Facebook Takes Cue From Reddit By Testing a Downvote Button

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The new button is now being tested on a limited set of comment reels on public page posts, where it appears as a "downvote" option alongside the "like" and "reply" buttons. It throws up three more options - "Offensive", "Misleading", and "Off Topic" - to let a user specify why they chose to downvote something.

The test is reportedly only running for 5% of Android users in the USA, and while there are no plans to expand it further, it may eventually become a part of Facebook's commenting furniture.

Back in 2015, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg said: "We didn't want to just 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".

But it now appears Facebook is seriously considering introducing a new way for users to provide feedback on comments.

A dislike button or downvote has always been a rumoured new feature for Facebook.

It's imperative to remember that Facebook keeps testing out new features on subsets of its users, and doesn't always bring them to life for mass consumption.

As reported by The Daily Beast, Facebook has been quick to point out that this isn't a dislike button.

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In a statement, Facebook stresses: "We are not testing a dislike button". The downvote test, which is now limited to a handful of US users, looks to be a part of that.

Facebook has often acknowledged its complicity with active steps taken to ensure that the spread of fake news - a contributing factor in swaying the 2016 U.S. presidential election - and cyber bullying will not be tolerated.

"Facebook users aged 30 to 44 are the happiest about the change with 73% of them approving of the new icons, while those under 30 or over the age of 65 are the least happy about the change (58%)", YouGov Omnibus said.

The new feature is a downvote button that lives right underneath comments made on posts on the network that falls in line between the reply and thumbs up counter on the comments.

HOwever, the company did not say how many more engineers it would use.

One month later, Facebook began testing its set of reactions, before rolling out options to show empathy through "like", "love", "haha", "wow", "sad" and "angry" emoji. Would you upvote Facebook for its expansion or downvote the entire idea? That led Facebook to show fewer viral videos, which in turn contributed to a 700,000 user decrease in USA and Canada daily active users - its first decline ever anywhere - and Facebook's slowest DAU growth rate it's ever reported.

It seems that the downvote button is more of a moderation tool rather than a reaction tool.

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