all, open notepad, CTRL+V to paste into notepad. Now you can search your friend's name using CTRL+F in notepad.

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+1 for the answer, although it is not practical at all (not your fault), and pretty impossible to use if there are like 100,000+ comments. –  The111 Apr 9 '13 at 8:32
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No need for the copy/paste step - just search straight in the browser. –  jontyc Jun 12 '13 at 4:25

You can do this using the Facebook Graph API explorer:

  1. Go to the page of the link you wish to analyze the comments for (not your News Feed, the page's Timeline, or anything else). This can be done by clicking on the timestamp of the post. Here is an example off of Facebook's official page/timeline: A screenshot of a post on Facebook's Facebook timeline

  2. The URI of the page should be in this format. Note the postID part. It should be all numbers. If there are any extra characters such as ? or # following it, just copy the numeric part.

    https://www.facebook.com/pagename/posts/postID

  3. Open the Graph API explorer.

  4. Ensure that the dropdown menu says GET. Beside that menu, there is a box containing your user ID along with some parameters. Replace the contents of that box with the post ID you just copied. A screenshot of the URI bar in Facebook Graph Explorer

  5. Submit the box. The page will reload with the details of the "node" showing in the results pane.

  6. On the box to the left of the results pane, click the + button beneath Node.

  7. Click comments in the connections group. This tells the graph API that you only want to see the comments associated with this node (along with the ID, which is returned with every request).

  8. Underneath comments, you can click sub-options for this field by choosing from an indented dropdown list: Selecting fields to display with Facebook Graph Explorer

  9. For simplicity, let's just select three fields: limit, from, and message. You may play around with the other options if you wish (it's certainly a very interesting tool!)

  10. Resubmit the form. Note that the results panel now shows ten comments associated with the node (aka the shared link, or the "graph item").

  11. To show more than ten comments, change the parameter (number inside the brackets) of the limit field. I wouldn't recommend going over 1500, maybe less if you're on a slower connection.

  12. Resubmit the form to see the first x comments of the node.

  13. To show the next y comments, add .offset(y) into the URI of the API call, where y is the number you want to start from. So for instance, if I'm retrieving 1000 comments at a time and I want to show comments 3000 through 4000, my limit would be 1000 and my offset would be 3000. I've had problems with small limits and large offsets, so if you have an issue where no data is retrieved then try submitting again or increasing your limit. enter image description here

  14. At any point you can submit the form and do a CTRL+F for your friend's name and look at the message field associated with the comment in the results pane. The message is the one underneath (it's fairly evident with the curly brackets and indenting).

There might even be a way to do query only comments from a certain name using FQL, but I haven't explored that far yet into the Facebook Graph API Explorer.

Hope this helps!

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Up vote for the detail and for teaching me something new –  karancan Jul 22 '13 at 22:09
    
With help from this post, I was able to get this far re FQL: SELECT text FROM comment where post_id = <post's fbid as above> and fromid = <your friend's fbid>. This does not always work. I suspect that when it fails, it does so because of some combination of access token and permissions issue. –  Leo Dec 2 '13 at 3:33

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