Facebook is apparently trying to test a feature so many users have always wanted to be able to click on the social network. Nope, it's not a full-on "Dislike" button, but it's close — a "Downvote" button, similar to Reddit.
Only a handful of users are seeing the new feature, and it's only integrated into certain types of posts, according to The Daily Beast. Still, such a development is huge news following long-running rumors of a functional dislike button. As mentioned, Reddit employs an upvoting and downvoting system, but that has shown mixed results, and some communities even turn the feature off altogether to prevent brigades of downvoters ganging up on a user.
It's not clear whether Facebook will eventually roll out the downvote button to all users, but in a statement to Gizmodo, the social network said the test was brief and distanced itself from the notion that the new button is in any way similar to a dislike button.
No, It's Not A Dislike Button
"[W]e are not testing a dislike button. We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts," said a Facebook spokesperson, adding that the test is only being done on a handful of Facebook accounts in the United States.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has always been adamant against adding a dislike button on Facebook, perhaps because it promotes choosing sides instead of encouraging meaningful discussion over sensitive topics or any subject where two parties are in disagreement. Zuckerberg's dialogue on the matter has been for the most part vague, and in 2014, when asked whether a dislike button would be a thing, he said, "We're thinking about it."
Below, you can see the downvote button in action:
Facebook is testing downvoting comments pic.twitter.com/SBOSQITotO — Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) February 8, 2018
Why A Downvote Button Is The Way To Go
A downvote button actually makes sense instead of a dislike button since it's far less harsh than fully disliking a comment. However, it doesn't ease the fact that Facebook can oftentimes become an echo chamber, and — this is especially true on Reddit — the number of upvotes or downvotes doesn't accurately signify whether the post is right or wrong.
Also, Facebook must implement some type of complex system where such a button can't be abused. Otherwise, instead of inviting discussion, it might only incite hate, offensive language, and shallow arguments.
What do you think? Should Facebook just roll out a dislike button? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!