TECH
09/02/2018 11:52 AM AEDT | Updated 09/02/2018 12:36 PM AEDT

Facebook Reportedly Testing 'Downvote' Button

Selected users now have the option to flag posts to Facebook.

Last month, Facebook admitted that its platform is bad for democracy.

Now comes word of a project that may push people into more of an information cocoon.

Facebook is testing a button with selected users that allows them to “downvote” posts they consider inappropriate, uncivil or misleading, the company said.

Facebook insisted in a statement to HuffPost that it is not “testing a dislike button.”

“We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts. This is running for a small set of people in the U.S. only.”

Sources familiar with the program said the “downvote” button is only a short-term test and will not affect how a comment, post or page is ranked.

The info gleaned is not about giving a commenter feedback but giving feedback to Facebook. 

Tech reporter Taylor Lorenz said the “downvote” option first appeared Thursday in the comments sections of certain Facebook groups as well as on old Facebook memories content.

She shared screenshots on Twitter ― but not on Facebook, for some reason.

Lorenz said this newer button might allow content that’s offensive or inflammatory to be pushed to the bottom of a comment feed.

Facebook appears to be trying to invent Reddit, Alexis Ohanian, that website’s founder and CEO, noted on Twitter:

So far, only 5 percent of Android users in the U.S. are getting the downvote option, Facebook said. 

This article has been updated to include Facebook’s statement.

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