Facebook expands test of 'downvote' button

Facebook expands test of 'downvote' button
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Facebook is testing a new "downvote" button with users in Australia and New Zealand, following a similar test in the U.S. this past February.

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The feature, similar to a feature on Reddit, lets users vote up or down comments on public posts — those not shared by friends or family — to signal their approval or disapproval.

The new up and down arrows appear below a comment, next to the “like” button.

“Public discussions are an important part of Facebook, and people have told us they want more ways to make sure those discussions are constructive – even when people might disagree with each other. To that end, we're running a test that introduces an upvote and downvote action for comments on large public Page posts,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“This feature allows people to push those thoughtful and engaging comments to the top of the discussion thread, and to move down the ones that are simply attacks or filled with profanity,” the spokesperson continued.

The tests are still in the early stages and it’s possible that Facebook may never roll out the feature.

Facebook also stressed that the downvote option is not a dislike button. The company wants to test the new feature to see if it’s a “productive” option in determining how informative or constructive a comment is.

In 2016, Facebook rolled out new reactions to supplement its “like button.” The new reactions included negative responses like sad and angry. But Facebook has not featured a dislike button despite calls from some users.