Facebook tests new Downvote feature to flag abusive comments

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Have you heard of the new feature Facebook is testing? It is called “downvote” It allows you to quickly report abusive comments to the company.

This feature first appeared on the platform on Thursday, you may not have seen it, as only a select number of test users have access to it. The function is found on any comment made on public page posts.

You may be wondering where you’ve seen the downvoting option before, Reddit has this same feature but, it functions differently from that of Facebook. While Reddit’s option demotes questionable content further down the comment section, Facebook’s deal is about flagging down offensive posts or those that are inappropriate.

Right now, for you to report an abusive comment, you click on the “…” next to it and select “Hide comment.” Then Facebook allows you to alert the company about it. But with this downvote feature, you have a much clearer avenue to complain about a comment. Once you click on it, the option automatically hides the comment from view and then ask you the reason why the comment is a problem. Four answers are provided for you to chose from, they include: offensive, misleading, off topic and other.

Although the function has been seen to be different from Reddit’s, Facebook already got people confused by naming the test feature “downvote.” This generated speculation that Facebook wants to take a page from Reddit and establish its own comment downvoting.

“We are not testing a dislike button, we are exploring a feature for people to givebus feedback about comments on public page posts.” Facebook said in an email.

One of the Facebook users who noticed this feature on Thursday was Christina Hudler, she lives in Jacksonville, North Carolina and also thought the test feature was just like Reddit’s downvoting feature. She happens to own a social media marketing agency known as Hudler Social. She said abusive comments can be problematic on Facebook.

Right now, when people see an irrelevant or nasty comment, all they can do is angry react or leave a comment. And those things actually push it up in the comments.

Hudler

It is still unclear, whether or not Facebook will eventually make the downvoting feature official, but what is certain is the company has vowed to do its best to curb abuse and make the platform better for the society.


Facebook is an online social networking service headquartered in Menlo Park, California, in the United States. Its website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg with his Harvard College roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The founders had initially limited the website’s membership to Harvard students, but later expanded it to colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities and later to high-school students. Its name comes from the face book directories often given to American university students.


Reddit was founded by University of Virginia roommates Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in 2005. It is an entertainment, social news networking service, and news website where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links, making it essentially an online bulletin board system. Registered users can then vote submissions up or down to organize the posts and determine their position on the site’s pages. The submissions with the most positive votes appear on the main page or the top of a category. Content entries are organized by areas of interest called “subreddits”. The subreddit topics include news, gaming, movies, music, books, fitness, food, and photosharing, among many others. Reddit is based in San Francisco, California.



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