- Facebook is testing a new feature, a “downvote” button that will help users flag content.
- 5% of English-speaking Android users will see the feature as it is tested.
- The feature is not at all the “Dislike” button many people have wanted Facebook to implement.
If you read this headline and thought that Facebook is going to start looking more like Reddit with upvotes and downvotes, unfortunately that is not the case. However, the “downvote” button Facebook is testing should help clean up some of the hateful comments and fake news posts that are currently wreaking havoc on the social media platform.
The downvote button will eventually appear in the area where you would normally “Like” a post or reply to a comment. By hitting the downvote button, you will be given a choice to flag the comment or post as “Offensive,” “Misleading,” or “Off-Topic.” If enough people downvote a particular comment, Facebook can then flag that post and its poster, and keep some sort of data running about who is consistently creating offensive material.
So, in a way, this is remarkably similar to the upvote/downvote structure of Reddit, except downvoting is not equivalent to the “Dislike” feature many people wish Facebook would introduce.
“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,” a Facebook spokesperson told MSN News.
According to Facebook, the feature test will affect about 5% of Android users who have “English” set as the default language in the app. The downvote button, for right now, only appears on public Page posts, not on Groups posts or those from individual users.
Two years ago this month, Facebook first expanded the Like button to include other emotions it referred to as Reactions: “Wow,” “Love,” “Haha,” “Sad,” and “Angry.” Perhaps the downvote button will eventually evolve to include more emotions as well? One thing is pretty much certain: we’re not going to see that “Dislike” button anytime soon.