Facebook is Testing A Downvote Button

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated July 10, 2021

Facebook is currently testing out a new feature which is presumably a 'downvote' button for the social media platform. It is worth noting that since the point of inception, Facebook only allowed its users to either like a content or ignore it. However, in that context, the 'downvote' functionality will not function as a 'dislike' feature but more so as a 'report' button.

Now, when considering 'downvoting' (or upvoting), most of us think about the social news aggregator - Reddit. The feature is intrinsic to its proper functioning which allows users to actively take part in the ranking of comments and posts on the platform.  In this regard, Facebook’s new feature bearing the same name holds distinct dissimilarities. First of all, the option is only limited to comments and posts. Secondly, it’s only intended function is “for people to give us [Facebook] feedback about comments on public page posts.

As Android Police reports, more thought could have been given to providing the option with a better-suited name. As per reports, when clicked or tapped, the 'downvote' button will hide the corresponding comment and ask the user to select specific categories in accordance to the comment being either offensive, misleading, or off-topic.

Twitter - Facebook Dislike Button Functionality

Image Courtesy of Twitter

Taking all this into consideration, it is currently unclear as to why the social media giant is considering this new functionality for its platform. For example, users already had access to a plethora of emojis from happy to angry which allowed them to express their thoughts on a particular comment. Furthermore, if Facebook is really taking hints from Reddit, then it's worth noting that the later is primarily a News aggregation website, as mentioned earlier, whereas Facebook is a platform where friends and family connect with each other. So clearly, this ‘downvote’ button will have a different impact than how it works with Reddit.

As of now, this functionality is in the testing phase and being rolled out to users in Australia, New Zealand, and some parts of the US.

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