Facebook has confirmed it is testing a downvote button that will allow users to hide and report inappropriate comments.
I know you’ve wanted a dislike button on Facebook for ages. But this is not Reddit, and you’re not getting one. What you are getting though – if Facebook rolls it out globally – is a downvote button. Currently being tested among a small set of users in the U.S., it offers users an easy way to hide and report comments they don’t want to see – either because they don’t find them interesting, or because they’re inappropriate.
The feature was recently confirmed to TechCrunch’s Josh Constine, who explained that the motivation behind it “is to create a lightweight way for people to provide a signal to Facebook that a comment is inappropriate, uncivil, or misleading.” But don’t get confused. It is NOT a dislike button, and Facebook is clear about that, saying,
[quote]We are not testing a dislike button. We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts.[/quote]
You wouldn’t think its a dislike button anyway, as it’s a downward-facing arrow. When you tap the downvote button under a comment, the comment is hidden and you can then specify why you’re hiding/reporting it by tapping on options like “Offensive,” “Misleading,” and “Off Topic.” Sure, we already have a “Hide” button on comments, but it isn’t immediately available right below.
The test will not currently affect the ranking of comments, posts, or Pages, and it’s there to give users a way to tell Facebook what they find acceptable or not, and there is no way for commenters to see how many time their comments were downvoted.
If you’re in the U.S. running Facebook set to English on an Android device you may be one of the lucky ones to see the feature. No news as to when or whether the downvote button will be released into the wild.