Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Facebook Downvote Button in Testing Lets Users Flag Comments

Facebook Downvote Button in Testing Lets Users Flag Comments

A Facebook spokesperson said that the reason behind the new feature is to let people signal to the moderators that a comment is inappropriate, uncivil, or misleading.

"We are not testing a dislike button", a Facebook spokesperson told Tech Crunch.

Meaning, when a user "downvotes" they're pushing the content lower in a feed, not just disagreeing with the posted content.

When a downvote button is tapped, it hides a comment and few reporting options appear allowing users to click "Offensive", "Misleading" or "Off Topic". For now, Facebook is testing this option with limited users.

The new feature enables users to downrank comments, a first time Facebook has tested a feature that's the equivalent to a "dislike" button.

Still, Facebook created some confusion with the test feature by naming it "downvote". It's part of a short-term test that won't affect rankings of comments, posts, or pages.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is determined to change the platform by prioritizing posts and organizing the information to make Facebook more "meaningful" to family and friends. He wants to do this by "protecting our community from abuse and hate" and "making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent".

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Is the social network about to empower tormentors?

In 2016, the social networking giant gave users the option of choosing from a collection of emojis called "Reactions" to respond to posts with more nuanced emotions than "like".

The new reaction gives users the opportunity to downvote someone's post; testing began Thursday, WSOC reported. Share in comments with us about your opinion on the "downvote" option.

But as with any Facebook experiment, it might never see the light of day for wider audiences.

However, people are already questioning whether adding a downvote button is a good idea.

Back in the early days of Facebook, users could react to posts by "Liking" them, but that was the only thing they could do.

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