For all of you who’ve been waiting for a ‘dislike’ button on Facebook, well, we still don’t have one - but this is the next best thing.
Facebook has started trialling a ‘downvote’ button with a small selection of people in the US. Consistent with past comments from CEO Mark Zuckerberg about not wanting to turn the platform into a voting forum, the social media giant clarified the purpose of the new button: ‘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 downvote option appears below public page posts next to the option to react or reply. After pressing the button, Facebook hides the message and gives the option to mark it as offensive, misleading or off-topic. The platform hopes to use the community to flag fake news and irrelevant and objectionable content.
Martin Garner, CSS Insight tech analyst, explains the importance of relying on the Facebook community for this: ‘Mark Zuckerberg doesn't want Facebook to have the responsibility of identifying what is offensive or misleading - and what is not - because that would put him into the position of being a publisher rather than a platform.’
Worried that any of your posts that toe the line might disappear? Fear not. The downvote button doesn’t actually affect visibility of posts for others, nor does it affect ranking in the newsfeed.
Read more about the new button here.