New Facebook feature will change the way you make comments

Cesar Mills
February 10, 2018

Facebook has confirmed they're testing a new button that will allow users to "downvote" a comment.

Facebook is trialling a "downvote" button for a few users that allows them to signal if a comment is inappropriate or misleading.

On Thursday Facebook tested its new feature "downvote" with only 5% of the US English-speaking Android users.

Speaking at a town hall event in September 2015, Zuckerberg said he didn't want Facebook to turn into a place where people "upvoted" and "downvoted" comments.

Only a small group of users in the USA are testing it and if successful, the feature may be rolled out to all Facebook users.

Facebook appears to testing a new "downvote" button for comments.

To give users greater expression, Facebook introduced a raft of emoticons to express outrage, shock or affection on comments in February 2016.

For years, many of Facebook's two-billion users have campaigned for a "dislike" button, a feature which Facebook has repeatedly refused to address.

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"The company has confirmed the test but added it is only meant to be a method for flagging questionable comments on public posts", The Verge quoted a Facebook spokesperson as saying late on Thursday.

"We are not testing a dislike button", an unidentified spokesperson for the company said. The update was released to quell persistent demand for a dislike button. The data will be available to Facebook, and not the commenter or poster who submitted the content, in order for the social network's moderators and algorithms to determine "good" and "bad" posts.

It also suggests that Facebook is taking its role as a defacto news publisher and media company more seriously, despite the company insisting that it is simply a platform for sharing with no real responsibility for content.

How can Facebook promote meaningful interaction between users?

While this feature is making headlines, some people have linked this with Reddit's famous "Downvote" button.

It's designed as a way to give feedback to Facebook, not the commenter, and there will be no publicly visible count of how many downvotes a comment gets. Instead, the Silicon Valley company rolled out "reactions", a short range of emojis showing different emotions, in an effort to promote shorthand expressions of thoughts and feelings on posts and comments.

Like Reactions, clicking the downvote button brings up a set of options such as the aforementioned "offensive", "misleading", and "off Topic".

And yet, according to a thread on Reddit spotted by The Daily Beast reporter Taylor Lorenz, a version of that button has made its way into some users accounts.

Other reports by GizPress

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