Facebook is testing “downvote button”, not “dislike button” for flagging down abusive comments

Clicking the downvote button hides the comment for the user, and asks whether it was "offensive", "misleading" or "off topic"

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  3. Facebook is testing “downvote button”, not “dislike button” for flagging down abusive comments

Highlights

    • Facebook testing a “downvote button” to hide abusive comment
    • The feature is being tested on a small set of Android users
    • It is not a “dislike” button

Facebook seems to be testing a new feature that will allow users to report comments that are abusive. Apparently, a new “downvote” button appeared on the social media platform that let users put a negative reaction to comments on Facebook.

Some users took to Twitter to report about the new feature that showed up in the posts comment section on ‘public Facebook pages’. Clicking the downvote button hides the comment for the user, and then asks whether the comment was “offensive”, “misleading” or “off topic”.

In case you are wondering if its a ‘dislike button’, its not, at least that is what Facebook is saying. So don’t get carried away yet.

We are not testing a dislike button,” the company said in an email. “We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts,” the company said.

But the Silicon Valley company did confirm that it is conducting a test of the feature on few Android users.

Over the past few years, there has been an ongoing debate about a dislike button to be put on the social media platform that would partake the like button but it didn’t take concrete form. Facebook instead pitched “Reactions” that gave users a wide range of expressions besides the pervasive thumbs-up button.

Notably, the “downvote button” won’t be similar to that of the “Like button” or “Reactions”. While the Like button or Reactions is intended to put an open expression against a post, the downvote button won’t provide feedback to ‘commenters’ instead it will be sent directly to Facebook.

The company said, “The intention is to give users a way to flag inappropriate, uncivil or misleading comments.”

Facebook is taking new measures to prioritise posts and is putting emphasis on showing content that drives the most meaningful interactions. Reports have speculated that this moderate feature from Facebook is somewhat similar to Reddit’s downvoting option. However, this option on Reddit can further disrate ‘questionable content’ in the comments section. The Verge points out that with this feature Facebook might be able to gather data and insight into the types of discussions users would find interesting and further understand the tone and content of comments that float to the top.