Finally, Facebook users will be able to show their disapproval for contents other users post on the platform. Business insider reports that the social network is testing a very high in demand feature: adding a “downvote” button to the list of reactions for a post.
— Christina Hudler (@officialhudler) February 8, 2018
Certain users in the U.S. began to see a “downvote” option on some comments today. Facebook confirmed that it is presently testing the feature with 5% of android users in the U.S., in order to know whether certain comments were inappropriate.
The downvote button seems to look like that of Reddit. And Twitter users were quick to point out that it functioned the same way as Reddit’s in affecting how comments would be ordered. Facebook however explained that downvoting comments would not affect how comments are ordered or displayed.
Facebook downvote button is not a dislike function
Contrary to what some users think, Facebook is not testing the downvote as a “dislike reaction”. Facebook emphasised that “we are not testing a dislike button. We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts. This is running for a small set of people in the U.S. only.”
Importantly too, the company said it has no plans of expanding the test group any further for now.
How does the downvote work?
Here’s how the downvote system works, according to information from Twitter. When a user chooses to “downvote” a comment, the user gets to choose from a list of pre-selected options about the decision; similar to how surveys and reporting a comment works. When a comment is downvoted by a user, it is hidden from that user.
Here’s what Facebook shows you when you downvote a comment
h/t @hudlersocial pic.twitter.com/zH7lD4O8Rw
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) February 8, 2018
Facebook had never wanted a voting system
The downvote feature comes as a surprise somewhat. For long, Facebook had never wanted a voting system. In 2016, a Facebook executive said a dislike button “had been rejected on the grounds that it would sow too much negativity.”
But with the vulnerability of the platform to fake news, coupled with Facebook’s inability to tackle it, a downvote system appears to be the logical alternative.
Even though the intention of the feature is clear, it relies on users’ vote. Meanwhile, Facebook knows all too well that its users cannot be relied upon completely.
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