Facebook tests a “Downvote” button to flag irrelevant comments

by Alice Woods - -

Facebook answers the request for “Dislike” button with “Downvote” button

Facebook tests downvote button

A spokesperson for Facebook social network confirmed the “Downvote” button[1] to be created and currently being tested by a small group of users in the US. Millions of active Facebook users accepted the news with applause as they equalize the new button with the long-awaited “Dislike” button. However, that's not the same.

“Downvote” flags comments for moderation

Facebook denied the rumors that the new feature that is currently being tested is similar to “Dislike” button.[2] In fact, the social network is not planning to release a “Dislike” button, ever, and there are some serious grounds on such a decision. Facebook points out that:

We [Facebook] 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.

Facebook and other social networks are getting more and more infamous for being a medium for bullying,[3] racism, sexism, and other scorns that pushes people into depression or, more worse, suicide. The upcoming “Downvote” button is expected to help Facebook detect and remove inappropriate comments easily.

Initially found in Reddit, “Downvote” button can help Facebook's team prevent bullies and frauds[4] from rampaging because Facebook users will be able to mark content (comments, not posts) as “Offensive,” “Misleading,” and “Off Topic.”

The biggest difference between the upcoming “Downvote” button and preferred, but not planned, “Dislike” button is visibility to Facebook's community. A dislike button would give a thumbs-down to particular comment that you don't like and, just like it's opposite “Like” button, it would be visible to everyone seeing the same content. In contrast, downvoting will be invisible to both community and the author of the post/comment. The number of downvotes will be visible to Facebook's moderators.

Currently, the new Facebook's feature is tested by a small group of users located in the US. If they click the “Downvote” button next to someone's comment, the comment disappears, but only the person who clicked it cannot see the comment, at least until Facebook checks it and decides otherwise.

The decision to release a button that in some way resembles a preferred “Dislike” button was made with an intention to generate more meaningful interaction. In other words, the Downvoting feature would let Facebook rank the comments by ensuring the most interesting ones positioned at the top of the post. Downvoted posts would eventually disappear from the list. If it would turn out that one Facebooks user keeps posting the irrelevant comments, he or she may even be banned from Facebook.[5]

Facebook does no expatiate on whether the new feature is going to reach a wide audience or not, but, in case of success, it should be fully prepared within a half of the year.

“Dislike” button will never happen

Facebook's community should stop craving for “Dislike” button. Facebook officially announced that it's not going to happen, ever. In 2015 CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to probably one of the most frequently asked questions about a due date of the Dislike button saying:

We didn’t want just to build a Dislike button because we don’t want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts. That doesn’t seem like the kind of community we want to create.

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Shares the knowledge about computer protection

Alice Woods is a security expert who specializes in cyber threat investigation and analysis. Her mission on Ugetfix - to share the knowledge and help users to protect their computers from malicious programs.

Contact Alice Woods
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References