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Facebook tests ‘downvote’ button for feedback on comments

Atheer – External Sources

Facebook is trying out a feature that allows users to mark comments as offensive or misleading.

Although for over a decade Facebook has only offered users the ability to ‘like’ posts, it is now testing a new feature that allows for a negative reaction to comments, with a button called ‘downvote.’

The goal, Facebook has said, according to Cnet.com, is to allow people to weigh in on comments that others leave on public pages. When selected, the button offers reporting options such offensive, misleading and off topic.

“We are not testing a dislike button,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts.”

The move marks yet another way in which Facebook is hoping to spur more interaction on its site and keep users happy. Offering easy ways for people to mark comments as offensive and misleading may help quell users’ concerns about harassment.

Facebook’s efforts also answer people’s long-running response to the thumbs-up ‘like’ button, which was introduced in 2009. While the feature allows users to express their approval over a post or photo, some have complained that it was too limiting.

“Not every moment is a good moment,” said Facebook’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg back in 2015. He said that he realises that people may not want to ‘like’ a current event, however at the time, he didn’t want users to merely vote up or down on people’s posts.

The answer was a set of emojis, which the company released in 2016. The reactions expanded options to a laughing face, an angry face, a ‘wow,’ a sad face and a heart.

Unlike the ‘like’ button or ‘reactions,’ the downvote button isn’t about giving feedback to commenters but rather to Facebook. The intention is to give users a way to flag inappropriate, uncivil or misleading comments, Facebook said. It doesn’t affect a comment’s ranking, and users won’t even see how many people downvoted a comment.
Facebook said there are currently no plans to expand the feature.

Facebook is currently only testing this feature in the US.

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