Facebook is expanding the trial of the closest thing the social network has to a dislike button.
Facebook says that its new ‘downvote’ button will help users vote down negative or disrespectful comments so they do not feature at the top of a discussion.
Facebook insists the feature is not a dislike button and has said that there are no plans to add such a button in the future.
The feature has been available to Android users in the United States since February but now Facebook has announced that it will be rolled out to some users in the New Zealand and Australia.
When the trial of the button, which also allow users to ‘upvote’ popular comments, was announced in February, Facebook said: “We are not testing a dislike button. We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts.”
The feature is similar to the one used by Reddit which allows users to increase the visibility of popular posts, while helping to make sure negative posts are not given as much prominence.
Facebook, except it's basically Reddit pic.twitter.com/kMpss61gjR
— ⚡️ Owen (@ow) April 29, 2018
Upvote and downvote comments on Facebook, when did this happen? pic.twitter.com/q9F7OcJ4R3
— Carter (@cwsbbb) April 29, 2018
Hmmmm. Not sure I like the Upvote and Downvote feature of Facebook. Time will tell I guess. pic.twitter.com/hxvjW7HaTX
— BEN SLATER ? (@iambenslater) April 29, 2018
During the test in the US the number of downvotes were not display but according to images shared on Twitter, that now seems not to be the case.
For people that can use the new feature, a pop up box appears that reads: “Support better comments.
“Press the up arrow if you think that a comment is helpful or insightful. Your input is anonymous.”
Tapping the button allows you to downvote a comment and also gives an option to explain your reason such as ‘offensive’, ‘off-topic’ or ‘misleading’.
“People have told us they would like to see better public discussions on Facebook, and want spaces where people with different opinions can have more constructive dialogue,” a Facebook spokesperson for Facebook said.
“To that end, we’re running a small test in New Zealand which allows people to upvote or downvote comments on public Page posts. 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.”
It is not known whether Facebook plans to roll the feature out globally or if this latest development remains part of a limited trial.