Facebook testing a downvote button

Facebook Inc. is testing a button that would let users “downvote” other people’s comments on public posts.

The button, which simply says “Downvote,” appears to the right of “Like” and “Reply” options below a comment. The button is intended to notify Facebook about uncivil or misleading comments. The world’s largest social network is testing it in the short-term for a small percentage of U.S. users, and it currently doesn’t affect how prominently a post is featured in a list of comments, a company representative said.

A wider implementation of the button would go against Facebook’s prior stance that any kind of downvote or dislike button would spread negativity on the site. In a rethinking of the “Like” button in 2016, for example, the social network added a slate of other reactions, including “Love” and “Sad,” meant to be emotions in response to a post, rather than judgments on the post’s ranking.

The test was reported earlier by the Daily Beast. The feature is similar to one in use on the online bulletin board Reddit.

“We are not testing a dislike button,” the company said in a statement. “We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts.”

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Facebook testing a downvote button