Facebook’s Reddit-like ‘Downvote’ Button Rolls out to Additional Users


Back in February Facebook confirmed that they were trialling a new upvoting/downvoting system for public comments, similar to that used by Reddit, with a select group of users in the US. Despite some criticism from users who dislike the addition due to its potential to be used in a negative fashion or concentrated against undeserving individuals as a form of abuse, Facebook are trusting their user-base to use the feature in the way it was intended rather than a form of ‘dislike’ button, which they insist it is not.

Rather Facebook insist that the new feature is being added with the intention of “supporting better comments” by highlighting comments deemed to be “helpful or insightful”. They are hoping that this will improve public discourse on the platform and create a safer, more enjoyable environment for users.

“Our hope is that this feature will make it easier for us to create such spaces, by ranking the comments that readers believe deserve to rank highest, rather than the comments that get the strongest emotional reaction,” a spokesman for Facebook told the BBC.

Based on the emergence of the new buttons in various tweeted screenshots, we can assert that the newly expanded trial appears to be taking place throughout New Zealand and some parts of Australia. There is no word as of yet on when the feature will be rolled out on a global scale, or indeed if it ever will be, so for now we will have to wait and see. I do have my doubts however; the internet has long been home to trolling and abuse, and I expect the individuals who carry out such acts to take to this new avenue of expressing disapproval with glee.

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