Three months ago, Facebook confirmed testing downvote button by releasing the button to some users and informing the public through posts. This move which is tagged a Reddit-like concept is aimed at improving the quality of interaction among users on Facebook and to further depict the company’s original intent in social media. Now, Facebook is taking things further by rolling out the downvote button to more users across the globe. The feature allows users to label comments ‘offensive,’ ‘misleading’ or ‘off topic’ aside from hiding the comment completely from the user after applying the button.
We are unsure of the number of users accessing the new Facebook feature currently, but TNW which claimed to have reached Facebook for more details reports that users in New Zealand and Australia are the majority with access to the new voting system.
Limiting the circulation of inappropriate comments and misleading information are the major breakthroughs the social media giant would achieve introducing this feature fully. Facebook which has faced a lot of backlash for the past few months has gained lots of credit for circulating fake news aside from being exposed to a potential loss of $5 Billion in revenue due to data scandal. However, the menace is yet to be curbed completely as increasing number of people call for regulation that would protect social media users. On the good side, the downvoting system should help Facebook to curb misleading information and allowing users to help in keeping the platform safer.
For long now, since after its introduction of like button, people have widely demanded a dislike button. But Facebook has shown less interest in such feature, with its reservations based on the social media model the company originally intended. “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. That doesn’t seem like the kind of community we want to create.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Q&A session sometime in 2015.
But in 2016, Facebook introduced reactions to offer its users wider avenues to express their emotions about comments. But that was not enough to draw attention and to flag a comment as inappropriate. Hence, the company thought a dislike button with these features can help protect the platform.
Facebook’s downvote button is expected to help the company’s measures to regain trust in the social community by prioritizing News Feed content with evocative interactions, not of passive or zombie browsing. TechCrunch reports that Facebook in response to these challenges showed fewer viral videos that led to a 700,000 user decrease of daily active users in the US and Canada and the company’s ever reported slowest DAU growth rate, according to its Q4 2017 earnings report.
The downvote voting system will pilot a means for Facebook to bury inappropriate comments, including individuals posting them. However, this would open debates about the control of comments and what qualifies one as inappropriate, because not all voting should be regarded as true, some would be sentimental.