According to Facebook, this is a short-term test that doesn’t affect the ranking of the comment, post, or Page. It’s designed as a way to give feedback to Facebook, not the commenter, and there will be no publicly visible count of how many downvotes a comment gets. The test is running for 5% of Android users in the U.S. with language set to English. The downvote button only appears on public Page posts, not on posts by Groups, public figures or users. There’s currently no plan to expand the test as is.
Downvote is not a ‘DISLIKE’ button
Instead, Facebook built the Reactions options that let you respond to posts and comments with love, wow, haha, sad or angry emoji. Facebook also built reactions into Messenger with the option to give messages a thumbs-up or thumbs-down so you could show agreement or disagreement.
When tapped, the downvote button hides a comment, and gives users additional reporting options like “Offensive”, “Misleading”, and “Off Topic”. Those could help Facebook figure out if the comment is objectionable, a form of “fake news”, or just irrelevant. Facebook already has a “Hide” button for comments, but it’s usually hidden behind the drop-down arrow on comments rather than immediately clickable.
Giving users the ability to help regulate public behavior on the platform, much like Reddit does, could help Facebook gather data and insight into the types of discussions users are interested in having. It would also help the company understand the tone and content of comments that float to the top, and those that get downvoted into invisibility. All of this could better inform Facebook’s quest to foster “meaningful” interactions, just as the company is using user surveys right now to gauge public perception of news sources.
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