Fb confirms take a look at of a downvote button for flagging feedback


How can Fb promote significant interplay between customers? By letting them downvote inappropriate feedback to cover them. Fb is now testing a downvote button on a restricted set of public Web page submit remark reels, the corporate confirms to TechCrunch. However what Fb does with indicators about problematic feedback may elevate new questions on censorship, and its position as a information editor and media firm.

A Fb spokesperson tells TechCrunch Fb that the motivation behind the downvote button is to create a light-weight approach for folks to offer a sign to Fb remark is inappropriate, uncivil, or deceptive.

Right here’s the assertion Fb supplied: “We’re not testing a dislike button. We’re exploring a function for folks to provide us suggestions about feedback on public web page posts. That is operating for a small set of individuals within the U.S. solely.”

That is what the downvote button seems to be like up shut:


When tapped, the downvote button hides a remark, and provides customers extra reporting choices like “Offensive”, “Deceptive”, and “Off Subject”. These may assist Fb determine if the remark is objectionable, a type of “faux information”, or simply irrelevant. Fb already has a “Conceal” button for feedback, but it surely’s normally hidden behind the drop-down arrow on feedback relatively than instantly clickable.

Right here you’ll be able to see the downvote button on a remark thread, plus what occurs while you click on it. The screenshots come from Christina Hudler.

In keeping with Fb, this can be a short-term take a look at that doesn’t have an effect on the rating of the remark, submit, or Web page. It’s designed as a approach to give suggestions to Fb, not the commenter, and there will probably be no publicly seen rely of what number of downvotes a remark will get. The take a look at is operating for five% of Android customers within the U.S. with language set to English. The downvote button solely seems on public Web page posts, not on posts by Teams, public figures or customers. There’s at the moment no plan to increase the take a look at as is.

Not A Dislike Button

A dislike button has lengthy been essentially the most requested Fb function, however Fb has by no means given in.

Again in 2015, CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to a Q&A query about it, saying:

“We didn’t need to simply construct a Dislike button as a result of we don’t need to flip Fb right into a discussion board the place persons are voting up or down on folks’s posts. That doesn’t appear to be the sort of neighborhood we need to create.”

As a substitute, Fb constructed the Reactions choices that allow you to reply to posts and feedback with love, wow, haha, unhappy or offended emoji. Fb additionally constructed reactions into Messenger with the choice to provide messages a thumbs-up or thumbs-down so you can present settlement or disagreement.

However the brand new downvote button is the closest Fb has come to truly giving folks a dislike button. Downvoting was popularized on Reddit for crowdsourcedcomment rating. Reddit co-founder Alexi Ohanian weighed in on Fb’s model through Twitter:

The downvote button ties in with Fb’s latest push to improve its customers’ well-being by prioritizing Information Feed content material that drives significant interactions as a substitute of passive, zombie searching. That led Fb to indicate fewer viral movies, which in flip contributed to a 700,000 person lower in U.S. and Canada each day energetic customers — its first decline ever anyplace — and Fb’s slowest DAU progress price it’s ever reported.

However a method Fb may generate extra significant interplay with out dropping time on web site might be by making certain essentially the most attention-grabbing feedback are on the prime of posts. Fb already ranks feedback by relevancy based mostly on Likes and replies. However the downvote button may be certain that if objectionable feedback stand up and stall dialogue, Fb will know.

That might ultimately result in a approach for Fb to bury these feedback, or the folks that submit them. Nevertheless, this may solely open up extra questions on censorship and what qualifies as inappropriate at a time when Fb is already struggling to handle its duties as what Zuckerberg calls “not a standard media firm.”

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